Low Residue Diet - Meal Plan

A low residue diet is characterised by being very low in dietary fibre and fairly low fat content. All other nutrition needs to be considered so there is no risk of deficiency. A low residue diet is not a long term diet and should only be viewed as a dietary treatment. It is used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis or other inflammatory bowel diseases during relapse in order to rest the bowel and try to bring on remission, prior to bowel surgery or any condition where it's necessary for the intestines to be rested and to do minimal work.

A low residue diet does carry the risk of potential problems including, vitamin and mineral deficiency, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain. Only follow this dietary regimen under direction of your doctor or clinical dietitian, and only use it for a short period; it is not a long term diet.

The following is a list of foods which should be avoided and their acceptable equivalents:

Foods AllowedFoods to Avoid
Cereals, Bread and Biscuits
Rice Krispies, CornflakesWholegrain cereals e.g. All-Bran, Bran Flakes, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat, Shreddies, muesli, porridge
Cereals with added fruit and/or nuts
Sago, tapioca, semolina
Polished white riceBrown rice
Cornflour, arrowroot, custard powder, blancmange
White breadWholemeal, wholewheat, granary, brown bread
Rice cakes (plain)High fibre white bread
Products made with white flour:Products made with bran, brown wholemeal and soya flour
PastryWholemeal pastry and crumbles
Plain biscuits (sweet and savoury) e.g. Rich Tea,wafers, Cream Crackers, Custard CreamsOatcakes, Ryvita, wholewheat crispbreads
Biscuits containing fruit and/or nuts
Sponge cake or sponge puddingFruit cake, flapjacks, coconut cake, marzipan and other cakes containing fruit and/or nuts
All kinds of lean meat including offal and poultry
Milk - all types
Cheese - all types
Yoghurt - natural or fruit flavouredYoghurt – with added fruit and/or nuts
Ice-creamIce-cream – with added fruit and/or nuts
Cream - single, double (in moderation)
Fats and Oils
Butter, margarine, low fat spread, cooking oils (in Fried foods moderation)Fried foods
Fruit and Vegetables
Apples/pears – eating or cooking (no skin, core or pips)All other fruit
Dried fruits e.g. sultanas, raisons, currants, banana chips
Fruit salad/cocktail (canned)
Grapes (peeled, no pips)
Mandarins (canned)
Melon e.g. Cantaloupe
Peaches (fresh no skin, canned)
Cauliflower/broccoli florets (no stalks)All other vegetables including peas, beans and lentils
Cucumber (no skin or pips)
Lettuce (no stalks)
Marrow, courgettes (flesh only)
Potato (no skin)Potato skins e.g. jacket
Thick-cut oven chipsAll other chips
Tomato (no skin or seeds)
Tomato juice/tomato puree
Carrots, swede, turnip (peeled)
Carrot juice
Mushy peas (canned)All other peas including processed, fresh or frozen
Tofusoya beans
Sweets, Jam and Nuts
Sugar, syrup, honey, lemon curd
Seedless/shred less jams and marmaladeOrdinary jam and marmalade with peel, pips and seeds
Boiled sweets, mints, toffee, fudgeToffee and fudge containing fruit and/or nuts
All types of nuts, peanut butter
Clear soupsSoups with added vegetables
Canned or dried soups with no added vegetablese.g. spring vegetable, Scotch broth
Sauces not based on fruit or vegetablesAll fruit and vegetable-based sauces
Gravy, Oxo, MarmitePickles, chutney

The following meal plan is an example of a low residue diet plan which can be used incorporating the above allowed foods. Vary food choices where you can, using permitted foods only. If your appetite is poor or your illness has caused you unwanted weight loss, then you may need to increase the portions. It's important to drink plenty of water through the day. Check with your doctor or dietitian before following a low residue diet.

Cornflakes or Rice Krispies with milk + sugar
White bread or toast with butter / margarine and seedless marmalade, honey or Marmite
Fruit juice
Mug tea/coffee
2-3 Rich Tea biscuits
Peeled apple
Drink water
Clear soup
Sandwich: 2-4 slices white bread with butter/margarine + lean ham / chicken / tuna / cheese
Fruit juice
2-3 Rich Tea biscuits
Peeled apple
Drink water
Evening Meal
Chicken breast or white fish or lean meat
White basmati rice or white pasta or peeled potatoes or mashed potato
Small portion of cauliflower/broccoli florets (no stalks)
Milk pudding, ice-cream or blancmange
Fruit juice
3-4 plain rice cakes + smooth natural peanut butter
Drink water
Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.