Figuring out what to eat on a low-residue, low-fiber diet can be a bit tricky because so many foods are off-limits. Sticking to the diet, however, may help you get better faster or reduce your symptoms if you're suffering from bowel inflammation, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis or a narrowing of the bowel. A strict diet is also helpful if you have recently had digestive tract surgery. On this diet, you'll need to limit your fiber to no more than 15 grams per day.
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Avoid whole grains, and instead snack on foods such as saltines or other plain crackers, white bread, muffins without added nuts or fruit, waffles, pancakes, French toast or cereals made with refined grains, including cream of wheat, puffed-rice cereal and corn flakes. Try a bowl of cereal with a small amount of milk or crackers spread with your favorite jelly.
Fruits and Vegetables
You'll need to avoid most raw fruits, with the exception of very ripe banana or melon. But you can drink fruit juice without pulp and eat skinless, canned or cooked fruits, except for pineapple. Raw vegetables are also mostly off-limits, although you can eat cucumber, lettuce, zucchini and onions raw. Snack on cucumber slices with ranch dressing, gelatin made with canned peaches or applesauce and a few animal crackers.
Limit dairy products to two servings per day, recommends MedlinePlus, and only eat those that don't have added seeds, nuts, vegetables or fruits. This could include 1 1/2 ounces of cheese or a cup of yogurt, pudding, cottage cheese, creamy soup or milk. Good snacks include yogurt with sliced bananas or a cheese sandwich with mustard and lettuce on white bread.
Choose eggs, creamy peanut butter or well-cooked or ground meat, poultry or fish. Avoid deli meats, meat that is tough or has gristle, beans and legumes, seeds, nuts and crunchy peanut butter. Eat a hard-boiled egg and a glass of strained vegetable juice for a snack or a smoothie made with a small amount of peanut butter, banana and yogurt or milk.