What is the ‘residue’ in a low residue diet?

Being a science major I thought for sure ‘residue’ was implying some sort of metabolic by-product produced by certain foods that would upset the lining of my colon. Nope… the residue is simply the poop mass. Not very technical at all. And therefore the diet is geared around reducing the amount of poop that is produced after all the nutrients are absorbed into your body. Specifically, reducing the fiber in your diet helps to reduce the poop mass and therefore controls the pain and inflammation associated during flare ups.

As I am on a low reside diet as we speak, I dont have to tell you how boring it can get. However, lets go over the things that are in the safe zone so that there is no confusion.

  • bread  – white, unwholesome bread with no whole wheat. The wheat is a no no.
  • bananas – not only nice and mushy but if you feel dizzy from the meds it could be from low potassium so its nice to just have bananas on hand.
  • pasta – not the fancy kind. Just the unwholesome, ‘things your two year old loves to throw at walls’ kind of pasta.
  • avocado – you will come to love avocado. They are very gentle on your stomach while providing some nutritional value. Great on toast, great on things, with things, or on its own.
  • apple sauce – not the greatest sweet thing BUT the grocery store as the school snack version where there are variations of apple sauce. Apple with blueberry, apple with peach, apple and carrot. Fill your boots. At this consistency you are golden.
  • squash – take this one with a grain of salt … not literally. I find squash while in flare up mode is good as a soup or a mash but not ‘as is’. So those fancy squash boats might upset your stomach if you introduce it too quickly.
  • rice – the end all be all to the flare up diet. Some days all you will feel like is rice. Other days, you will want to jazz it up with some broth or some chicken. It is the saviour of your flare up.
  • meat – you can do chicken, pork or turkey but it should be low fat, and cooked as is, with some seasoning or nothing at all.

The diet lies on the framework of the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast) as this is what would help you reduce your diarrhoea if you had an infection. Same theory, but allowing some more flexibility as your stool begins to form while your colon is still swollen. It is recommended to have small portions of foods with low fiber and therefore would create low residue. Stay tuned, I have some great recipes that got me through so far.

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