- Gluten Free Diet
- Lactose Free Diet
- Sucrose Free Diet
- Fructose Free Diet
- Low Fat Diet
- High Fiber Diet
- Fiber Supplementation
- Soft Diet
- Sodium Restricted Diet
- Low Residue Diet
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the general name for one of the proteins found in wheat, barley and rye. It is harmful for someone with celiac disease to eat foods that contain gluten. Even if you don’t feel sick after eating gluten-containing foods, you can still damage your body. While avoiding gluten-containing foods may seem difficult at first, it is easy to identify them once you are familiar with their names. To get started, see the list of gluten-containing foods and ingredients provided at the end of this fact sheet (List 1). Take the list with you when you shop or eat out.
What is Celiac Disease?
In people with a genetic susceptibility, celiac disease results from eating gluten, which triggers an immune response to attack the lining of the small intestine. The process may also damage other areas of the body. Damage to the small intestine interferes with absorption of nutrients and increases the risk for diseases like bone disease, anemia and intestinal cancer. Right now, the only effective treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong, gluten-free diet.
10 Easy steps to a Gluten-Free Diet
Step 1. Identify Naturally Gluten-Free Foods that are at Home
Many foods are naturally gluten-free. Before you buy expensive store-bought gluten-free breads and cereals, look in your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator for the following items.
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood
- Fresh eggs
- Fresh, plain milk, butter, margarine, cream
- Plain beans
- Plain corn
- Plain white rice, brown rice, wild rice
- Plain nuts and seeds
- Sugar, honey, molasses
- Spices and herbs * Plain = no additives
Step 2. Identify Gluten-Free Packaged Foods at Home
Next, take out all of the packaged foods with food labels and put them on your kitchen table. Some packaged foods have gluten hidden in the ingredients. A list of Common Sources of Hidden Gluten is provided for you at the end of this fact sheet (List 2). Read the ingredient lists. If you find any sources of gluten in the ingredients, do not eat that food. You can either get rid of the gluten-containing foods or place them in a separate part of the cabinet so others in the household can eat them. Labeling laws now require wheat ingredients to be clearly labeled, however this does not necessarily mean the food is gluten-free. A gluten-free label, on the other hand, identifies a food that is safe to eat.
Step 3. Plan One Week's Menu Around Naturally Gluten-Free Foods
- Cream of rice cereal with fresh fruit or nuts
- Cottage cheese or yogurt with fresh fruit
- Scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh fruit
- Egg, cheese, and vegetable omelet with potatoes and fresh fruit
Lunches and Dinners
- Baked potato with cheese and vegetables
- Corn tortillas with stir-fried meat and vegetables
- Stir-fried meat and vegetables with rice and wheat-free tamari
- Bean-and-cheese burritos made with corn tortillas
- Grilled meat or fish, baked potato and vegetables
- Plain rice cakes with cheese or peanut butter
- Nachos made with plain corn chips, cheese and salsa
- Celery sticks with cream cheese or peanut butter
- String cheese
- Plain popcorn with oil and salt
- Fresh or canned fruit with yogurt or ice cream
Step 4. Make a Gluten-Free Shopping List
After you have planned your one week's menu, make a gluten-free shopping list for foods you wish to buy. See sample Gluten-Free Shopping List (List 3) at the end of this fact sheet.
Step 5. Read Food Labels Every Time You Buy
Occasionally, ingredients change for the same brand product. So, you must check the ingredients for hidden gluten every time you buy a packaged product. Always take the Shopping Guide: Sources of Gluten (List 4) provided at the end of this fact sheet with you when you go food shopping.
Step 6. Avoid Cross-Contact
- If you also shop and prepare food for people who do eat gluten-containing foods, it is important to protect your gluten-free foods from contact with gluten.
- Buy two jars of jam, mayonnaise, and peanut butter. One is for you, and the other is for everyone else. A knife with bread crumbs will leave gluten behind in a shared jar. Be sure to label which jar is gluten-free. You can also buy squeeze bottles so nobody needs to use a knife
- Buy a separate toaster for gluten-free breads, or put clean aluminum foil on the rack of your toaster oven when you use it for gluten-free products. You can also try toaster bags that are reusable bags for use in toasters and toaster ovens.
- Buy a separate colander/strainer for gluten-free pasta. Colanders are too hard to clean to completely remove gluten. Color coding with a permanent marker can help keep all kitchen utensils separate.
- Clean counter tops and cutting boards often to remove gluten containing crumbs.
- Clean cooking utensils, knives, pans, grills, thermometers, cloths, and sponges carefully after each use andbefore cooking gluten-free foods.
- Store gluten-free foods above gluten-containing foods in your refrigerator and cupboards.
- Use pure spices rather than blends.
- If you bake with gluten-containing flours, put away or cover your gluten-free foods when you bake. Flour dust can float in the air for several hours and contaminate your gluten-free products.
- Avoid purchasing staples from bulk bins.
Step 7. Eat Out and Travel Gluten-Free with Ease
You can eat out at restaurants. Although there is concern for cross-contact when you eat out, you can reduce the risk by planning ahead.
- Before you leave home, do a little homework. Many restaurants have a website where they post their menus. Write down all the choices that are gluten-free. Often a menu with gluten-free options is available on request.
- Avoid bakery-type restaurants or pizza places where the gluten-containing flour can stay in the air and come in contact with other foods.
- Call ahead and talk to the manager or chef about items that are prepared gluten-free.
- Make your first visit to a restaurant before or after peak dining hours so the staff has enough time to answer your questions.
- Always identify yourself as someone who is allergic to wheat, rye and barley. The staff may not understand the word “gluten.”
- Bring your own gluten-free food when traveling. This way, you will always have something you can eat. Apples, raisins, fruit leather, rice cakes, and nuts are good travel snacks.
Always ask how the food is prepared. Talk to the manager or chef if your server doesn’t know. Some specific questions to ask include:
- Is the meat marinated in soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or Worcestershire sauce?
- Is the chicken dusted with flour before pan-frying?
- Is the oil used for French fries also used for frying onion rings (or other breaded foods)?
- Are there croutons or bacon bits on the salad?
- Do you use wheat flour to make the gravy (or thicken the soup)?
- If your meals will be prepared for you (hospital, college dining hall), ask to speak with the dietary manager.
Step 8. Balanced Diet
People with celiac disease may not get enough calcium, vitamin D, iron, B vitamins, or fiber on a gluten-free diet. For example, many gluten-free breads, cereals, and pasta are not fortified with vitamins and may be low in fiber. Are you getting enough nutrients from your diet? If not, be sure to include some nutrient dense gluten-free foods listed below and/or take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Additionally, look for “whole grain” versions that contain the bran layer (rice bran, brown rice, brown rice flour). Variety is key to maximize protein, fiber, and nutrients.
Listed below are some Nutrient Dense Gluten-Free Foods:
Calcuim – Milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines and salmon with bone, broccoli, collard greens, almonds, calcium-fortified juice, amaranth, teff, quinoa
Iron – Meat, fish, chicken, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, amaranth, auinoa teff
B Vitamins – Eggs, milk, meat, fish, orange juice, beans, nuts, seeds, gluten-free whole grains
Vitamin D – Vitamin D-fortified milk and yogurt, egg yolks, salmon, sardines, tuna
Fiber – Vegetables, fruits, beans, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, teff, flax
Make sure you include the above nutrient dense gluten-free foods and/or take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Also, look for "whole grain" versions that contain (rice bran, brown rice, brown rice flour). Getting a good variety is the key to maximize protein, fibe and nuritents.
Step 9. Identify Any Additional Food Intolerances
If you are not feeling better on a gluten-free diet, you may have other food intolerances such as lactose (milk sugar), cow’s milk, soy, corn, eggs, nuts, yeast, and acidic foods. Talk to your doctor and dietitian if you are not feeling better on a gluten-free diet.
Step 10. Get Support
For a successful transition to the gluten-free lifestyle, you need support from your doctor, dietitian, family, friends, and other people living with celiac disease.
Joining a local celiac disease support group can be very helpful. These people understand what you are going through better than anyone else. They will be able to offer you emotional support and answer all the questions you have.
Remember, you are fortunate that celiac disease has a known treatment and that the damage is reversible. With practice, you can manage this condition with ease.
Gluten-Containing Foods and Ingredients (This is not a complete list).
|Atta||Einkorn||Malt Malt extract, malt syrup,||Semolina|
|Autolyzed yeast||Emmer||malt flavoring, malt vinegar||Soy Sauce|
|Barley (pearl, flakes, flour)||Farina||Malted milk||Spelt|
|Beer (gluten-free beer is available)||Faro/Farro||Matzoh||Triticale|
|Brewer's yeast||Fu||Modified food starch||Wheat|
|Bulgur||Gluten, gulten flour||Oats*||Wheat bran|
|Chapatti||Graham flour||Orzo||Wheat flour|
|Couscous||Hydrolyzed vegetable/plant protein||Rye||Wheat germ|
*Only those labeled as gluten-free. Oats do not contain gluten, but have the risk of cross-contact during harvesting or processing..
Common Sources of Hidden Gluten (This is not a complete list).
|Blue cheese crumbles||French Fries||Meat Loat||Self-basting poultry|
|Breading||Gravy||Nuts||Soups, soup bases|
|Broth, bouillon||Herbal Teas||Processed Meat||Soy Sauce|
|Cereal binding||Icing/Frosting||Rice mixes||Thickeners|
|Chocolates||Imitation seafood||Roux||Vegetarian "burgers"|
|Color (artificial, caramel)||imitation bacon||Salad dressings|
|Dry roasted nuts||Maltodxtrin||Sausage|
Example of a Gluten-Free Shopping List
|Meats & Proteins|
|Milk*||Cheddar cheese||Cream cheese*||Butter|
|Yogurt*||cheese Cottage cheese||Sour cream|
|Binders (for baking)|
|Xanthan gum||Guar gum||Tapioca|
|Canned and Packages|
|Peaches||Pears||Green beans||Dried beans|
The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide
Waiter, is There Wheat in my Soup? The Offiicial Guide to Dining Out, Shopping, and Traveling Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free by LynnRae Ries
Let’s Eat Out! Your Passport to Living Gluten and Allergy Free Multi-lingual Phrase Passport Pocket-Size Cuisine Passports by Kim Koeller and Robert La France
Gluten-Free Diet – A Comprehensive Resource Guide by Shelley Case, B.Sc., RD
Pocket Dictionary: Acceptability of Foods and Food Ingredients for the Gluten-Free Diet Canadian Celiac Association, 2005
The Gluten-Free Gourmet-Living Well Without Wheat Cookbook by Bette Hagman
Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults by Connie Sarros
Gluten-Free Quick and Easy by Carol Fenster
Lactose Free Diet
According to the National Institutes of Health, between 30 and 50 million Americans suffer from lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance affects people differently; some people can tolerate lactose in smaller servings, while others cannot digest any lactose.
Finding just the right diet after a diagnosis of lactose intolerance, therefore, will be different for each person. People who have trouble digesting lactose will have to learn which dairy products and other foods they can eat without discomfort and which they should avoid.
Why is changing my diet important?
It is very difficult to completely avoid lactose in your diet, because it is found in many foods. In addition to dairy products, which contain a great deal of lactose, there are many other foods (e.g. canned goods, delicatessen meats) that contain lactose.
You’ll also need to be careful when removing lactose from your diet because milk and milk products such as yogurt, ice cream and cheese contribute 73 percent of the calcium in the average American’s diet. Excluding these foods can leave you without enough calcium in your diet. Calcium is essential for the growth and repair of bones throughout life. In your early years, you need calcium to build strong bones as you grow. In the middle and later years, a shortage of calcium may lead to thin, fragile bones that break easily – a condition called osteoporosis. A concern, then, for both children and adults with lactose intolerance, is getting enough calcium in a diet that includes little or no milk.
What changes can I make?
If you are highly lactose intolerant and not able to digest any lactose, you’ll likely have to make some major changes in your eating habits, to remove all dairy and dairy-derivative ingredients from the foods you eat. Most people, however, are not completely lactose intolerant and can live quite comfortably by making a few modifications to the foods they choose.
Lactase supplements. There are a variety of lactase supplements available over-the-counter today, made especially for those who have a hard time digesting lactose. They contain the enzyme lactase, which is either missing from your digestive tract, or isn’t there in sufficient quantities. By adding lactase, you are helping your body digest the lactose in foods. The most common brand name of lactase supplement is Lactaid, but similar products are made by a number of manufacturers, and many large chain stores also market this under their "house brand" names.
Lactase caplets (or tablets): Take this supplement just before meals containing dairy ingredients and you will have a much easier time digesting your food. Available in caplets and chewable tablets.
Lactase drops: Add these drops to a container of milk to begin breaking down the milk sugars before you drink it.
Lactase-added milk: Lactaid sells pre-mixed milk in the dairy section of your grocery store that already contains the lactase enzyme. This may be more expensive than regular milk.
Yogurt: Yogurt contains a live bacteria culture, called acidophilus, which begins breaking down milk sugars. Many people who can’t drink milk find that they can tolerate yogurt well.
Sweet Acidophilus Milk: Sold in cartons in the dairy section at your grocery store, this milk contains the same acidophilus bacteria found in yogurt, so it has milk sugars that have already begun breaking down into simpler sugars your system can digest. The cost is similar to regular milk, and it tastes like regular milk.
Soy Milk/Cheese/Yogurt: In the past, these foods were only available at health-food stores, but today you can also find a small selection at your neighborhood grocer. Some are located on the shelf right next to their milk-based counterparts (like yogurt), while others are located in special sections of the store alongside foods for people with other special health concerns (like sugar-free foods, organic products, etc.). Soy milk may be refrigerated, or in cartons on a store shelf.
Cheese: (especially aged cheese, like cheddar or parmesan) contains little lactose, and many people who can’t drink milk find they can digest small quantities of cheese, especially if eaten with other foods, rather than alone.
Lactose-free or Reduced Lactose foods: Several manufacturers have begun selling lactose-free versions of dairy foods, such as cheeses, as well as lactose-free foods that typically contain dairy ingredients, such as cookies, puddings, and salad dressings. Look for these in the same places you might find soy-based products. (See above.)
Eating or drinking dairy products in smaller quantities. Have fewer glasses of milk in a day, and/or smaller amounts in each glass, or maybe a glass in the morning and one with dinner, and have a yogurt (which is easier to digest) at lunch time.
Eating or drinking dairy products along with other foods. Many people find they can tolerate dairy products if they consume them along with other non-dairy foods. For instance, someone who can’t drink a large glass of milk might be able to eat a bowl of cereal with milk poured on it, or eat cheese when it’s on a pizza, but not cheese alone.
Look at recipes from other cultures for new ideas. A large percentage of people from Asia and Africa are lactose intolerant, so many of the recipes originating from these regions are high in protein and other necessary nutrients, but contain little or no dairy ingredients.
How much calcium do I need?
The amount of calcium a person needs to maintain good health varies by age group:
|Age Group||Amount of calcium to consume daily, in miligrams (mg)|
|7-12 months||270 mg|
|1-3 years||500 mg|
|4-8 years||800 mg|
|9-18 years||1300 mg|
|19-50 years||1000 mg|
|51-70+ years||1200 mg|
Good sources of calcium
When planning meals, make sure that each day's menu includes enough calcium, even if you’re not eating any dairy products. Many nondairy foods are high in calcium. Green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, and fish with soft, edible bones, such as salmon and sardines, are excellent sources of calcium. To help in planning a high-calcium and low-lactose diet, the table below lists some common foods that are good sources of dietary calcium and shows how much lactose they contain.
Recent research shows that yogurt with active cultures may be a good source of calcium for many people with lactose intolerance, even though it is fairly high in lactose. Evidence shows that the bacterial cultures used to make yogurt produce some of the lactase enzyme required for
|Vegetables||Calcium Content||Lactose C|
|Calcium-fortified orange juice, 1 cup||308-344mg|
|Sardines, with edible bones, 3 oz.||270 mg||0|
|Salmon, canned, with edible bones, 3 oz.||205 mg||0|
|Soymilk, fortified, 1 cup||200 mg||0|
|Broccoli (raw), 1 cup||90 mg||0|
|Orange, 1 medium||50 mg||0|
|Pinto beans, 1/2 cup||40 mg||0|
|Tuna, canned, 3 oz.||10 mg||0|
|Lettuce greens, 1/2 cup||10 mg||0|
|Dairy Products||Calcium Content||Lactose C|
|Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 1 cup||415 mg||5 g|
|Milk, reduced fat, 1 cup||295 mg||11 g|
|Swiss cheese, 1 oz.||270 mg||1 g|
|Ice cream, 1/2 cup||85 mg||6 g|
|Cottage cheese, 1/2 cup||75 mg||2-3 g|
Clearly, many foods can provide the calcium and other nutrients the body needs, even when intake of milk and dairy products is limited. However, factors other than calcium and lactose content should be kept in mind when planning a diet. Some vegetables that are high in calcium (Swiss chard, spinach, and rhubarb, for instance) are not listed in the chart because the body cannot use the calcium they contain. They contain substances called oxalates, which stop calcium absorption.
Calcium is absorbed and used only when there is enough vitamin D in the body. A balanced diet should provide an adequate supply of vitamin D. Sources of vitamin D include eggs and liver. However, sunlight helps the body naturally absorb or synthesize vitamin D, and with enough exposure to the sun, food sources may not be necessary.
What about calcium supplements?
Some people with lactose intolerance may think they are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet. It may be helpful to speak to your doctor or dietician to help decide whether any dietary supplements are needed. If you take vitamins or minerals of the wrong kind or amounts it could be harmful to you. A dietician can help you plan meals that will provide the most nutrients and at the same time will minimize abdominal discomfort.
Watch for Hidden Lactose
Although milk and foods made from milk are the only natural sources, lactose is often added to prepared foods. People with very low tolerance for lactose should know about the many food products that may contain even small amounts of lactose, such as:
- bread and other baked goods
- processed breakfast cereals
- instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks
- lunch meats (other than kosher)
- salad dressings
- candies and other snacks
- mixes for pancakes, biscuits, and cookies
- powdered meal-replacement supplements
Some products labeled non-dairy, such as powdered coffee creamer and whipped toppings, may also include ingredients that are derived from milk and therefore contain lactose.
Smart shoppers learn to read food labels with care, looking not only for milk and lactose among the contents, but also for such words as:
- dried/powdered milk
- milk by-product
If any of these are listed on a label, the product contains lactose.
In addition, lactose is used as the base for more than 20 percent of prescription drugs and about 6 percent of over-the-counter medicines. Many types of birth control pills, for example, contain lactose, as do some tablets for stomach acid and gas. However, these products typically affect only people with severe lactose intolerance.
Points to Remember
- Eat fewer foods with lactose in them, like milk, cheese, and ice cream.
- Find out if you can eat small amounts of food with lactose.
- Read food labels to find out if a food has lactose in it.
- Ask your doctor if you can use a special pill or liquid to help you digest foods with lactose.
- Eat enough foods with calcium, like broccoli.
- Ask your doctor if you need to take a calcium supplement.
Sucrose Free Diet
|Milk Products||Milk Products Powdered Milk Evaporated Milk Cheese Butter Cream Natural Yogurt||Soya bean Milks Sweetened Condensed Milk Flavoured Yoghurt Ice-Cream|
|Protein Foods||Fresh or frozen meat Fish Poultry Eggs Ham Bacon||Sausages Frankfurts Canned Meats Fish canned in sauces, oil or water|
|Bread||Any plain white loaf of bread||Wholemeal Bread Sweetened Breads Buns|
|Breakfast Cereals||Rolled Oats Packet cereals as advised by dietian||Wheatgerm|
|Other Cereals||White Flour (plain or self-raising) Rice (white or brown) Ground rice Semolina Tapioca Sago Arrowroot Corn flour Macaroni Spaghetti||Wholemeal Fours Soya Flour Canned Spaghetti|
|Biscuits and Cakes||Home-made biscuits Cakes and pastries made with allowed ingredients Savory biscuits as advised by your dietitian||All commerical cakes, biscuits and pastries Cake Decorations Icing Sugar|
|Fruit||Blackberries Mulberries Cherries Cranberries Currants Figs Grapes Lemons Loganberries Loquats Pomegranates||Other Fruit Fruit Juices|
|Vegetables||Asparagus Bamboo Shoots Broccoli Brussel Sprouts Cabbage Cauliflower Celery Corn Cucumber Eggplant Lettuce Potato Pumpkin Radish Spinach Squash Tomato Green Beans||Other Vegetables Vegetables Juices Tomato Paste|
|Fats and Oils||Butter Margarine Oils Copha Lard Dipping etc||Salad Dressings Mayonnaise|
|Beverages||Low Calorie Soft Drinks Low Calorie Cordials Cadbury Cocoa Tea Coffee||Drinking Chocolate Quik Milo Malted Milk etc Ordinary Soft Drinks & Cordials|
|Desserts||Allowed Fruit Low Calorie Jelly Puddings made from allowed ingredients (milk, eggs, rice, glucose etc)||Commerical dessert mixes Custard Powder Junket Jelly Meringues Ice Cream Cones Wafers Topping Syrups|
|Soups||Clear Soups Home-made Soups using allowed ingredients||Tinned or packet soups|
|Spreads||Vegemite Marmite||Meat and Fish Pastes Peanut Butter Jam Diabetic Jam Syrup Treacle Pickles Chutney|
|CondimentsandFlavourings||Salt Pepper Herbs Spices Essences (except chocolate and carmel)||Soy Sauce Tomato Sauce|
|Confectionery||Plain Potato Chips Cheezels Twisties Glucose Glucodin Lactose||Nuts Sugar|
Less than 2% Sucrose:
Boysenberries, Guavas, Pears, Plums, Raspberries and Strawberrries
Lima Beans and Carrots
Fructose Free Diet
Foods that should be avoided by people with fructose malabsorption include:
- Foods and beverages containing greater than 0.5g fructose in excess of glucose per 100g and greater than 0.2g of fructans per serving should be avoided. Foods with >3g of fructose per serving are termed a ‘high fructose load’ and possibly present a risk of inducing symptoms. However, the concept of a ‘high fructose load’ has not been evaluated in terms of its importance in the success of the diet.
- Foods with high fructose-to-glucose ratio. Glucose enhances absorption of fructose, so fructose from foods with fructose-to-glucose ratio <1, like white potatoes, are readily absorbed, whereas foods with fructose-to-glucose ratio >1, like apples and pears, are often problematic regardless of the total amount of fructose in the food.
- Foods rich in fructans and other Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols (FODMAPs), including artichokes, asparagus, leeks, onions, and wheat-containing products, including breads, cakes, biscuits, breakfast cereals, pies, pastas, pizzas, and wheat noodles.
- Foods rich in fructans and other Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols (FODMAPs), including artichokes, asparagus, leeks, onions, and wheat-containing products, including breads, cakes, biscuits, breakfast cereals, pies, pastas, pizzas, and wheat noodles.
Foods with a high glucose content ingested with foods containing excess fructose may help sufferers absorb the excess fructose.
The role that fructans play in fructose malabsorption is still under investigation. However, it is recommended that fructan intake for fructose malabsorbers should be kept to less than 0.5 grams/serving, and supplements with inulin and fructooligosaccharide (FOS), both fructans, should be avoided.
Foods with high fructose content
According to the USDA database, foods with more fructose than glucose include:
|FOOD||Fructose (grams / 100 grams)||Glucose (grams / 100 grams)|
|Sucrose (for reference)||50||50|
|Fruit juice e.g. Apples,Pears||5–7||2–3|
|High fructose corn syrup||42–55||45–58|
The USDA food database reveals that many common fruits contain nearly equal amounts of the fructose and glucose, and they do not present problems for those individuals with fructose malabsorption. Some fruits with a greater ratio of fructose than glucose are apples, pears and watermelon, which contain more than twice as much fructose as glucose. Fructose levels in grapes varies depending on ripeness and variety, where unripe grapes contain more glucose.
Dietary guidelines for the management of fructose malabsorption
Researchers at Monash University in Australia developed dietary guidelines for managing fructose malabsorption, particularly for individuals with IBS.
Unfavorable foods (i.e. more fructose than glucose)
- Fruit — apple, pear, guava, honeydew melon, nashi fruit, pawpaw, papaya, quince, star fruit, watermelon;
- Dried fruit — apple, currant, date, fig, pear, raisin, sultana;
- Fortified wines
- Foods containing added sugars, such as agave nectar, some corn syrups, and fruit juice concentrates.
Favorable foods (i.e. fructose equal to or less than glucose)
The following list of favorable foods was cited in the paper: "Fructose malabsorption and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Guidelines for effective dietary management". The fructose and glucose contents of foods listed on the Australian food standards website would appear to indicate that most of the listed foods have higher fructose levels.
- Stone fruit: apricot, nectarine, peach, plum (caution — these fruits contain sorbitol);
- Berry fruit: blueberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, loganberry;
- Citrus fruit: kumquat, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, tangelo;
- Other fruits: ripe banana, jackfruit, kiwi fruit, passion fruit, pineapple, rhubarb, tamarillo.
Producers of processed food in most or all countries, including the USA, are not currently required by law to mark foods containing "fructose in excess of glucose." This can cause some surprises and pitfalls for fructose malabsorbers.
Foods (such as bread) marked "gluten-free" are usually suitable for fructose malabsorbers, though sufferers need to be careful of gluten-free foods that contain dried fruit or high fructose corn syrup or fructose itself in sugar form. However, fructose malabsorbers do not need to avoid gluten, as those with celiac disease must.
Many fructose malabsorbers can eat breads made from rye and corn flour. However, these may contain wheat unless marked "wheat-free" (or "gluten-free") (Note: Rye bread is not gluten-free.) Although often assumed to be an acceptable alternative to wheat, spelt flour is not suitable for sufferers of fructose malabsorption, just as it is not appropriate for those with wheat allergies or celiac disease. However, some fructose malabsorbers do not have difficulty with fructans from wheat products while they may have problems with foods that contain excess free fructose.
There are many breads on the market that boast having no high fructose corn syrup. In lieu of high fructose corn syrup, however, one may find the production of special breads with a high inulin content, where inulin is a replacement in the baking process for the following: high fructose corn syrup, flour and fat. Because of the caloric reduction, lower fat content, dramatic fiber increase and prebiotic tendencies of the replacement inulin, these breads are considered a healthier alternative to traditionally prepared leavening breads. Though the touted health benefits may exist, sufferers of fructose malabsorption will likely find no difference between these new breads and traditionally prepared breads in alleviating their symptoms because inulin is a fructan, and, again, consumption of fructans should be reduced dramatically in those with fructose malabsorption in an effort to appease symptoms.
Low Fat Diet
What's In a Label?
There are "fat-free," "low-fat," "light," and "reduced-fat" products available. What do these labels really mean? According to the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) these advertisements translate to the following:
"Fat-free" foods must have less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.
"Low-fat" foods must have 3 grams of fat or less per serving.
"Reduced-fat" foods must have at least 25% less fat than their traditional counterparts.
"Light" foods must have either 1/3 fewer calories or 50% less fat.
Think Good Fat
When it comes to health, the type of fat you eat may be more important than the amount of fat you eat.
In fact, the eight-year Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial found that women who ate low-fat diets and those who didn't had nearly identical rates of heart attacks, strokes, and other forms of cardiovascular disease. Other studies have found no link between high-fat diets and other diseases, including cancer, and weight gain.
Keeping the amount of fat in your diet down to about 30% is still important, but what's also important is that you're eating the right kind of heart-healthy fats, the "good fats."
Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats
Cholesterol is essential to all functions in the body, especially hormones and nerve tissue. However, certain types of cholesterol, such as low-density lipoproteins or LDL, pose a health hazard. LDL cholesterol has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease. However, some fats are beneficial, such as high-density lipoproteins or HDL.
"Good" fats include both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats (like canola and olive oils) are those that have been found to lower the LDL "bad cholesterol" in the bloodstream and raise the amount of HDL "good cholesterol." HDL appears to actually clear the "bad" types of cholesterol from the blood. Polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon help lower LDL cholesterol.
"Bad" fats include the saturated fats found in animal products (beef, pork, butter, and other full-fat dairy products). Even worse are trans fats, found in the hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils often used in commercial baked products, fast food, and processed foods.
When it comes to fats, choose lean cuts of meat and fish and low-fat dairy products and eliminate trans fats from your diet as much as possible.
Healthy Eating Tips
Read Food Labels
Before eating a fat-free food, make sure the product isn't loaded with sugar or additives, and that it's actually lower in calories than its traditional counterpart. Also make sure that the suggested serving size isn't so small as to be unrealistic. Become educated on what goes into processed foods as there may be a lot of hidden fats in them.
Watch Your Servings
If you eat three servings of low-fat ice cream, at 3 grams of fat and 250 calories per serving, you're eating 9 grams of fat and 750 calories! Sometimes it's better to eat one serving of truly satisfying whole-fat food and avoid the extra calories and sugar in the low fat version.
Vegetables, Fruits, and Whole Grains
These give you heart-healthy nutrients and fiber to keep you feeling full longer, and they typically have fewer calories. They're also naturally low in fat. A baked potato is healthier than 'baked' potato chips. The whole potato has more nutrients, more fiber, and less calories. Oatmeal (especially steel cut oatmeal), vegetables, and fruit also contain soluble fiber, which "binds" cholesterol, helping the body to excrete it.
Exercise helps reduce cholesterol, burn calories, prevent diseases, and reduce stress. It's crucial for maintaining overall good health, and an important complement to a healthy diet.
Eating less saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol can reduce the levels of fat in your bloodstream. It will also help you reduce the number of calories you eat (as fats are more caloric than protein or carbohydrates). This, in turn, will help keep your weight down — another key factor in controlling LDL levels.
Variety and Moderation
Food metabolism is a very complex blend of nutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Too much of any, especially processed, is not good. Eat a varied and balanced diet consisting mostly of whole foods.
High Fiber Diet
Why is fiber important?
Eating a high-fiber diet is thought to help prevent development of pouches (diverticula) in the colon. It may lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and help control blood sugar levels. And it may help with reaching and staying at a healthy weight.
What is the recommended daily amount of fiber?
The daily adequate intake amount for fiber has been calculated by the Institute of Medicine. Men 19 and older should strive for 38 grams a day and women 19 and older should aim for 25 grams a day.
Daily Fiber Intake Goals:
|1 – 3||19||19|
|4 – 8||19||25|
|51 and older||21||30|
|Pregnant, 19 & older||28|
|Breast-feeding, 19 & older|
How can you get more fiber?
Fiber is in many foods, including beans, peas, other vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products. You can figure out how much fiber is in a food by looking at the nutrition facts label. If a food has fiber, it will be listed under the total carbohydrate on the label. The food label assumes the daily value (DV) of fiber is 25 grams a day (g/day) for a 2,000 calorie diet.
Grams of Fiber in certain foods (estimated)
|Food||Serving Size||Dietary Fiber (grams)|
|Beans (cooked)||1/2 cup||6.2 – 9.6|
|100% bran cereal||1/2 cup||8.8|
|Peas (cooked)||1/2 cup||5.6 – 8.1|
|Bulgur (cooked)||1/2 cup||4.1|
|Berries||1/2 cup||1.75 – 4.0|
|Apple with skin||1 small||3.3|
|Whole-wheat spaghetti||1/2 cup||3.1|
|Brown rice (cooked)||1/2 cup||1.5|
Be sure to increase the amount of fiber in your diet slowly so that your stomach can adjust to the change. Adding too much fiber too quickly may cause stomach upset and gas.
Some doctors recommend adding bran to your diet to help boost the fiber content. If you do this, start slowly with 1 teaspoon a day. Gradually increase the amount to several teaspoons a day.
Are there any risks from fiber?
Some people who have diverticulitis avoid nuts, seeds, berries, and popcorn (because of the hulls). They believe that the seeds and nuts may get trapped in the diverticula and cause pain. But there is no evidence that seeds, nuts, and berries cause diverticulitis or make it worse.
Does fiber help digestion?
If your diet is high enough in fiber, your stools should become softer, larger, and easier to pass.
Changing your diet may relieve constipation, but it may not help relieve abdominal pain. If you don't have any improvement within a week or two, talk to your doctor about your diet. Talk to your doctor if constipation continues or gets worse. Another medical problem or a medicine may be causing constipation.
Drink lots of fluids every day to help keep your stool soft. High-fiber diets need lots of fluid in the body to work properly.
Different Types of Fibers
You may be familiar with the terms "soluble fiber" and "insoluble fiber," but within each category there are many different fibers. Soluble fibers bind with fatty acids and slow digestion so blood sugars are released more slowly into the body. These fibers help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and help regulate blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. Insoluble fibers help hydrate and move waste through the intestines and control the pH levels in the intestines. These fibers help prevent constipation and keep you regular.
Most Americans get both types of fiber from two sources: Their diet and added “functional” fiber. Dietary fibers are found naturally in the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains that we eat. Functional fiber, a growing trend in the food industry, is fiber that has been isolated and extracted from plants or animal sources and added to drinks and food products to boost their fiber content. Both sources offer the same health benefits.
Most nutritionists encourage getting fiber from whole foods that we eat because they contain many other healthful plant compounds. But if you don’t get enough fiber in your diet — 25 to 38 grams a day is ideal — added functional fibers can help fill in the gap.
Eating a wide variety of fibers is the ideal solution to gaining all the health benefits. Listed below shows the most types of dietary and functional fibers, where they come from, and how they benefit health.
Here are some types of Insoluble fibers:
- Cellulose, some hemicellulose – Naturally found in nuts, whole wheat, whole grains, bran, seeds, edible brown rice and in skins of produce. This are health because they are "Nature's laxative". They will reduce constipation, lower risks of diverticulitis and can help with weight loss.
- Lignin– Naturally found in flax, rye and some vegetables. This are health because they help with your immune function. Use caution if celiac or gluten intolerant.
Here are some types of Soluble fibers:
- Inulin oligofrutose – Extracted from onions and byproduct of sugar production from beets or chicory root. Added to processed foods to increase fiber. This may increase beneficial bacteria in the gut and enhance immune function.
- Mucilage, beta-glucans – Naturally found in oats, oat bran, beans, peas, barley, flaxseed, berries, soybeans, bananas, oranges, apples and carrots. This will help lower bad LDL cholesterol, reduce risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Use caution if celiac or gluten intolerant.
- Pectin and gums – Naturally found in fruits, berries and seeds. Also can be extracted from citrus peel and other plants boost fiber in processed foods. This slow the passage of food through the intestinal GI tract and help lower blood cholesterol.
- Polydextrose polyols – Added to processed foods as a bulking agent and sugar substitute. Made from dextrose, sorbitol and citric acid. This will add bulk to stools and help prevent constipation but may cause gas and/or bloating.
- Psyllium – Extracted from rushed seeds or husks of plantago ovata plant. Used in supplements, fiber, drinks and added to foods. This will help lower cholesterol and prevent constipation.
- Resistant Starch – Starch in plant cell walls naturally found in unripened bananas, oatmeal and legumes. Also extracted and added to processed foods to increase fiber. This will help weight management by increasing fullness.
- Wheat dextrin – Extracted from wheat starch and widely used to add fiber in processed foods. This helps lower choleterol (LDL and total cholesterol) and reduces risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Avoid if celiac or gluten intolerant.
This diet is designed to help prevent you from becoming tired and not having to chew so much. This will allow you to eat more and be able to heal. This diet does include soft breads and rice so it is vital that you are able to move food in your mouth and be able to swallow safely.
Listed below are examples of Soft Diet foods:
Milk Products: smooth or fruited yogurt; cottage cheese; soft sliced cheese – AVOID: hard cheese cubes
Meat and Protein: ground cooked meat and poultry; baked, poached or broiled fish; casseroles with ground or 1/4 inch diced meat; eggs; cottage cheese; sandwiches with soft bread; shaved deli turkey or ham; tuna salad or egg salad without celery or raw vegetables – AVOID: Thick cold cuts, sausage, wieners, hamburgers, large chunks of cheese and casseroles with chuncks of meat.
Vegetables: soft cooked vegetables; legumes, potatoes and squash; minced 1/8 or diced 1/4 inch vegetables.
Sodium Restricted Diet
- Control the sodium in your diet. Decrease the total amount of sodium you consume to 2,000 mg (2 gm) per day.
- Learn to read food labels. Use the label information on food packages to help you to make the best low-sodium selections.
- Include high-fiber foods such as vegetables, cooked dried peas and beans (legumes), whole-grain foods, bran, cereals, pasta, rice and fresh fruit. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant food that helps move food along the digestive tract, better controls blood glucose levels, and may reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. Foods high in fiber include natural antioxidants, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The goal for everyone is to consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. This includes losing weight if you are overweight. Limit your total daily calories, follow a low-fat diet and exercise regularly to achieve or maintain your ideal body weight.
Learn to read food labels:
Food labels are standardized by the U.S. government's National Labeling and Education Act (NLEA). Nutrition labels and an ingredient list are required on most foods so you can make the best selection for a healthy lifestyle. If you do not know how much total sodium is in this product, ask your dietitian, or health care provider, to show you how to read food labels and apply the information to your personal needs.
Sodium is a mineral found in many foods. It helps keep normal fluids balanced in the body. Most people eat foods containing more sodium than they need. Some foods may be high in sodium and not taste salty. Eating too much sodium causes the body to keep or retain too much water.
Following a low-sodium diet helps control high blood pressure (hypertension), swelling, and water build-up (edema). A low-sodium diet also can help decrease breathing difficulties caused when the weakened heart has difficulty pumping excess fluid out of the body.
Your doctor may recommend that you consume no more than 2,000 mg (2g) of sodium per day. A low-sodium diet means more than just eliminating the salt shaker from the table! However, that is a good start since one teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg of sodium. It is important to keep a record of the amount of sodium you consume every day. Write down the amount in mg after each meal or snack.
Comparison of Sodium in Foods:
|Bacon||1 medium slice||155|
|Chicken (dark meat)||3.5 oz roasted||87|
|Chicken (light meat)||3.5 oz roasted||77|
|Egg, fried||1 large||162|
|Egg, scrambled w/milk||1 medium slice||171|
|Dried bean, peas or lentils||1 cup||4|
|Haddock||3 oz cooked||74|
|Halibut||3 oz cooked||59|
|Ham (roasted)||3.5 oz||1300 – 1500|
|Hamburger (lean)||3.5 oz broiled med||77|
|Hot dog (beef)||1 medium||585|
|Peanuts, dry roasted||1 oz||228|
|Pork loin, roasted||3.5 oz||65|
|Roast Lamb leg||3.5 oz||65|
|Roast Veal leg||3.5 oz||68|
|Shellfish||3 oz||100 – 325|
|Spareribs, braised||3.5 oz||93|
|Steak, T-bone||3.5 oz||66|
|Tuna, canned in spring water||3 oz chunk||300|
|Turkey, dark meat||3.5 oz roasted||76|
|Turkey, ligh meat||3.5 oz roasted||63|
|American Cheese||1 oz||443|
|Buttermilk, salt added||1 cup||260|
|Cheddar Cheese||1 oz||175|
|Cottage Cheese, low fat||1 cup||918|
|Milk, whole||1 cup||120|
|Milk, skim or 1%||1 cup||125|
|Swiss Cheese||1 oz||75|
|Yogurt, plain||1 cup||115|
Vegetables and Vegetable Juice
|Beans, white, cooked||1 cup||4|
|Beans, green||1 cup||4|
|Broccoli, raw||1/2 cup||12|
|Broccoli, cooked||1/2 cup||20|
|Carrot, raw||1 medium||25|
|Carrot, cooked||1/2 cup||52|
|Celery||1 stalk raw||35|
|Corned, boiled (sweet, no butter/salt)||1/2 cup||14|
|Eggplant, raw||1 cup||2|
|Eggplant, cooked||1 cup||4|
|Lima beans||1 cup||5|
|Mushrooms||1/2 cup (raw/cooked)||1 – 2|
|Mustard greens||1/2 chopped||12|
|Onions, chopped||1/2 cup (raw/cooked)||2 – 3|
|Spinach, raw||1/2 cup||22|
|Spinach, cooked||1/2 cup||63|
|Squash, acorn||1/2 cup||4|
|Sweet potato||1 small||12|
|Tomato juice, canned||3/4 cup||660|
Fruits and Fruit Juices
|Apple Juice||1 cup||7|
|Apricots (dried)||10 halves||3|
|Cantaloupe||1/2 cup chopped||14|
|Grape Juice||1 cup||7|
|Grapefruit Juice||1 cup||3|
|Orange Juice||1 cup||2|
Breads and Grains
|Bran Flakes||3/4 cup||220|
|Bread, whole wheat||1 slice||159|
|Bread, white||1 slice||123|
|Cooked cereal (instant)||1 packet||250|
|Corn Flakes||1 cup||290|
|Pancake||1 (7 inch)||431|
|Rice, white long grain||1 cup cooked||4|
|Shredded Wheat||1 biscuit||0|
|Canned Soups||1 cup||600 – 1300|
|Canned & Frozen main dishes||8 oz||500 – 2570|
Sodium Guidelines: Good Foods To Choose
Protein – choose 2-3 servings per day
- 2-3 ounces of fresh or frozen fish, shellfish, meat (beef, veal, lamb, pork) or poultry
- 1/2 cup cooked dried beans or peas
- 1/2 cup low-sodium canned fish (such as salmon or tuna)
- 1 low-sodium frozen dinner (less than 600mg sodium per meal) – Limit to one per day
- 1 egg (no more than 3 whole eggs per week)
Dairy products – choose 2 or more servings/day
- 1-1/2 ounces of low-sodium cheese
- 1 cup milk (non-fat or 1% recommended)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium cottage cheese
- 1 cup soy milk
Vegetables and fruits – choose 5 or more servings/day
- 1/2 cup fresh whole, chopped, cooked, frozen or canned fruit
- 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, frozen or no-salt added canned vegetables
- 1/2 cup low-sodium tomato juice or V-8 juice
- 1/2 cup low-sodium tomato sauce
- 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
Bread and grains – choose 6 or more servings/day
- Low-sodium breads, rolls, bagels and cereals (1 serving = 1 slice bread, 1 small roll, 1/2 bagel, 1/2 English muffin or a 4-inch pita
- 1/2 cup pasta (noodles, spaghetti, macaroni)
- 1/2 cup rice
- Low-sodium crackers (read label for serving size)
Sweets and snacks (include sparingly)
- 1 ounce unsalted nuts
- 1/2 cup low-sodium pretzels or chips
- 3 cups popped low-sodium popcorn
- 3 fig bars or gingersnaps
- 1 slice angel food cake
- 1 tbsp jelly or honey
- 1 cup sherbet, sorbet or Italian ice; 1 popsicle
- 8-10 jelly beans; 3 pieces hard candy
Fats, oils and condiments (use sparingly)
- Olive and canola oils
- Low-sodium butter and margarine
- Low-sodium soups
- Low-sodium salad dressing
- Homemade gravy without salt
- Low-sodium broth or bouillon
- Low-sodium catsup
- Low-sodium mustard
- Low-sodium sauce mixes
Other seasonings (can use freely)
- Lemon juice
- Herbs and spices without salt
- Fresh fruit
- Low sodium cereal (hot or cold)
- Low sodium wheat bread
- Reduced sodium margarine or peanut butter
- Lean roast turkey on whole wheat bread with low sodium mustard
- Raw carrot sticks
- Unsalted pretzels
- Grilled Chicken
- Boiled potatoes
- Steamed fresh vegetables
- Tossed salad and low sodium dressing
- Low sodium roll with low sodium margarine
- Fresh melon
- Angel food cake
- Fresh fruit
Please Note: For a diet in which you consume 2,000 mg pf sodium per day, a sample plan might involve eating 500 mg at breakfast, 150 mg for snacks twice daily, 600 mg for lunch, and 600 mg for dinner.
- Use fresh ingredients and/or foods with no salt added.
- For favorite recipes, you may need to use other ingredients and delete or decrease the salt added. Salt can be removed from any recipe except from those containing yeast.
- Try orange or pineapple juice as a base for meat marinades.
- Avoid convenience foods such as canned soups, entrees, vegetables, pasta and rice mixes, frozen dinners, instant cereal and puddings, and gravy sauce mixes.
- Select frozen entrees that contain 600 mg or less of sodium. However, limit to one of these frozen entrees per day. Check the Nutrition Facts label on the package for sodium content.
- Use fresh, frozen, no added salt canned vegetables, or canned vegetables that have been rinsed before they are prepared.
- Low sodium canned soups may be used.
- Avoid mixed seasonings and spice blends that include salt, such as garlic salt.
- Don’t use a salt substitute unless you check with your doctor first.
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well. Spoon into shaker. Store in a cool, dark place.
- 2 tbsp dried savory, crumbled
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 2-1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- tsp powdered lemon rind or dehydrated lemon juice
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp coriander seed (crushed)
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 2 tbsp dried dill weed or basil leaves, crumbled
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp (pinch) dried oregano leaves, crumbled freshly ground pepper
Restaurant Dining Tips:
- Select fresh fruit or vegetables
- Avoid soups and broths
- Stay away from bread and rolls with salty, buttery crusts
- Select fresh fruits and vegetables
- Avoid pickles, canned or marinated vegetables, cured meats, seasoned croutons, cheeses, salted seeds
- Order salad dressings on the side and use small amounts of them
- Select meat, poultry, fish or shellfish choices that includes the words broiled, grilled or roasted
- Select plain vegetables, potatoes and noodles
- Ask the server about the low sodium menu choices, and ask how the food is prepared
- Request food to be cooked without salt or monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Avoid restaurants that do not allow for special food preparation (such as buffet style restaurants, diners or fast food chains)
- Avoid casseroles, mixed dishes, gravies and sauces
- At fast food restaurants, choose the salad entrees or non-fried and non-breaded entrees (such as a baked potato) and skip the special sauces, condiments and cheese*
- Avoid salted condiments and garnishes such as olives and pickles
- Select fresh fruits, ices, ice cream, sherbet, gelatin and plain cakes
Low Residue Diet
What Is a Low-Residue Diet?
A low-residue diet is a diet in which fiber and other foods that are harder for your body to digest are restricted. Fiber is made up of plant material that cannot be completely digested by the body. High-fiber foods include whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, and raw or dried fruits.
Residue refers to undigested foods, including fiber, that make up stool. If intestinal walls are inflamed or damaged, digestion and absorption of nutrients and water may be impaired, depending on the location of disease activity.
In some people with Crohn?s disease, the small intestine may also become very narrowed. The idea behind a low-residue diet is to reduce the number and size of bowel movements you have each day, thereby lessening painful IBD symptoms such as cramping, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. However, it does not affect inflammation or the disease itself.
A low-residue/low-fiber diet may be recommended for short-term use during disease flare-ups or following surgery to help with recovery. However, it is not a general eating plan for all people with IBD. Your health care provider or nutritionist can help make sure your diet plan is appropriate. In addition to dietary changes, your health care provider or nutritionist may recommend vitamin supplements.
Low-Residue Diet: Foods to Enjoy
Eating a low-residue/low-fiber diet goes against what nutritionists tout as a healthy way to eat because it severely limits fiber intake and other important nutrients. A low-residue/low-fiber diet usually stays away from grainy, nutty foods that are loaded with fiber.
Foods you can eat if you are on a low-residue diet:
Refined or enriched white breads and plain crackers, such as saltines or Melba toast (no seeds).
Cooked cereals, such as farina, cream of wheat, and grits.
Cold cereals, such as puffed rice and corn flakes.
White rice, noodles, and refined pasta.
Fruits and Vegetables
The skin and seeds of many fruits and vegetables are loaded with fiber, so peeling skin and avoiding seeds is part of a low-residue diet.
- Well cooked fresh vegetables or canned vegetables without seeds, such as asparagus tips, beets, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, squash (no seeds), and pumpkin.
- Cooked potatoes without skin.
- Tomato sauce (no seeds).
- Ripe bananas
- Soft cantaloupe
- Canned or cooked fruits without seeds or skin, such as applesauce or canned pears
Milk and Dairy
Milk products are okay to eat, in moderation. Milk does not contain fiber but it may trigger symptoms such as diarrhea and cramping for some people with lactose intolerance. Alternatively, using lactase supplements or eating lactose-free products may be options.
Meats and Protein
You can enjoy most meats, including beef, lamb, chicken, fish (no bones), and pork as long as they are lean, tender, and soft. Eggs are also OK to eat.
Fats, Sauces, and Condiments
All of the following condiments are fine to eat on a low-residue diet:
- Margarine, butter, and oils
- Mayonnaise and ketchup
- Sour cream
- Smooth sauces and salad dressing
- Soy sauce
- Clear jelly, honey, and syrup
Sweets and Snacks
You can still satisfy your sweet tooth on a low-residue diet. The following desserts and snacks are OK to eat, in moderation:
- Plain cakes and cookies
- Gelatin, plain puddings, custard, and sherbet
- Ice cream and popsicles
- Hard candy
- Vanilla wafers
Safe drinks to enjoy on a low-residue diet include:
- Decaffeinated coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages (caffeine can irritate the stomach)
- Juices made without seeds or pulp, such as apple juice, no-pulp orange juice, and cranberry juice
- Strained vegetable juices
Low-Residue Diet: Foods to Avoid
On a low-residue diet, avoid the below foods or drinks:
- Seeds, nuts, or coconut, including those found in bread, cereal, desserts, and candy.
- Whole-grain products, including whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta, rice, and kasha.
- Raw or dried fruits, such as prunes, berries, raisins, figs, and pineapple.
- Most raw vegetables.
- Certain cooked vegetables, including peas, broccoli, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, corn (and corn bread), onions, cauliflower, potatoes with skin, and baked beans.
- Beans, lentils, or tofu. Tough meats with gristle and smoked or cured deli meats.
- Cheese with seeds, nuts, or fruit.
- Peanut butter, jam, marmalade, or preserves.
- Pickles, olives, relish, sauerkraut, and horseradish.
- Fruit juices with pulp or seeds, prune juice, or pear nectar.
Low-Residue Diet Example Menu
- Decaffeinated coffee with cream and sugar
- Cup of juice, such as no-pulp orange juice, apple juice, or cranberry juice
- Cream of wheat
- Scrambled eggs
- Waffles, French toast, or pancakes
- White bread toast with margarine and grape jelly (no seeds)
- Baked chicken, white rice, canned carrots or green beans
- Salad with baked chicken, American cheese, smooth salad dressing, white dinner roll
- Baked potato (no skin), with sour cream and butter or margarine
- Hamburger with white seedless bun, ketchup, and mayonnaise — lettuce if it doesn't worsen your symptoms
- Tender roast beef, white rice, cooked carrots or spinach, white dinner roll with margarine or butter
- Pasta with butter or olive oil, French bread, fruit cocktail
- Baked chicken, white rice or baked potato without skin, and cooked green beans
- Broiled fish, white rice, and canned green beans
How to make a Low-Residue Diet Work
You may find that some of the foods listed under "foods to avoid" do not bother you, while others on the "foods to enjoy" list cause discomfort. Everyone tolerates food differently. To determine what's right for you, keep a food diary for a few weeks. By tracking what you eat and how it makes you feel, you can get a better idea of what works for you.
If you are generally a healthy eater who enjoys whole grains, nuts, and raw fruits and vegetables, shifting to a low-residue diet may be hard. But if you enjoy your white bread and pasta, don't mind canned fruits and vegetables, and are content to snack on saltines and vanilla wafers, a low-residue diet may come naturally. But remember, a low-residue diet is not a healthy way to eat for a long period of time because it omits many important nutrients. If your condition requires you to stay on a low-residue diet over a long period of time, talk to a registered dietitian or nutrition expert to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. You may need to supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals.