Low Residue Diet
What Is It?
A low residue (or low fiber) diet is what doctors might advise you to take up if you have inflammatory bowel problems. Examples of such diseases include Chron’s disease, diverticulitis, and colitis. New evidence is running counter to the belief that this kind of dieting is safe or beneficial, however. Limiting fiber intake or bowel movements might not be as safe or beneficial as doctors have made them out to be.
How Does It Work?
Insoluble fibers and other meals that are difficult to break down are almost completely cut out of the diet. Fiber cannot be fully digested, so it’s strictly limited. The idea is to decrease the number and volumes of stools you make each day to eliminate the harsh symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Although it is similar to a low-fiber diet, it has additional restrictions against foods that stimulate bowel activity. Its aim it is to reduce the amount and frequency of stools.
What Kind Of Foods Are Restricted?
There are several kinds of foods put on the restricted list – raw vegetables, fruits, beans, and a whole litany of other foods that are very common in the standard American diet. The idea is to stop the volume and frequency of stools so certain bulky, insoluble foods are restricted. Other common foods that are limited include millet and other grains, strong cheeses, popcorn, nuts and seeds, and tough meat. For a complete listing see http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/low-residue-diet-foods?page=2
What Foods Are Allowed?
The kinds of foods allowed generally include white bread and other refined grains and pastas, tender meat, fish, and eggs, and milk and yogurt. For some sample recipes and menus, check out our low residue diet menu.
Is It Safe?
It has been a well-established myth that this type of diet was highly beneficial for certain conditions. A thorough review of the evidence, however, from 2011 by the Mayo Clinic found that there was no evidence that low residue diets were any better at treating diverticular conditions and that high-fiber diets actually helped prevent the diseases. A systematic review in 2012 found that a high-fiber diet was helpful in treating symptoms of these disease types.
It’s amazing how often doctors continue to rehash the same bad dietary advice that has been debunked long ago as being potentially dangerous. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why they’re so dangerous.
The idea behind this diet is that low fiber foods are easier to break down. White breads, cereals, and meats are not easy to digest at all though. They are difficult for your body to break down. They also create a ton of acid waste in the body that can inflame those intestines even more.
- The primary purpose of a low residue diet is to decrease the frequency and volume of stools. That means that you’re going to have fewer, smaller stools. That is just a form of constipation, in reality. That means that you’re going to have lots of waste and bacteria spreading in your gut. That can’t be too good for those inflamed intestines you have.
- Refined carbs feed a lot of harmful, bad bacteria in your gut. This can cause a serious bacterial overgrowth, and it can even hurt your ability to maximize nutrient absorption.