Low-Residue Foods List

Updated June 13, 2017

You may need to follow a low-residue diet if you have diverticulitis or another digestive problem. This diet is low in fibre and is not nutritionally adequate, so you should only use it under your doctor’s supervision for a short amount of time. Become familiar with the foods you can eat on the diet so you can follow the diet correctly.


You can have refined grains that are low in fibre, and the Langone Medical Center suggests choosing options with less than 0.5 g fibre per serving. Possibilities include white bread, refined pasta, white rice, crackers, cereals and pancakes. Do not have whole grains, such as whole-wheat or whole-grain bread or pancakes, whole-grain breakfast cereals, such as whole-wheat cold cereal, oatmeal or high-fibre cereals. Choose grains that are enriched with vitamins and minerals to increase your nutrient intake.

Fruit and Vegetables

A low-residue foods list includes cooked or canned fruit and vegetables without the skin and seeds, except for pineapple and high-fibre vegetables, such as eggplant, broccoli, winter squash, cabbage and onions. Raw lettuce, bananas and melons are allowed, but do not have vegetable sauces or skins. Avoid other raw fruits, raw vegetables and all dried fruit. You can have most fruit and vegetable juices if they have no pulp or seeds.

Protein and Dairy

Well-cooked, tender protein foods are allowed on a low-residue diet. You can have tender meat, fish, poultry and eggs, but not chewy meats. Avoid most plant-based proteins, such as nuts, seeds and legumes, including beans and lentils, but you can have smooth nut butters. You can have up to 2 cups of dairy products each day, as long as you are not lactose-intolerant and they do not have nuts or seeds.

Other Foods

Low-residue diets include oils, butter, margarine and salad dressing without seeds. You can have strained soups and plain gravy, baked goods made with refined grains and without nuts or dried fruit. You can have salt, pepper, herbs and ketchup. You can have jelly, honey and syrup, since they do not have pieces of fruit, but not eat marmalade, fruit preserves or jam. Also avoid coffee, tea, pickles, popcorn and coconut.

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About the Author

Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.