A low-residue diet can be helpful during an IBD or diverticulitis flare-up, to get rid of common irritants and to help calm the gut. This low-residue diet can also be used as a low-fibre diet (less than 10 grams of fibre per day) before or after surgery to reduce bowel volume.

Of course, the best way to calm a flare and produce minimal fecal matter is an elemental diet – but as that can be costly, you can try this low-residue diet first and see if it’s sufficient to calm inflammation.

Good supplements that help calm intestinal inflammation quickly are George’s Aloe Vera Juice, MucosaHeal, L-Glutamine (take on an empty stomach if you want to reduce diarrhea) and probiotics.

JINI’S LOW RESIDUE DIET

Grain Products:
• white or Haiga rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat
• gluten-free cereals
• gluten-free crackers (unflavored), rice cakes
• rice or quinoa pasta
• avoid wheat – since an intolerance or allergy to wheat is highly likely.

Fruits:
• fresh non-acidic fruit juices (except prune juice) like apple, pear, mango, papaya – but keep to a minimum to avoid the sugar load
• applesauce, apricots, banana, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, peaches, watermelon, mango, papaya (very soothing)
• avoid fruits that are both raw and dried, such as raisins and berries.

Vegetables:
• fresh-juiced vegetable juices
• red potatoes (no skin)
• well-cooked and tender vegetables including green/yellow beans, carrots, celery (remove strings), mushrooms, squash, zucchini, cucumber, butter lettuce only, avocados
• avoid vegetables from the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, onions, etc. as they will likely cause gas and bloating
• avoid beans and lentils, soybeans and soy derivatives
• avoid nightshade family vegetables; tomatoes (too acidic), peppers, eggplant

Meat and Protein:
• organic chicken or turkey, fish and eggs
• avoid tofu

Nuts and Seeds:
• nut butters in moderate amounts
• avoid all nuts and seeds, as well as foods that may contain seeds. But nut butters or seed pastes are fine; where everything is milled to smooth softeness.

Dairy:
• raw milk or raw cheddar (unpasteurized) can be okay, so test. Raw goat milk is usually more easily tolerated than raw cow’s milk.
• organic butter (raw or pasteurized) is usually okay.
• avoid pasteurized dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt, etc) as it is another top allergen.

Fats:
• unrefined coconut oil (MCT’s are healing for the gut), extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed flax or Udo’s oil and organic butter.
• avoid commercial vegetable oils like canola, soybean, “regular” safflower oil – basically, anything that is NOT cold-pressed. Also avoid margarine or butter substitutes, deep fried foods, or high heat pan frying.

Additives:
• no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors
• no preservatives, conditioners, extenders, MSG, nitrates/nitrites (found in deli meats and hot dogs), or anything else that sounds like a chemical compound. Just buy and eat FRESH!

NOTE: A reader asked whether it is okay to eat organic, grass-fed beef on a low-residue diet. Technically, beef is not included in the list of allowable foods. However, I feel it would be okay if sliced super thin and eaten raw – like carpaccio. Or, the best way would be to consume as Beef Broth. So here is a recipe for you to use for a strengthening, nourishing beef broth where you will benefit greatly from both the gelatin and the minerals which are pulled out of the bones by the vinegar. Don’t worry about the vinegar as any acidity disappears during the cooking process. Recipe excerpted from The IBD Remission Diet.

Beef Bone Broth

• 3 pounds grass-fed or organic beef soup bones (marrow, knuckle, ribs or neck bones)
• 5 whole celery stalks
• 1 whole onion peeled
• 1 bunch of parsley (optional)
• 8 cups of water
• 2 tbsp. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 tsp. of salt (use sea salt or Himalayan salt for better flavor and electrolytes)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle beef soup bones with salt and roast, covered in the roasting pan, in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Cook the bones long enough so that the meat on them is done (you can also cook the bones in a large saucepan, on the stove top if desired – but the taste won’t be as good).

2. Fill a large stock pot with water up to ¾ full (or 6 – 8 cups of water), and bring to a boil. Place the cooked bones, onion, parsley, apple cider vinegar and celery in the boiling water. Boil uncovered for half an hour and remove any scum from the top. Then cover and simmer on low heat for 7 – 10 hours.

3. Remove pot from heat, mix well and then pour contents through a fine strainer into a large bowl (give bones to your dog, or neighbour’s dog). Place this large bowl uncovered in the fridge for 12 – 24 hours, or until broth has become jelly-like and the fat has risen and congealed on top.

4. Skim fat off top of bowl with a spoon. Portion up the remaining beef soup jelly into individual servings in zip-lock plastic bags and put them in the freezer to use as needed. Don’t worry about making too much because even when you’re back on regular food, this beef bone broth is excellent as a stock for soups, sauces, etc. When you’re ready to eat some soup, stir in 1 tsp. – 1 tbsp. of organic butter or coconut oil to each serving of soup. Add sea salt to taste.

Jini’s Low Residue Diet
34 Comments

34 thoughts on “Jini’s Low Residue Diet

  • Jini, I have 2 questions:

    Would you discourage eating beef on a low-res diet? I have access to 100% grass fed organic beef. Would that be OK?

    Also, my son is recovering from a severe flare-up of Colits/Crohn’s. He’s on medication for the inflammation and the drs have recommended a low-res diet. We’d like to wean him from the majority of drugs before moving forward with an elemental diet. But, I’m wondering if we use George’s and MuscosaHeal with a low-res diet if that would be enough to bring the healing we are after. What do you think?

    Thank you for your thoughts!

  • Hi Julie, great question! In fact, I have added my reply to the original post above, so others can benefit.

    If your son does not have intestinal bleeding, then yes, the low-res diet along with George’s and MucosaHeal (along with emotional healing – remember the gut is the Second Brain!) may be enough. The only way to know is to test it and see.

    Keep in mind, he can also use the elemental diet as a way to support his body through the difficult drug weaning process if you choose to go that way.

  • Thanks, Jini. I think he was hoping for a burger or tacos — we’ll just wait for those treats till he’s healthy. 🙂

    I’ll let you know how the low-res diet goes. He was hospitalized for 16 days with intestinal bleeding that is now being controlled by Remicade and Prednizone. He’s 16 yrs. old and not willing to do the full elemental. Hopefully, with diet and supplements, we can see his colon respond well enough to have the docs agree to take him off the drugs. I feel like we’re caught in a hard place. Your website has given me hope that we do have alternatives to a life of drugs.

    Thank you!

    Julie

  • All that I read about Absorb Plus seems to say it will help put on pounds b/c person has been losing weight. I am just the opposite. Have put on 15 lbs since last Fall when stopped taking Estrogen(post-menepausal)
    Have had diverticular flare-ups past week; do eat 8 oz yogurt daily; have lower left ab pain plus trouble passing hard small pellet-like stools without help of suppository. I have your book, “Listento Your Gut”
    What would Absorg plus do for me? I take Vits D, E, A, coQ10, FIsh oil1000, plus multi vitamin.

  • LIZ – you can also use Absorb Plus to lose weight, you just adjust intake accordingly. Most people with IBD need to gain weight, so that is the benefit I talk about a lot. But we have had many people use it to lose weight, whilst still ensuring excellent nutrient intake. Just don’t lose weight too quickly, or you will down-regulate your metabolism. So since you only have 15 pounds to lose, you would figure out the number of calories you need to maintain your IDEAL weight – and drink the equal number of shakes per day. Be sure to add the Udo’s oil as that also helps your body release fat.

  • Jini, we’ve been a month on the low-res diet for my son and he’s finally stopped seeing blood in his stool. He’s dealing with occasional acid pains in his chest and stomach, and most days he’s still very gassy.

    He’s been taking 2-3 AbsorbPlus shakes a day, probiotics in the evening before bed, Vit C with bioflavinoids, and CoQ10 with the shakes. I just bought DGL for the acid, but 3 tablets didn’t help last night when he was in a lot of pain. He ended up taking a prescription acid blocker and Ibuprofen and was finally able to sleep.

    I’ve read over your suggestions for these issues in Listen 2 Your Gut and I’m wondering what changes we could make in his diet to help. We’re thinking about taking milk completely out (he was mixing the shakes with 1/2 water and 1/2 raw cow’s milk) and limiting food before bed. His probiotic is Holy Trinity, but I’m wondering about buying l.acidoliphilus for him to have on it’s own when the acid is bad.

    Do you think we should stay gluten-free or would the diet for gas and bloating in L2YG be OK to try.

    thank you,

    julie

  • Hi Juile, from what you’ve written, I would try L. bulgaricus (Natren’s Digesta-Lac) for the heartburn – either in powder form, or chewable tablet.

    And I would also STRONGLY recommend you take him to a craniosacral therapist (level 2 or higher – see http://www.upledger.com for practitioners in your area) to release the diaphragm and unstick the esophageal valve – this alone could be your solution.

    If neither of those things work, then you may want to test removing dairy.

  • They say safflower oil is good for loosing belly fat but you say it is bad for my Divert. is there a supplement form that may be cold pressed? Dr. Oz is more or less indorsing it but I took the “White Bean Extract” and had a terrible bleeding event. Dr. Oz is a good guy but I think he needs to explain these things when he is talking about loosing weight. Many people are desperate to loose weight and I think will try all these things without thinking it thru. I did and I know the Vit. world very well.

  • Start cooking and baking with it and you will likely tolerate that well. If you want to take it straight, then start with 1/2 tsp. and gradually build up to your tolerance level.

  • I would love to eat quinoa all day…..but 5 years ago I had a bout of diverticulitis( no surgery) are you sure it is o.k. To eat?

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      Food combining is just a different approach to food that some people use. The low residue diet Jini mentions in the post above is geared toward people who are dealing with some form of IBD and who don’t want to (or can’t) go on an elemental diet.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Hi Jini,
    my mom has diverticulitis and has just been released from the hospital with a jp drain after 6 weeks, I will be doing the cooking for her. My question is, does your low residue diet apply to people with multiple issues? she has stage four kidney failure, diabetes, congestive heart failure, gout and now diverticulitis. Just trying to find the best plan for her to give her the best foods with a combination of issues. I don’t want to give her to many fruits and she is limited to the amount of fluid she can have and most of these issues have food restrictions. I am having a very hard time trying to find what is going help her with all these issues and still be able to eat.

    1. Hi Christy,

      In general, yes, the low residue diet is suitable for people with multiple issues but you may have to remove certain things just depending on your mom’s specific condition and needs. As always, it’s best to consult with her doctor if you’re unsure about any particular item on the diet and whether or not it would be good for her to consume it.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • As of the last two days and also today I have been on A liquid diet for Diverticulitis ,tomorrow the nurse said I can start a low residue diet .i have looked at the diet ,can you answer to if Ivan eat cooked pinto beans and length sausage if I take the casing of after or before I cook it .

  • If you’re asking from the aspect of whether things will get stuck in diverticulae, then sure, you can eat those things (yes, remove the casing) – just chew everything to an almost liquid mush. Make sure the sausage does not contain artificial flavors, msg, or nitrates (extremely carcinogenic to the colon). Nitrates are often disguised at “celery powder”. Beyond that, listen to your gut and how you feel after you eat foods and it will tell you whether it likes those foods, and how often.

    1. Hi Rita,

      If you feel like you have been very thorough then it could be OK. However, Jini suggests just using properly refined aloe vera juice so that you can ensure that you are avoiding anthraqinones and thereby the bad symptoms associated with consuming that portion of the plant.

      Kind regards,
      Justin
      Customer Care

  • Hi Jini,

    I have IBD and during a flare up it is hard to find food that do not causes pain or diarrhea. I order your book recently and I hope it helps. If you have any recommendations for food during a flare up please let me know.

    Thank you,

    Yanelis

    1. Hi Yanelis,

      Thank you for your interest and question. We hope you enjoy the book and it will be a good start to help you learn more on food to eat for a flare up. We highly recommend a elemental diet of liquids during a bad flare up if you have a hard time with food. You can see more on that here: http://www.listentoyourgut.com/absorb/5/elemental-diet.html and http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/all-about-elemental-diets/

      There is also a vegan option, and other shakes you can see more about here if you are unable to do the Absorb Plus:
      http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/use-common-foods-to-heal-inflammatory-bowel-disease/

      Also we highly recommend downloading this book specifically for a IBD remission diet:
      http://www.listentoyourgut.com/healing-resources/5/the-ibd-remission-diet-achieving-long-term-health-with-an-elemental-diet-and-natural-supplementation-plan.html

      If you have any other questions please let us know.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

  • Mu husband is in hospital with UC flare and he had sepsis (was in ICU for 2 1/2 days). He was only diagnosed 6th June this year. We tried to avoid the drugs but the learning curve was too steep and we didn’t find your website in time. So now he is on steroids & anti-inflammatories, and we need to stay on them because he could die if he gets another infection. We are doing our own elemental type diet (the shakes from your website), with some Absorb shakes as well, and will start the other supplements as soon as he gets home. How do we know how and when to wean off the meds? The GI’s at the hospital are not interested in our efforts to support the work of the drugs though diet, and don’t believe what we are doing will help. But they are also surprised that he is recovering so well, they thought he would need his bowel out by this week.

    1. Hello Jane,

      Thank you for you message. Great to hear you are finding success through the diet. It is common for the medical industry to not always support treatment that isn’t through their surgeries and medications unfortunately. We are not qualified to tell you when to get off the medicines. However, Jini highly recommends not taking steroids and prescriptions as they can be more detrimental to your gut and body. In here Listen to Your Gut book she gives details on why they can be harmful and a effective way on weaning off of them. She also recommends to be sure to listen to the gut on what is the best treatment for him.
      When you feel ready we also highly recommend using Wild Oregano Oil and high quality probiotics to clean out the gut and build up the good bacteria. As well as the suggested supplements and vitamins.
      Please let us know if you have any other questions or we can help you with anything else.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

    1. Hi Ana,

      You can still use the oregano oil the same as if doing the full elemental diet. You can use all of the same supplements with the half elemental diet. The only difference is if you do not need, or can not tolerate, the full diet you just change the amounts of shakes you take, and other foods you add in as well. If you have any other questions on it please let us know.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

  • Why does one have to keep the fresh pressed, non-acidic fruit juices to a minimum? In the Gerson Therapy they give them patients every hour a 250ml glass of Apple-Carrot and they also cure Crohns with it. So i don´t understand the reason for that. Furthermore in the Absorb Plus Shakes are 61g Carbs per serving, and Jini stated that one can drink a shake every hour. I think thats at least a equivalent to a glass of Apple-Carrot every hour, isn´t it?

    1. Hello Tobias,

      Jini recommends keeping juices to a minimum because of the sugar content. Jini usually recommends in most cast to keep fruits to a minimum due to the sugar content. The maximum amount of Absorb Plus shakes Jini recommends is up to 12 a day. This is based on weight, age, and activity. However most do not end up doing or needing more than 6 a day. Higher amounts are needed for those that desperately need to gain weight, as well as replenish nutrients. But Absorb Plus is designed to use for a temporary amount of time to help in healing and building the body up again, just like doing juicing would be. Please let us know if we can help with anything else.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

  • Hi,

    I am doing a lot of research for my dad. He is given Remicade every 2 months. When he has flare-up (we are talking about blood in stool and this week mucus), I believe very often-he doesn’t talk much about it really. My question is, can he start by just doing the low-res diet or should he start with the elementary diet if he has still blood-mucus in his stool.
    Thank you for everything you guys do;
    I said to him that we just have to give it a leap of faith.
    Thanks,

    1. Hello Veronique,

      If your fathers’ symptoms are that severe we would recommend the elemental diet at first if he is able to do it. It will help give the bowels a full rest to heal. However, for those unable to do the full elemental diet the partial elemental diet and then the low residue diet would be the next best thing. If you would like to read more information on the differences to decide on, you can in the IBD Remission Diet book here: http://listentoyourgut.com/healing-resources/5/the-ibd-remission-diet-achieving-long-term-health-with-an-elemental-diet-and-natural-supplementation-plan.html

      Also, the Listen to Your Gut book has information on a stop intestinal bleeding diet and many other diet and other recommendations that may be beneficial as well you can see more on here: http://listentoyourgut.com/healing-resources/6/listen-to-your-gut-the-complete-natural-healing-program-for-ibs-and-ibd.html

      Please let us know if you have any other questions and we would love to hear how he does on the diet you decide to try out. Hope he is able to start feeling better.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

  • Hello,
    I have a question about fruit intake. You mention some fruits that are OK to eat, then say to avoid raw fruit. So are the specific fruits mentioned OK raw, or do they need to be cooked? Also, when you mention fresh fruit juices is that referring to homemade juices, avoiding bottled/boxed juices completely?

    1. Hello Emily,

      The fruits listed are safe raw. What Jini meant by avoiding raw and dried fruit was to avoid fruits that are raw and dried, such as raisins and berries. We have correcting the wording on that to make more sense. Thank you for checking with us on that.
      As for the fruit juices, here is an excerpt from Jini in the IBD Remission Diet book on what to look for:
      “Make sure all fruit juices are fresh (not from concentrate) with no additives like sugar, color, or preservatives. Obviously, certified organic
      fruit juice is preferable – make sure it’s see-through clear with no clouding. You can also purchase juice that’s a bit cloudy and then strain it through a cheesecloth or tea towel to filter out the remaining pulp.”
      Please let us know if you have any other questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

    1. Hello Emily,

      We couldn’t say for certain how long to be on the low residue diet as everyone’s needs and conditions are different. Jini recommends average of 4-6 of the elemental diet. However, the low residue diet you are still eating a lot of foods, and so it may be something you would want to be on longer than that to heal, then see if you can eat more. When starting a new diet Jini recommends to ask your body and gut how long it needs to be on. And then even if you start feeling better before the end of that time keep on the diet till that time as you could feel better without being as healed as you need to be.
      Than when you do feel you are well enough to go off the diet we would recommend still just adding in new foods one at a time slowly. Jini recommend just one new food every 3 days to make sure it is not bothering you. Also, advises to do a food diary while doing these diets, supplements, and adding in new food to try to pinpoint if anything is bothering you.
      We hope that works out for you.

      Have a great day,
      Rachel
      Customer Care

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