While health organizations recommend that people eat whole-grain, high-fiber foods as much as possible, exceptions always exist. This happens to be the case if you have a colon-related issue and need a low-fiber diet so your intestines can “rest” until the colon has time to heal. Always speak to your physician before beginning this type of diet to make sure it is right for you.
A low-fiber diet to rest the colon often is referred to as a low-residue diet. This diet reduces stool in the colon and slows the progression of a bowel movement. A low-residue diet approach allows your colon time to heal, usually following a flare-up of conditions such as diverticular disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or acute gastroenteritis. This diet is not meant to be a long-term option because it may be missing key nutrients. Instead, the low-fiber diet is a way to prevent complications while you heal.
The goal for a low-fiber diet for colon rest is to consume no more than 10 to 15 grams of fiber. Eat refined grains instead of whole ones whenever possible, because refined products contain less fiber. Examples of grains to choose include crackers, cream of wheat, cereals made with refined grains, potatoes without skin, white rice and refined bread sources. You can also eat pancakes or waffles made from white refined flour.
Fruits and Vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables are high-fiber foods, so you must choose carefully when eating them. Choose vegetables without seeds, stems or skins. Thoroughly cooking vegetables also helps. You can eat low-fiber vegetables such as lettuce, cucumbers, onions and zucchini. Consume fruits without pulp or seeds. The riper the fruits are, the better. Examples of ripe fruits you can eat include apricots, peaches, bananas, honeydew melon, watermelon, nectarines, papaya and plums.
When it comes to other food groups, read food labels carefully and choose sources that have no more than 1 gram of fiber per serving. This is important when consuming yogurt and ice cream because fiber often is added to these food products. You also will want to drink plenty of water while you are eating a low-fiber diet, which can help prevent constipation.
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.