High fibre diet
Fibre is necessary for the prevention of constipation. It is found in all plant material, roots, leaves, stalks, fruits, seeds and wholegrain. To stay healthy we need to eat a variety of fibre rich foods each day. Fibre is beneficial because it stimulates the digestive system, prevents constipation, reduces the risk of digestive disorders such as diverticular disease.
High fibre foods include:
- Wholemeal and granary bread
- Wholegrain breakfast cereals such as Weetabix, Shredded Wheat, porridge and muesli
- Wholegrain rice
- Wholewheat pasta
- Pulses – peas, beans, baked beans, and lentils are particularly high in fibre
- Vegetables and salads
- Fruit – eat the skins if you can
- Nuts and dried fruit
Low Residue Diet
A low residue diet is often advised when the bowel is narrowed (strictured) and in some patients with a flare up of their Crohn’s disease. Some other patients with abdominal bloating due to irritable bowel syndrome may benefit from a trial of this diet.
Certain foods may need to be avoided initially, if not well tolerated, and reintroduced when your condition improves. If foods do not affect your condition then continue to eat them. Most meats, including fish, are well tolerated, but some patients require red meat in particular to be minced. Lower fibre foods in general are well tolerated and only avoid high fibre foods that constantly aggravate you. Certain vegetables and fruits are low fibre as follows:
- Vegetables: Cook them well and remove skins, seeds and stalks, sieve or puree as necessary: cauliflower, marrow, , swedes, potato, turnips
- Salads: Lettuce (remove veins and shred), tomato (remove skin and seed) cucumber (remove skin and seed) beetroot
- Fruits: Remove all skin, pith and seeds. If necessary stew or sieve them: Bananas, Cherries (fresh or tinned), gooseberries (cooked only), grapes, grapefruit, melon, oranges, mandarins, clementines, tangerines, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums.
You should avoid:
Wholemeal products, bran and wheat cereals, brown rice, wholewheat pasta, coarse jams with seeds and skin, coarse vegetable soups. Baked, broad, haricot and butter beans, broccoli tops, carrots, leeks, cress, fresh, canned and dried peas, spinach, spring greens, watercress, corn, dried fruits, nuts and coconut.
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