Refined-wheat noodles are allowed on a low-residue diet.
Low-residue diets consist of low-fiber, easy-to-digest foods. Don't worry if you're a pasta lover -- you can safely eat certain types of noodles while following a low-residue diet. However, select your noodles carefully and be aware of your portion size when eating, because even the allowed noodles still contain some fiber.
If your doctor recommended a low-residue diet, you probably either have a bowel problem, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease or diverticulitis, or are preparing for a surgery, such as a colostomy. Low-residue, low-fiber foods are more quickly and easily digested than high-fiber foods. Low-residue foods don't create much bulk in your digestive tract and may aid in slowing down bowel movements. Less irritation should occur to the inside of your intestines on a low-fiber diet, and symptoms such as pain and diarrhea may be relieved. According to MedlinePlus, you should limit fiber to 10 to 15 grams per day on a low-residue diet.
Low-fiber noodles are allowed on a low-residue diet. Pasta made from refined grains or starches, such as processed wheat flour, white rice flour or potatoes, contain the least amount of fiber per serving because most of the fiber is removed during processing. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 cup of cooked white rice noodles, egg noodles or white spaghetti contains 1.8 to 2.5 grams of fiber. To avoid eating more grams of fiber than are allowed in a day on your low-residue diet, add up the grams of fiber you eat throughout the day. Generally, you should consume fewer than six servings of low-fiber grains and starches per day.
Noodles to Avoid
Northwestern Memorial Hospital states that noodles made from whole grains, such as whole-wheat pasta, should be avoided on a low-residue diet. Brown rice, buckwheat and quinoa are other whole grains found in some noodles. To determine if you can safely eat a type of noodle while complying with your low-residue diet guidelines, read the nutrition facts label on a package of pasta. Look at the grams of fiber per serving on the label. Most whole-grain noodles have at least 4 grams of fiber per cup cooked. Look at the ingredient list also. If you see words such as "whole grain," "whole wheat" or "brown rice," you should avoid these noodles on a low-residue diet.
Usually, you only need to follow a low-residue diet for a set period of time prior to surgery or until your digestive system has healed. It's important to follow your health care provider's instructions about how many grams of fiber you can eat per day and for what length of time you should follow a low-residue diet. In general, low-fiber, processed foods are lower in nutrients. You may have a hard time meeting your nutritional needs if you follow a diet low in nutrients and fiber for an extended period of time, according to MayoClinic.com. So, once you're able, it's a good idea to eat whole-grain foods again.