Low-Fiber Diet

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. A low-fiber diet restricts fibrous foods that are not digested in the small intestine. A diet containing about 10 grams of fiber is considered low fiber.

PURPOSE

  • To prevent blockage of a partially obstructed or narrowed gastrointestinal tract.

  • To reduce fecal weight and volume.

  • To slow the movement of feces.

WHEN IS THIS DIET USED?

  • It may be used during the acute phase of Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis, regional enteritis, or diverticulitis.

  • It may be used if your intestinal or esophageal tubes are narrowing (stenosis).

  • It may be used as a transitional diet following surgery, injury (trauma), or illness.

CHOOSING FOODS

Check labels, especially on foods from the starch list. Often times, dietary fiber content is listed on the nutrition facts panel. Please ask your Registered Dietitian if you have questions about specific foods that are related to your condition, especially if the food is not listed on this handout.

Breads and Starches

  • Allowed: White, French, and pita breads, plain rolls, buns, or sweet rolls, doughnuts, waffles, pancakes, bagels. Plain muffins, biscuits, matzoth. Soda, saltine, graham crackers. Pretzels, rusks, melba toast, zwieback. Cooked cereals: cornmeal, farina, or cream cereals. Dry cereals: refined corn, wheat, rice, and oat cereals (check label). Potatoes prepared any way without skins, refined macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, refined rice.

  • Avoid: Whole-wheat bread, rolls, and crackers. Multigrains, rye, bran seeds, nuts, or coconut. Cereals containing whole grains, multigrains, bran, coconut, nuts, raisins. Cooked or dry oatmeal. Coarse wheat cereals, granola. Cereals advertised as "high fiber." Potato skins. Whole-grain pasta, wild or brown rice. Popcorn.

Vegetables

  • Allowed: Strained tomato and vegetable juices. Fresh lettuce, cucumber, spinach. Well-cooked or canned: asparagus, bean sprouts, broccoli, cut green beans, cauliflower, pumpkin, beets, mushrooms, yellow squash, tomato, tomato sauce, zucchini, turnips. Keep servings limited to ½ cup.

  • Avoid: Fresh, cooked, or canned: artichokes, baked beans, beet greens, Brussels sprouts, corn, kale, legumes, peas, sweet potatoes. Avoid large servings of any vegetables.

Fruit

  • Allowed: All fruit juices except prune juice. Cooked or canned fruits without skin and seeds: apricots, applesauce, cantaloupe, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, mandarin oranges, peaches, pears, fruit cocktail, pineapple, plums, watermelon. Fresh without skin: banana, grapes, cantaloupe, avocado, cherries, pineapple, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, blueberries. Keep servings limited to ½ cup or 1 piece.

  • Avoid: Fresh: apples with or without skin, apricots, mangoes, pears, raspberries, strawberries. Prune juice and juices with pulp, stewed or dried prunes. Dried fruits, raisins, dates. Avoid large servings of all fresh fruits.

Meat and Protein Substitutes

  • Allowed: Ground or well-cooked tender beef, ham, veal, lamb, pork, poultry. Eggs, plain cheese. Fish, oysters, shrimp, lobster, other seafood. Liver, organ meats. Smooth nut butters.

  • Avoid: Tough, fibrous meats with gristle. Chunky nut butter. Cheese with seeds, nuts, or other foods not allowed. Nuts, seeds, legumes, dried peas, beans, lentils.

Dairy

  • Allowed: All milk products except those not allowed.

  • Avoid: Yogurt or cheese that contains nuts, seeds, or added fruit. 

Soups and Combination Foods

  • Allowed: Bouillon, broth, or cream soups made from allowed foods. Any strained soup. Casseroles or mixed dishes made with allowed foods.

  • Avoid: Soups made from vegetables that are not allowed or that contain other foods not allowed.

Desserts and Sweets

  • Allowed: Plain cakes and cookies, pie made with allowed fruit, pudding, custard, cream pie. Gelatin, fruit, ice, sherbet, frozen ice pops. Ice cream, ice milk without nuts. Plain hard candy, honey, jelly, molasses, syrup, sugar, chocolate syrup, gumdrops, marshmallows.

  • Avoid: Desserts, cookies, or candies that contain nuts, peanut butter, dried fruits. Jams, preserves with seeds, marmalade.

Fats and Oils

  • Allowed: Margarine, butter, cream, mayonnaise, salad oils, plain salad dressings made from allowed foods.

  • Avoid: Seeds, nuts, olives. 

Beverages

  • Allowed: All, except those listed to avoid.

  • Avoid: Fruit juices with high pulp, prune juice.

Condiments

  • Allowed: Ketchup, mustard, horseradish, vinegar, cream sauce, cheese sauce, cocoa powder. Spices in moderation: allspice, basil, bay leaves, celery powder or leaves, cinnamon, cumin powder, curry powder, ginger, mace, marjoram, onion or garlic powder, oregano, paprika, parsley flakes, ground pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric.

  • Avoid: Coconut, pickles.

SAMPLE MENU

Breakfast

  • ½ cup orange juice.

  • 1 boiled egg.

  • 1 slice white toast.

  • Margarine.

  • ¾ cup cornflakes.

  • 1 cup milk.

  • Beverage.

Lunch

  • ½ cup chicken noodle soup.

  • 2 to 3 oz sliced roast beef.

  • 2 slices white bread.

  • Mayonnaise.

  • ½ cup tomato juice.

  • 1 small banana.

  • Beverage.

Dinner

  • 3 oz baked chicken.

  • ½ cup scalloped potatoes.

  • ½ cup cooked beets.

  • White dinner roll.

  • Margarine.

  • ½ cup canned peaches.

  • Beverage.