Low-fiber diet basics

A low-fiber diet may be recommended for a number of situations or situations. It is sometimes called a fiber-restricted diet.

The purpose of a low-fiber diet

Your doctor may prescribe a low-fiber diet if you:

  • You have narrowing of the intestine due to a tumor or inflammatory disease
  • I underwent intestinal surgery
  • They receive a treatment, such as radiation therapy, that damages or irritates the digestive system.
  • When your digestive system returns to normal, you can usually slowly add more fiber to your diet.

Diet details

A low-fiber diet limits the types of vegetables, fruits and grains you can eat. Sometimes your doctor may also ask you to limit the amount of milk and dairy products in your diet. Milk does not contain fiber, but it may contribute to discomfort or diarrhea, especially if you are lactose intolerant.

The ability to digest food varies from person to person. Depending on your condition and tolerance, your doctor may recommend a more or less restrictive diet.

If you are on a low-fiber diet, be sure to read food labels. Foods you wouldn’t expect, such as yogurt, ice cream, cereal, and even drinks, can contain fiber. Look for foods with no more than 1-2 grams of fiber per serving.

Avoid these foods and products that contain them:

Nuts, seeds, dried fruits and coconut
Whole grains, popcorn, wheat germ and bran
Brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, crushed wheat, quinoa, bulgur and barley
Dried beans, baked beans, broad beans, peas, and lentils
Peanut butter in pieces
Fruits and vegetables except as mentioned below

Choose these foods:

Lean meat, fish, poultry, pork, bacon, shellfish, and breakfast meats
eggs and tofu
Dairy products if tolerated
White rice and pasta
baked goods made with refined wheat or rye flour, such as bread, biscuits, waffles, pancakes,
Cereals with less than 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving, such as those made from rice
Canned or cooked potatoes, carrots and green beans
Plain tomato sauce
Fruit and vegetable juice
Bananas, melons, applesauce, and canned peaches (without peel)
Seedless Butter, Margarine, Oils & Salad Seasonings

A typical list might look like this:


Corn flakes with milk
White toast, butter, jelly
Fruit juice

morning snack

Seedless Yogurt
water or other drink

the lunch

Turkey sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise
tomato soup
canned peaches
Milk or other drink

Afternoon snack

cheese slices
salty biscuits
water or other drink


Butter mashed potatoes
cooked carrots
apple sauce
Milk or other drink

Prepare all foods until soft. Good cooking methods include simmering, blanching, steaming, and simmering.

Remember that you may have fewer bowel movements and smaller stools if you are on a low-fiber diet. To avoid constipation, you may need to drink more fluids. Drink plenty of water, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.


A low-fiber diet will limit bowel movement and help relieve diarrhea or other symptoms of an upset stomach, such as abdominal pain. Once your digestive system is back to normal, you can slowly reintroduce fiber into your diet.


Since a low-fiber diet limits what you can eat, it can be difficult to meet your nutritional needs. You should only follow a low-fiber diet for the duration prescribed by your doctor. If you need to continue on this diet for a longer period of time, consult a registered dietitian to ensure your nutritional needs are met.


Vanhauwaert E, et al. Low-residue, low-fiber diets in the management of gastrointestinal disease. advanced nutrition. 2015; doi: 10.3945/an.115.009688.

Alvarez Gonzalez MA, et al. Randomized clinical trial: a normal low-fiber diet the day before colonoscopy is the most effective approach to bowel preparation in colorectal cancer screening. colorectal disease; 2019; doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001305.

* Presse Santé strives to impart medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In no way can the information provided replace medical advice.

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