Low-Fiber Diet

Low-Fiber Diet
Fiber is generally defined as part of grains, vegetables, and fruits that are not digested by the body. When you take a diet with low fiber content you limit these foods and in the process limit amounts of undigested materials passing through your large intestines. This usually scales down the amount of stool excreted. A low fiber diet is also known as low residue or a restricted fiber diet where the word residue simply refers to fiber and any other food that goes undigested and remains within the intestines. Doctors or diet experts may recommend a low fiber diet for a number of reasons, situations or conditions.

A doctor may recommend a low fiber diet due to following reasons
  • If your bowels have narrowed due to an inflammatory disease or tumor.
  • Following a bowel surgery
  • After a damaged or irritated gastrointestinal tract after radiation treatment
You can resume the normal fiber intake as soon as your digestive system heals.
A low fiber diet restricts or limits you in terms of the grains, cereals fruits and types of vegetables you can eat. Once in a while, your doctor may also advise you to cut down on milk and related products since milk sometimes leaves a residue in the digestive tract. This residue can temporarily lead to diarrhea or abdominal discomfort.

People have different digestive abilities. Based on your tolerance and particular condition your doctor is bound to prescribe a more or less restricted diet. Below is a brief guideline regarding the amount and types of low fiber diet foods. It is, however, important to read food labels before buying because foods you may least expect may high in fiber. For instance, certain yogurts cereals, creams, and beverages carry added fiber. Go for foods that contain 1 gram or less of fiber per serving.

Foods you should avoid
  • Coconut
  • Prune juice and dried fruits
  • Pasta and cereals, whole grain bread and whole-grain wheat
  • Peas, lentils and dried beans
  • Undercooked or raw vegetables
  • Raw fruit _ those with seeds and membranes like berries.
  • Popcorn
  • Foods containing seeds and nuts
  • Wild or brown rice and a host of whole grains such as barley, quinoa, kasha, and oats.
The foods listed below are allowed since they have low fiber content. 
  • Crackers
  • Fish, poultry and tender meat
  • Eggs
  • Refined cereals like Cream of Wheat
  • Tofu
  • Butter Salad dressings without seeds, oils, and margarine
  • Desserts without nuts, seeds, whole grains, coconut or raisins
  • Waffles or Pancakes prepared from refined white flour.
  • Well cooked and canned vegetables without hulls and seeds like tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots.
  • Peanut butter –creamy- ( use two tablespoons a day )
  • Foods made from milk like ice cream, sour cream, yogurt, pudding, cheeses, etc.
Taking a low fiber diet has several unique advantages. It limits one’s bowel movements and also eases diarrhea and a host of other abdominal conditions including abdominal pain. The risks, however, are in one’s inability to meet their nutritional needs. A low fiber diet should therefore strictly apply under a doctor or dietician’s supervision.