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Low-fiber diet

Fiber restricted diet; Crohn disease - low fiber diet; Ulcerative colitis - low fiber diet; Surgery - low fiber diet

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Description

Fiber is a substance found in plants. Dietary fiber, the kind you eat, is found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. When you are on a low-fiber diet, you will eat foods that do not have much fiber and are easy to digest.

Why You Need This Diet

High-fiber foods add bulk to your bowel movements. Eating low-fiber foods may decrease the size of your bowel movements and make them less formed. Your health care provider may recommend that you temporarily follow a low-fiber diet when you have a flare-up of::

Sometimes people are put on this diet temporarily after certain kinds of gut surgery, such as an ileostomy or colostomy.

If you have an intestinal stricture or obstruction, you may need to reduce your fiber intake long-term. You do not need to follow a low-fiber diet for inflammatory bowel disease unless you have a flare or history of stricture. Your provider may refer you to a dietitian for help with meal planning.

What You Can Eat and Drink

A low-fiber diet can include foods you are used to eating, like cooked vegetables, fruits, white breads, and meats. It does not include foods that are higher in fiber or are otherwise to digest, such as:

Your doctor or dietitian will likely tell you not to eat more than a certain number of grams of fiber a day, such as 10 to 15 grams (g).

Below are some of the foods recommended for a low-fiber diet. It is still possible for some of these foods to upset your system. Talk to your doctor or dietitian if a food is making your problem worse.

Milk products:

Breads and grains:

Vegetables: You may eat these vegetables raw:

You can eat these vegetables if they are well-cooked or canned (without seeds). You can also drink juices made from them if they do not contain seeds or pulp:

Do not eat any vegetable that is not on the list above. Do not eat vegetables raw. Do not eat fried vegetables. Avoid vegetables and sauces with seeds.

Fruits:

Protein:

Fats, oils, and sauces:

Other foods and drinks:

Keep in Mind

Choose foods that are lower in fat and added sugar when following a low-fiber diet.

It is possible to meet your body's needs in terms of total calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and fluid. However, because this diet does not have the variety of foods that your body normally needs to stay healthy, you may have to take supplements, such as a multivitamin. Check with your doctor or dietitian.

Related Information

Crohn disease
Ulcerative colitis
Diverticulitis
Intestinal obstruction repair
Large bowel resection
Small bowel resection
Ileostomy
Total abdominal colectomy
Total proctocolectomy and ileal-anal pouch
Total proctocolectomy with ileostomy
Ileostomy and your child
Ileostomy and your diet
Ileostomy - discharge
Intestinal or bowel obstruction - discharge
Large bowel resection - discharge
Small bowel resection - discharge
Total colectomy or proctocolectomy - discharge
Diverticulitis and diverticulosis - discharge
Crohn disease - discharge
Ulcerative colitis - discharge
Clear liquid diet
Full liquid diet

References

Mayer EA. Functional gastrointestinal disorders: irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, esophageal chest pain, and heartburn. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 128.

Pham AK, McClave SA. Nutritional management. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 6.

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Review Date: 8/20/2020  

Reviewed By: Meagan Bridges, RD, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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