Low Fiber Diet

A low fiber or low residue diet limits the consumption of dietary fiber, oftentimes by placing restrictions on foods found to have high amounts, including certain fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole-grain products. This diet reduces stool size and frequency, particularly helping those suffering from flare-ups caused by Inflammatory Bowel Disease as it relieves the intestines from working as hard.

Low Fiber-Low Residue Diet (4-10 Grams Fiber)

Dietary fiber is the undigestible part of plants that maintains the structure of the plant. Dietary fiber includes cellulose, hemicel­lulose, polysaccharides, pectins, gums, mucilages, and lignins. Although they are chemically unrelated, they all resist digestion by the human body. It is this resistance that makes these fibers important in both the nor­mal functioning and in disorders of the large intestine or colon.

In certain medical conditions, it is important to restrict fiber. These include acute or subacute diverticulitis and the acute phas­es of certain inflammatory condi­tions of the bowel-ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. After some types of intestinal surgery, a low fiber, low residue diet may be used as a transition to a regular diet. A low-fiber diet may also be used for a period of time after a colostomy or ileostomy is performed.

Nutrition Facts

Depending upon individual food selection, the Low Fiber, Low Residue Diet is adequate in all nutrients (National Research Council’s Recommended Dietary Allowance). If the diet must be strict and followed over a long period of time, the intake of fruits and vegetables may not be adequate, and/or on a low residue diet, there may not be enough calcium included. In these cases, a multivitamin supplement or liquid nutritional supplement may be needed.

Special Considerations

If a low fiber or low residue diet results in abdominal cramps or discomfort, notify the dietitian or physician immediately.

Group Recommend Avoid
Milk & milk products (2 or more cups daily) all milk products Low Residue Diet only 2 cups daily of all milk products
Vegetables (2 servings daily) 1 serving = 1/2 cup vegetable juice without pulp; the following cooked vegetables: yellow squash (without seeds), green beans, wax beans, spinach, pumpkin, eggplant, potatoes without skin, asparagus, beets, carrots; tomato sauce and paste vegetable juices with pulp, raw vegetables, cooked vegetables not on Recommend list
Fruits (2-3 servings daily) 1 serving = 1/2 cup fruit-juices without pulp, canned fruit except pineapple, ripe bananas, melons, peeled and cooked apples, orange and grapefruit without the membrane fruit-juices with pulp, canned pineapple, fresh fruit except those on Recommend list, prunes, prune juice, dried fruit, jam, marmalade
Starches-Bread & Grains (4 or more servings daily) bread and cereals mode from refined flours, pasta, white rice, saltines, tapioca whole-grain breads, cereals, rice, pasta; bran cereal; oatmeal
Meat & meat substitutes (5 to 6 oz daily) meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, cottage cheese, other mildly flavored cheeses chunky peanut butter, nuts, seeds, dried beans, dried peas, tough gristly meats, hot dogs, sausage, sardines, fried meats, strongly flavored cheeses
Fats & oils all oils, margarine, butter coconut, fats used for deep frying
Sweets & desserts (servings depend on caloric needs) all not on avoid list desserts containing nuts, coconut, raisins, seeds
Miscellaneous all not on avoid list popcorn, pickles, horseradish, relish