Abdominal cramps, inflammation of the intestine: the basics of the low fiber diet


Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables and cereals that is not digested by your body. A low-fiber diet limits these foods. Therefore, the amount of undigested material passing through your large intestine is limited and the amount of stool is reduced. A low fiber diet may be recommended for a number of conditions or situations. It is sometimes called a restricted fiber diet.

Purpose of the low fiber diet

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

  • suffer from a narrowing of the intestine due to a tumor or an inflammatory disease
  • have had bowel surgery
  • are having treatment, such as radiation therapy, that damages or irritates your device digestive.
  • 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 cereals 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 fibre, but it can contribute to discomfort or diarrhea, especially if you are lactose intolerant.

The ability to digest food varies from person to person. ‘other. 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, like yogurt, ice cream, cereal, and even drinks, can contain fiber. Look for foods that contain no more than 1-2 grams of fiber per serving.

Avoid these foods and products that contain them:

Nuts, seeds, dried fruits and coconuts

Whole grains, popcorn, wheat germ and bran

Brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, ground wheat, quinoa, bulgur and barley

Dried beans, cooked beans, lima beans, peas and lentils

Peanut butter in pieces

Fruits and vegetables, except those mentioned below

Choose these foods:

Tender meat, fish and poultry, ham, bacon, shellfish and breakfast meat

Eggs, tofu

Dairy products if tolerated

White rice and pasta

Baked goods made with refined wheat or rye flour, such as bread, bi scuits, pancakes, waffles,

Cereals containing less than 2 grams of dietary fiber in a single serving, such as those rice base

Canned or well-cooked potatoes, carrots and green beans

Plain tomato sauce

Vegetable and fruit juice

Canned bananas, melons, applesauce and peaches (without skin)

Seed-free butter, margarine, oils and salad dressings

A typical menu might look like this:


Cornflakes with milk

White toast, butter, jelly

Fruit juice


Morning snack

Yogurt without seeds

Water or other drink

Lunch meal

Din sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise

Tomato soup

Canned peaches

Milk or other beverage

Afternoon snack

Slices of cheese

Savory biscuits

Water or other drink

Evening meal


Mashed potatoes with butter

Cooked carrots


Milk or other beverage

Prepare all foods so that they are tender. Good cooking methods include simmering, poaching, stewing, steaming and braising.

Remember that you may have a bowel movement less often and have 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 your bowel movements and will help relieve diarrhea or other symptoms of abdominal disorders, such as abdominal pain. Once your digestive system has returned to normal, you can slowly reintroduce fiber into your diet.


As a diet low in fiber limits what you can eat, it can be difficult to meet your nutritional needs. You should only follow a low-fiber diet for as long as your doctor prescribes. If you need to continue on this diet for a longer period of time, consult a registered dietitian to ensure your nutritional needs are being met.


Vanhauwaert E, et al. Low-residue and low-fiber diets in gastrointestinal disease management. AdvancedNutrition. 2019; doi: .3945/year.115 ..

Alvarez-Gonzalez MA, et al. Randomized clinical trial: A normocaloric low-fiber diet the day before colonoscopy is the most effective approach to bowel preparation in colorectal cancer screening colonoscopy. Disease of the Colon & Rectum. 2019; doi: .1097/DCR.0000000000001305.

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