Dietary fiber comes from plants and grains. Dietary fiber is not digested by the stomach or small intestine, but arrives unchanged in the colon where it has two main benefits: promoting regularity and providing nourishment for beneficial bacteria. Fiber in plant foods like vegetables, fruits, and grains can retain its density in the digestive tract and promote bulkier stool, which in certain medical circumstances, is not beneficial for all patients.
For certain medical conditions like diverticulitis, or after surgical procedures, it may be necessary to restrict the amount of dietary fiber taken in by the body to ease stress on the digestive tract. Intestinal surgery, post-colostomy, narrowing of the bowel, or an inflammatory disease are all situations where a physician might recommend a low fiber diet. Low fiber diets usually contain less than 10-15 grams of fiber per day and are rarely permanent. Patients usually are able to add more fiber back into the diet after an appropriate healing time.
What foods and food products ARE LOW in fiber?
Cooked or canned vegetables without skin or seeds, including: yellow squash, green beans, wax beans, spinach, pumpkin, eggplant, potatoes without skin, asparagus, beets, carrots
Vegetable juices without pulp
Tomato sauce and paste
Fruit juices without pulp
Canned fruit except pineapple
Soft fruits including bananas, melons, peeled and cooked apples, apple sauce and avocado
Bread and cereals made from refined flours, including white bread, pancakes, rolls, biscuits, waffles, muffins, cream of wheat, cream of rice, puffed rice cereal and corn flakes
What foods and food products ARE HIGH in fiber?
Cooked vegetables not on the above list
Vegetable juices with pulp
Fruit juices with pulp
Fresh fruit except those on above list
Prunes, prune juice
Dried fruit, except raisins
Whole-grain breads, cereals, rice, pasta
Chunky peanut butter
Deep frying fats
While a low fiber diet can improve your health, there are many people who do better by not decreasing fiber in their diet. Therefore, attempting a low fiber diet without physician supervision is not recommended. Your healthcare provider is the best source of information for questions and concerns related to your health. To find a physician near you, please see our locations page.