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Following a Low-Fibre Diet


What is a low-fibre diet?

A low-fibre diet contains foods that don't create much waste (stool). This diet slows down your bowels and gives them a chance to rest.

Fibre is the part of plants that your body can't digest. It gives bulk to your diet and helps you feel full. It also helps you have regular bowel movements.

But a low-fibre diet is often needed after bowel surgery or when you have a flare-up of a bowel problem. You might be asked to follow this diet if you have Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or another condition that can cause swelling, pain, or narrowing of your bowels.

In some cases, you may start with a liquid diet (no solid food) and then add low-fibre foods.

Depending on your health condition, you may eat low-fibre foods for just a short time. Or you may need to follow this diet for a long time.

You may need to take extra vitamins and minerals while you're on this diet. Your doctor or dietitian will let you know if you need these supplements.

What foods are okay to eat on a low-fibre diet?

You can eat most types of food on a low-fibre diet, including meats, white breads, and cooked fruits and vegetables. Your doctor or dietitian can tell you how much fibre you can eat each day.

Here are some examples of low-fibre foods:

  • Cooked red meat, fish, or poultry
  • Eggs
  • Smooth peanut butter
  • Dairy products, such as milk, ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt (as long as they don't contain fruits or nuts)
  • Well-cooked vegetables that don't have tough skins, pods or seeds, or have had them removed, such as peeled carrots, parsnips, potatoes, squash, and turnips
  • Ripe, soft raw fruit without skins or seeds, or have had them removed, such as melons, peeled pears, and peeled peaches
  • Canned or cooked fruit with no skin or seeds, such as applesauce
  • Fruit and vegetable juices without pulp
  • Refined white breads
  • White rice or white pasta
  • Saltine crackers, Melba toast, arrowroot or digestive cookies, rice cakes, and pretzels

What foods should you NOT eat?

Here are some foods you should not eat while on a low-fibre diet:

  • Whole grains, such as bran, oatmeal (rolled oats), and brown or wild rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat or whole grain breads, crackers, bran muffins, or taco shells
  • Any foods that have seeds or nuts, inlcuding chunky peanut butter
  • Spreads or condiments that have seeds or peels, like jams, marmalade, relish, and pickles
  • Any raw vegetables and salads
  • Foods that cause gas, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower (raw or cooked)
  • Corn
  • Granola
  • Lentils, split peas, and beans such as black or red beans
  • Berries
  • Fruit with seeds, skins or membranes such as kiwi fruit, oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits
  • Cooked vegetables with skins or pods such as snap peas, and string beans
  • Pineapple
  • Dried fruit, such as prunes, raisins, or figs
  • Prune juice
  • Popcorn

Related Information


Adaptation Date: 9/21/2022

Adapted By: Alberta Health Services

Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services

Adapted with permission from copyrighted materials from Healthwise, Incorporated (Healthwise). This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty and is not responsible or liable for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.