Treatments & Procedures

Low-Fiber, Easy To Digest Diet

Fiber (roughage) is the part of food that is not well-digested and passes through the intestines and goes out with stool. Although a diet high in fiber is typically healthy, there are certain conditions that a low fiber eating plan can be helpful. A low fiber eating pattern lessens irritation to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and can help it to heal by reducing the frequency and volume of stools. The low fiber eating pattern can help decrease the risk of blockages in your intestines if you have a stricture (restricted opening).

Conditions that may require a low-fiber eating pattern:

  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Radiation therapy to the pelvis and lower bowel
  • New colostomy/ileostomy
  • Recent intestinal surgery


  • Chew your food very well; this will break down some of the fibers and help with digestion.
  • If you are lactose intolerant, you may need to eat or drink low-lactose dairy products or avoid dairy foods completely.
  • Take supplements if they are recommended by your doctor or registered dietitian (RD). Use chewable or liquid supplements for better absorption; these are necessary if you have a stricture.
  • Avoid hot, spicy foods as these may not be well tolerated.
  • Low fat, low-fiber shakes - either homemade or commercial - may help you get more nutrition if you are having difficulty eating enough.
  • Avoid drinking through a straw and avoid carbonated beverages to decrease intestinal gas.

Foods recommended

Food Group Foods Recommended
Milk and Milk Products
Milk or lactose-free milk
Buttermilk and kefir
Yogurt, lactose-free yogurt, or soy yogurt without nuts, fruit, or granola
Cottage cheese or lactose-free cottage cheese
Soy milk, rice milk, or almond milk (these are lactose-free)
Meat and Other Protein Foods
Tender, well-cooked beef, poultry, or fish
Eggs, cooked until yolk is solid
Smooth nut butters (such as peanut, soy, almond, or sunflower)
Note: Choose grain foods with less than 2 grams (g) of dietary fiber per serving.

Refined white flour products”for example, enriched white bread without seeds; pancakes/waffles; and crackers made with refined white flour
White bread, pasta, and rice
Cold cereals made from white or refined flour
Canned and well-cooked vegetables without seeds, skins, or hulls
Mashed potatoes (no skins)
Vegetable juice
Fruits Canned, soft, and well-cooked fruits without skins, seeds, or membranes
Fruit juice without pulp

Fats and Oils
Note: Limit fats to less than 8 teaspoons a day. When possible, choose healthy oils and fats,
such as canola and olive oils.

Cream cheese
Nut butters
Others Broth and strained soups made from allowed foods
Desserts (small portions) without whole grains, seeds, nuts, raisins, or coconut

Foods not recommended

Food Group Foods Not Recommended
Milk and Milk Products Milk, soft cheeses, and foods made with milk, if you are lactose intolerant
Yogurt with added fruit, nuts, or granola

Meat and Other Protein Sources
Tough meat, meat with gristle, or fatty meats
Fried meat, poultry, or fish
Luncheon meats such as bologna and salami
Sausage, or hot dogs
Dried beans, peas, or lentils
Chunky nut butters

Whole wheat bread
Brown rice, quinoa, kasha, barley
Whole wheat pasta
Whole grain and high-fiber cereals, including oatmeal or whole oats

Raw or undercooked vegetables
Vegetables with skins or seeds including peas and corn
Alfalfa, bean or broccoli sprouts
Gas-forming vegetables, including:
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage and sauerkraut
  • Lima beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Green salads

Raw fruit
Dried fruit
Fruit juice with pulp
Prune juice
Fruit skin

Low-fiber sample menu

1 egg, scrambled
1 slice white toast
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 (15 grams) cup of cereal, knowing that the serving size depends on the type of cereal
Morning snack 6 saltine crackers
1 cup lactose-free milk

2 ounces (56.69 grams) of tuna
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 slices white bread
1 cup chicken noodle soup
6 saltine crackers
1/2 cup orange juice without pulp
Afternoon Snack 1/2 cup canned peaches
1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt

3 oz (85.04 grams) chicken breast
1 cup white rice
1/2 cup cooked canned green beans
1 soft, white dinner roll
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce

© Copyright 2017 Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. All rights reserved.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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