Low Fiber Food List PDF was written by digestive dietitian Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT. Reviewed/edited by Katie Dodd, MS, RDN, CSG, LD, FAND.
If you’re looking for a low fiber food list PDF, chances are you or a loved one has been instructed by a doctor and/or dietitian to follow a low fiber diet for one reason or another.
Look no further – you’re in the right place! You’re welcome to download a free low fiber food list PDF here.
But before embarking on a low fiber diet, there are some important considerations we should discuss…
Since dietary restrictions can increase the risk of potential nutrient deficiencies and imbalances, it’s important to learn what a balanced, nutrient-dense diet can look like. Of course, while staying within the parameters of a low fiber food list.
While meal planning with foods low in fiber may feel like a bit of a challenge at times, the good news is that it IS possible to enjoy healthy, balanced, and tasty foods on a low fiber diet!
This article will help you to better understand the role of fiber in the diet, how fiber impacts digestion (for better or worse), who a low fiber diet is for, and what it really entails.
***Disclaimer: The information and resources provided in this article are not medical advice and should not replace the individual recommendations provided by your doctor and dietitian. This article and low fiber foods list PDF is meant to be educational and informative, and to enhance the work you’re doing with your individual treatment team!
What is fiber?
Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that is naturally found in most plant foods. Fiber can’t be broken down by the human digestive tract. Therefore, fiber from the food we eat will add bulk and volume (also often referred to as “roughage”) to our stools.
Types of fiber
There are two main types of dietary fiber:
Soluble fiber is able to dissolve in water, while insoluble cannot.
Some people find they can tolerate soluble fiber better than insoluble fiber. However, on a low fiber diet, every gram of fiber (whether soluble or insoluble) must be taken into account and go towards the daily total!
How much total fiber is recommended daily?
For most healthy adults, a balanced diet provides ~20-30 grams per day of total fiber. This can come from a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes. This is encouraged in order to support healthy digestion and elimination (which would ideally resemble a “3” or “4” on the Bristol Stool Chart).
However, for people with a compromised digestive system and a tendency towards diarrhea, too much fiber may cause problems.
Too much fiber for these individuals can potentially increase irritation and amplify unwanted symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping, bloating, pain or incontinence. Individuals with these issues often get prescribed a low fiber diet, and can benefit from this information!
How much total fiber is recommended on a low fiber diet?
On a low fiber diet, it’s recommended to limit fiber to no more than 10-15 grams of total fiber per day from food.
Low residue diet
Many people on a low fiber diet may also receive recommendations to follow a “low residue diet.” This means no foods containing particles such as nuts or seeds (residues) which are difficult to break down in the gut.
The low residue diet will add extra dietary restrictions. Especially since any and all foods containing nuts or seeds are not allowed.
Who is a low fiber diet for?
The purpose of a low fiber diet is to reduce the amount of bulk and output of stool. Thereby helping to give the bowels a rest. And ultimately to minimize the likelihood of experiencing unwanted digestive symptoms.
A low fiber diet and/or low residue foods are often recommended by doctors and registered dietitians for people to better manage irritable bowel disease (IBD) and certain types of other digestive conditions, especially during a flare.
Examples of conditions that may benefit from a low fiber diet include, but are not limited to:
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Short bowel syndrome
- Bowel obstruction (“Intestinal obstruction”)
- Twisted colon (“Volvulus”)
- Recent bowel surgery
A low fiber, low residue diet is also traditionally advised for people to follow for 3 days leading up to a colonoscopy.
How can I tell if a food is “low fiber”?
For anyone who has recently been prescribed a low fiber diet, it might feel a bit overwhelming. Additionally, it may feel counterintuitive to eliminate/avoid so many types of foods that are traditionally labeled by society as “healthy.”
And it can get confusing if a particular food isn’t on your low fiber food list PDF.
While the low fiber foods list PDF download is a great resource, it’s also fundamental to learn what to look for in a nutrition label. This way, you can navigate grocery shopping with ease and empowerment!
Navigating fiber on a nutrition label
For a food to be considered “low fiber”, it must contain less than 2 grams of total fiber per serving.
You can find the total grams of fiber per serving under the “Carbohydrates” section of the nutrition label. Make sure to look at “total fiber” versus just soluble or insoluble! It all counts.
You’ll also want to check the “serving size” and “servings per container” at the very top of the nutrition label. This will tell you how much of a given food constitutes ONE serving.
Serving sizes can be deceiving!
A container of a food product might look like it’s just a single serving. But it may actually contain multiple servings. Therefore, you would need to multiply the grams of total fiber “per serving” by the number of “servings per container”.
Strategies for reducing the fiber content of produce
Here are some strategies for reducing fiber content in produce (fruits and vegetables): cooking, peeling, and canning.
Although our bodies can’t digest and absorb fiber, baking or sauteing fruits and vegetables is an effective way to significantly denature (break down) fiber.
The skins of fruits and vegetables contain a good amount of fiber. Therefore, peeling the skins off of fruits and vegetables (such as potatoes, peaches, apples, pears, and plums) is another easy way to reduce their fiber content.
Canning and jarring produce is an effective way to preserve fruits and veggies for longer, while also reducing their total fiber content.
You’ll notice that most cooked, peeled, and canned fruits and veggies are included on the low fiber food list PDF!
Low Fiber Food List
Here is the information found in our low fiber food list PDF. Remember to read the nutrition facts labels on foods to identify the exact amount of fiber per serving. Click here to download the free low fiber food list PDF for easy printing and reference!
Low Fiber Fruits
Here are some great low fiber fruits and foods to avoid when following a low fiber/ low residue diet.
|Low Fiber Fruits:||Foods to Avoid|
|100% fruit juice, (except prune juice), strained; fresh or pasteurized –without any pulp |
Canned fruit without seeds or skin, packed in 100% fruit juice
Cooked & peeled fruit without seeds or skin (baked apples, blueberries in homemade muffins/ jam/ blueberry pancakes, baked pears/peaches; fried or baked ripe plantains)
Apricots, ripe and peeled
Fresh ripe peeled nectarines
Honeydew melon, ripe
Peaches – peeled, ripe/frozen
Avocado, ripe enough, up to 1/4
Pineapple, fresh ripe
Fresh ripe peeled plums
Fresh ripe peeled mango Papaya, ripe, no seeds
Watermelon, seedless Jams/jellies without seeds
Juices with pulp (such as orange/grapefruit juice)
Raw peaches with skin
Raw plums with skin
Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, clementines, tangerines)
Prunes, prune juice
Low Fiber Vegetables
Here are some great low fiber vegetables and foods to avoid when following a low fiber/ low residue diet.
|Low Fiber Vegetables:||Foods to Avoid|
|Asparagus tips, canned or cooked |
Artichoke hearts, canned/jarred or cooked
Baby green (spinach/kale),
peeled and well cooked Broccoli; well boiled, pureed in soups- as tolerated
Butternut squash or winter squash, cooked, without skin or seeds
Peeled & baked or boiled or mashed potatoes (regular or sweet), potatoes
Cabbage, well boiled – in moderation, as tolerated
Carrots, cooked & peeled
Cauliflower mash or in cauliflower pizza crust; only as tolerated
Cooked/canned peppers with skins completely removed
Celery, cooked & peeled
Green beans/wax beans, canned or cooked
Green peas, cooked
Onions, well boiled in soups, or sauteed until translucent– in moderation, as tolerated
Mushrooms, canned or cooked
Pumpkin, cooked or canned
Iceberg lettuce, in moderation, as tolerated
Butter lettuce, in moderation, as tolerated
Green juice, strained, on an empty stomach
100% veggie juice, fresh or pasteurized (V8)
Strained peeled tomatoes, jarred or canned
Well-cooked spiralized zucchini noodles
Seedless spaghetti squash, baked/boiled
Baked peeled mashed turnips
|Raw vegetables |
Veggies with seeds
Veggies with skins
Brussel sprouts Broccoli/cauliflower (or see safe foods list for options)
Corn on or off the cob
Swiss or rainbow chard
Peppers with skin
Tomatoes with skin/seeds
Low Fiber Grains and Starches
Here are some great low fiber grains and low fiber starches. And foods to avoid when following a low fiber/ low residue diet.
|Low Fiber Grains and Starches:||Foods to Avoid|
|Strained oatmeal |
Cream of rice
Cream of wheat
Cream of corn
Puffed rice cereal
Plain rice crackers
Ritz style crackers
White jasmine rice
White basmati rice
Peeled baked/mashed potatoes (regular or sweet)
French fries made from potatoes without skins
Peeled cooked squash (butternut, winter, spaghetti)
Cassava flour pancakes
Butternut squash pancakes
Sweet potato pancakes
Regular pancakes or waffles
Gluten free pancakes or waffles
|Breads, baked goods, or any products made with whole grains, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, or bran |
Chips or crackers with seeds or whole grains
Regular or instant oatmeal
Corn on or off the cob
Whole wheat products
Low Fiber Proteins
Here are some low fiber protein foods. And foods to avoid when following a low fiber/ low residue diet.
|Low Fiber Proteins:||Foods to Avoid|
|Ground meat/poultry |
Soft-cooked meats or poultry such as in soups/stews
Eggs: scrambled, poached, hard-boiled fried
Pulled pork, pork chops Bacon
Peas, pea protein powder
Hemp seeds, hemp protein powder
Brown rice protein powder
Collagen peptides protein powder (too much glutamine)
Tough meats (steak)
Low Fiber Fats and Oils
Here are some low fiber protein foods. And foods to avoid when following a low fiber/ low residue diet.
|Low Fiber Fats and Oils:||Foods to Avoid|
|Avocado, ripe (up to 1/4) |
Smooth creamy natural peanut butter
Smooth nut butters
Salad dressings without spices
|Nuts (all) |
Chunky peanut butter
Shredded coconut Coconut flour
Low Fiber Dairy and Dairy Substitutes
Here are some low fiber dairy foods and dairy substitutes. And foods to avoid when following a low fiber/ low residue diet.
All dairy products are naturally “low fiber” and “low residue”.
However, if you struggle with lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivity, you may want to consider trying out dairy substitutes!
|Low Fiber Dairy and Dairy Substitutes:||Foods to Avoid|
|Butter, margarine, or ghee |
Milk or Lactaid
Milk substitutes: oat milk, nut milk, flax milk, or coconut milk
Low Fiber Desserts
Here are some low desserts. And foods to avoid when following a low fiber/ low residue diet.
|Low Fiber Desserts:||Foods to Avoid|
|Anything soft and uniform in consistency: |
i.e. pudding, ice cream, cookies, brownies without nuts/seeds
|Anything containing nuts, seeds, dried, fruit, or shredded coconut |
Baked goods/pastries made with whole grains or bran flour
Balanced meal planning on a low fiber diet
When it comes to “medical nutrition therapy” (therapeutic diets, such as the low fiber diet), it’s important to remember this: subtraction without addition can often set people up for unintentional weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.
The low fiber food list PDF is a great point of reference. However, it’s also important to make sure you or your loved one are also including a variety of nutrient-rich, calorie-dense foods. This includes getting enough macros (carbs, fats and proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)!
An easy way eat a balanced diet while eating low fiber is to include something from every food group (carb, protein, fat, fruit, and/or veggie) at most meals. And to combine a carbohydrate (such as a fruit or starch) with a food source of fat and/or protein at most snacks.
Sample one-day low fiber meal plan:
Here is a sample one-day low fiber meal plan to give you some ideas for getting started.
- 2 eggs scrambled with cooked baby spinach and cheese
- Bowl of rice cereal with milk or milk substitute
- Side of fresh ripe honeydew melon or cantaloupe
- White rice cakes with natural peanut butter and sliced ripe-enough banana
- Turkey and cheese sandwich with mayo, on toasted sourdough bread
- Cup of tomato soup
- Snack: Yogurt or cottage cheese with a cup of fresh, ripe, peeled peaches/mango
- Dinner: Baked chicken or fish with peeled and baked/mashed potatoes (regular or sweet) or white rice, and a side of well-cooked/canned veggies (such as green beans or carrots) and butter
- Dessert: Baked, peeled apples or pears with butter and cinnamon
How long will I (or my loved one) need to stay on a low fiber diet?
The amount of time required to adhere to a low fiber diet will depend entirely on a person’s individual health history, clinical status, and long-term goals.
The doctor and registered dietitian providing direct care will answer this question for you!
Conclusion: Low Fiber Food List PDF
While a low fiber diet can feel restrictive and overwhelming to navigate at first, sticking to it when prescribed can make a great deal of positive impact on a person’s digestive health and subsequent overall quality of life.
Make sure that while adhering to the low fiber food list PDF as a resource, you’re also opting to try out tasty, balanced food combinations. This is important to help support nutritional status, better energy levels, and more joy for you or your loved one!