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HealthInfo Canterbury

Low-fibre diet

You may be advised to follow a low-fibre diet if:

What is a low-fibre diet?

Fibre is the part of food from plants (fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, nuts and seeds) that you don't digest. A low-fibre diet (sometimes also called a fibre-restricted diet or a low-residue diet) is made up of low-fibre foods that you can easily digest and absorb. This means less poo (faeces, stools) passes through your large bowel (often called your colon or large intestine).

Useful tips for a low-fibre diet

Grain foods

Have at least six servings every day. A serving is one medium slice of bread, ½ to 1 cup of breakfast cereal, or 1 cup of cooked rice or pasta.


Foods to include

Foods to avoid

Bread and crackers

White bread, white pita bread or panini, plain naan bread, or chapati

Plain crackers such as water crackers or plain rice crackers

Wholemeal, wholegrain or rye bread, wholemeal pita, naan,, or chapati bread

Bread containing seeds, linseed, chia seeds, nuts, kibbled wheat or dried fruit

Wholegrain crackers, such as Ryvita, or Vita-Weat



Refined breakfast cereals such as Cornflakes, Rice Bubbles, Special K Original

White rice, pasta, noodles

White flour, cornflour


Wholemeal and wholegrain cereals such as All-Bran, Bran Flakes, Sultana Bran, Light 'n' Tasty, Just Right, muesli (plain or toasted), porridge oats, Weet-Bix

Brown or wild rice, wholemeal pasta

Wholemeal flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, oat bran, rice bran, rolled oats, popcorn, psyllium, red or white quinoa


Vegetables and fruit

Choose at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. A serving is the size of the palm of your hand.


Foods to include

Foods to avoid


Asparagus, beetroot, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, courgette, cucumber, lettuce, mushroom, peppers, potato (boiled or mashed), pumpkin, tomato, yam

You might cope better with well-cooked vegetables

Artichoke, baked potato with its skin, broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, spinach, corn, eggplant, kumara, leeks, parsnip, peas, silverbeet, yellow or green beans


Ripe, fresh or cooked fruit without pips, seeds, pith and skins. For example, apples, apricots, bananas, honeydew melons, peaches, pears, plums, and water melons.

Diluted fruit juices

Seedless jam, for example, apricot, plum


Raw or cooked fruit with seeds, pips, pith, or skins, such as berries, grapefruit, or oranges

All dried fruit, such as apricots, dates, figs, prunes, raisins, and sultanas

Fruit juice with pulp

Jam or marmalade with skin, peel or pips

Shredded coconut

Milk and milk products

Choose two to three servings every day. A serving is 1 cup (250 ml) milk, 1 pottle (150 g) of yoghurt or 2 slices (40 g) of cheese.


Foods to include

Foods to avoid


Milk, yoghurt, dairy food, cheese, ice cream

Any milk product containing dried fruit, nuts or seeds

Lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds

Choose at least one serving every day. A serving is a piece of meat, chicken or fish the size and thickness of the palm of your hand, 1 egg, ¾ cup cooked dried beans, ⅓ cup nuts or seeds, or ¾ cup tofu.


Foods to include

Foods to avoid

Meat, fish, chicken and eggs

Tender lean meat, chicken, or fish

Lean bacon or ham

Smooth pates or spreads

Boiled, scrambled, or poached eggs

Gristly and fatty meat, tough skin, fish skin and bones (these foods don't contain fibre, but they are more difficult for your gut to handle)


Nuts and seeds

Finely ground nuts (use sparingly)

Smooth peanut butter

Seeds (for example sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax, linseed)

Whole or chopped nuts

Crunchy peanut butter

Chia and flaxseed peanut butter

LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds)

Legumes and tofu

(legumes include cooked dried beans, pea and lentils)


Baked beans, black beans, lentils, chickpeas (also hummus and falafel), cannellini beans, kidney beans, soy beans, split peas

Other food and drinks


Foods to include

Foods to avoid

Cakes and biscuits

Plain biscuits, such as wine, arrowroot, and malt biscuits

Plain sponge cake, scones and pikelets


Wholemeal or bran biscuits

Cakes, biscuits, muffins or scones with wholemeal flour, bran, nuts, seeds, coconut, or dried fruit

Muesli bars, fruit leathers


Plain desserts, milk puddings

Yoghurt and ice cream

Stewed or canned fruit (with no skin)

Desserts containing seeds, pips, skins, dried fruit or coconut



Butter, margarine, oil (use sparingly)



Tea, coffee, milk, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices

Fruit and vegetable juices with pulp, prune juice, Kiwi Crush

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Healthy Eating Healthy Ageing Project dietitian, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed January 2019.


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Page reference: 147492

Review key: HIDIV-114745