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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Low-fibre diet

Whiringa kai kaka hakahaka

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

Fibre and a low-fibre diet

Fibre is the part of food from plants (fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds) that you do not 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 (stools) passes through your large bowel (also 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 ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles.


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 or Special K Original

White rice, pasta or noodles

White flour or cornflour


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

Brown, red or wild rice or wholemeal pasta

Wholemeal flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, oat bran, rice bran, rolled oats, popcorn, psyllium, barley, buckwheat or black, 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 or 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 or yellow or green beans


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

Diluted fruit juices

Seedless jam, such as apricot or 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 or 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, ¾ cup (200 g) of yoghurt or 2 slices (40 g) of cheese.


Foods to include

Foods to avoid

Milk and milk products

Milk, yoghurt, dairy food, cheese or ice cream

Any milk product containing dried fruit, nuts or seeds

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

Choose at least two servings every day. A serving is a piece of meat, chicken or fish the size and thickness of the palm of your hand, 2 large eggs, 1 cup (150 g) cooked dried beans, a small handful (30 g) nuts or seeds or 170 g 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 do not contain fibre but are more difficult for your gut to handle)


Nuts and seeds

Finely ground nuts (use sparingly)

Smooth peanut butter

Seeds, such as sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax or linseed

Whole or chopped nuts

Crunchy peanut butter

Chia or flaxseed peanut butter

LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds)

Legumes and tofu

(legumes include cooked dried beans, peas and lentils)


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

Other food and drinks


Foods to include

Foods to avoid

Cakes and biscuits

Plain biscuits, such as wine, arrowroot or malt biscuits

Plain sponge cake, scones or pikelets


Wholemeal or bran biscuits

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

Muesli bars or fruit leathers


Plain desserts or milk puddings

Yoghurt or ice cream

Stewed or canned fruit (with no skin)

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



Butter, margarine or oil (use sparingly)



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

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

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2022.


Page reference: 147492

Review key: HIDIV-114745