Most people need to up their intake of fiber, but if you have a medical condition that requires bowel rest, such as diverticulitis or ulcerative colitis, you may need to limit the amount of fiber in your diet. You can find low-fiber food options in each food group. In fact, meat, poultry, fish and most dairy products are naturally fiber-free. Consult your doctor to discuss fiber in your diet.
Fiber is only found in plant foods, which is why animal sources of protein such as poultry, red meat and seafood are all fiber-free. Animal proteins are a source of saturated fat, so you'll want to stick to lower-fat sources as the healthiest option.
Good choices include beef roasts such as eye of round, top sirloin, pork tenderloin, skinless white meat poultry and seafood. You should eat omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon or trout, twice a week to help lower your risk of heart disease, says ChooseMyPlate.gov.
As an animal-derived food, dairy that does not contain any fruit, vegetables or grains is also fiber-free. Healthy, fiber-free dairy options include milk, no-fruit vanilla or plain yogurt and cheese. If you cannot tolerate cow's milk and drink soy milk instead, note that 1 cup of original or vanilla soy milk contains 1.5 grams of fiber.
Fruits and vegetables are the primary source of fiber in the diet, but that doesn't mean you need to cut them out. Low-fiber fruit options include canned fruits such as mandarin oranges, peaches, pineapples and fruit cocktail. Watermelon, cantaloupe and grapes are also low-fiber fruit options.
Low-fiber vegetable choices include peeled cucumbers, red leaf lettuce, yellow peppers, white mushrooms, zucchini and radicchio. Canned asparagus and tomatoes, cooked mung beans and cooked potatoes without the skin are also low-fiber vegetable options.
According to MedlinePlus, a low-fiber grain should have 0.5 gram of fiber or less per serving. Read food labels to find grains that fit the low-fiber profile. Good choices include bread made from refined flours, white rice, plain white pasta, puffed rice cereal, cornflakes, cream of rice and refined-flour crackers such as saltines.
- MedlinePlus: Low-Residue Fiber Diet
- Cleveland Clinic: Improving Your Health With Fiber
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Protein Foods
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Dairy Foods
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Soymilk, Original and Vanilla, Unfortified
- HealthAliciousNess.com: 200 Fruits and Fruit Juices Lowest in Fiber
- HealthAliciousNess.com: 200 Vegetables and Vegetable Products Lowest in Fiber
- HealthAliciousNess.com: 200 Breakfast Cereals Lowest in Fiber