This short paper is to give you information and general advice on how to follow a low-fibre diet. For recipe ideas, also look at my new, work-in-progress page, Easy and Delicious Low-Fibre Diet Recipes. But please read this page first. Visit your nearest Maggies Cancer Caring Centre, or click on their website/on-line community, for personal support. This article is based on clinical and patient-derived information, but be aware that a low-fibre diet can be quite variable from person to person and situation to situation. Take into account your own intolerances, likes and clinical advice.
It is well-known that a diet high in dietary fibre is a healthy one, helping to prevent colorectal and breast cancers, Type 2 diabetes, diverticulitis, cardiovascular disease, varicose veins – among other illnesses. However, for some people it is necessary to at least temporarily curtail their intake of fibre in order to rest the bowel and/or intestines.
What is a low-fibre diet? Simply put a low-fibre diet decreases painful gut irritation by reducing the amount of insoluble fibre/undigested food that passes through your system. This restrictive and short-term diet is designed to ease discomfort and allow tissue healing. A low-residue diet is similar but slightly more restrictive; differences are noted below.
Who needs a low-fibre diet? You may have been put on a low-fibre diet because of a risk of bowel blockage or to recover from digestive tract surgery. Or you may be having treatment-related diarrhoea, or difficulties in digesting your normal diet. Flare-ups in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may also require a temporary low-fibre diet, too. Eating less fibre can help with the bloating, wind, cramping, pain and fullness associated with these situations. Below are general guidelines only: follow the advice of your doctor if it differs from what you read here. If you have been told to follow a low-fibre diet but haven’t been told how to do this, discuss these guidance notes with your doctor.
The following information also applies if you are to follow a low-residue diet, except that you will be avoiding all caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks) and most likely all dairy products too – these are all gut-stimulants. Those needing to follow a low-residue or a liquid diet should seek professional advice.
•Eat little and often; this helps with discomfort. Aim for three small but calorific meals and 2-3 snacks or nourishing drinks (milkshakes, fortified milk) meals a day. OR any permutation of this ideal. Some people find it easiest to eat a little something every two hours rather than think in terms of meals as such. Whatever suits you and keeps you comfortable and nourished is good.
* Digestion starts in the mouth so make sure and chew your food well before swallowing. This can really help with symptoms of bloating and discomfort, as can eating more slowly. After you finish eating resist the temptation to rush to the kitchen and wash up – relax for a bit to allow the body to concentrate on the initial stages of digestion.
•Try to drink as much as you can without filling yourself up, choosing ‘food’ drinks such as clear fruit and vegetable juices rather than just water. Drinking is very important to prevent constipation. Making your own clear and strained juice from combinations of peeled fruits and vegetables will maximise your nutrient intake during this restricted diet, but commercially produced clear juices are a good second option. If you are losing weight, drink your calories – milkshakes and prescription fibre-free supplement drinks.
•Choose a variety of foods from the low-fibre list. Grazing from this list will keep things from getting boring and will give a fair spread of nutrients. I am planning an ebook of suitable recipes. But in the meantime please have a look at Easy and Delicious Low-Fibre Recipes.
•If you are advised to follow a restricted diet for more than five days ask your treatment team about multivitamin/mineral supplements. You are at risk of not getting enough of the water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C (cooking destroys them) if this diet is followed long term.
•Steer clear of foods that worsen your symptoms. Everyone’s situation is different and some of the foods on the list may be difficult for you – you know best.
•With your team’s approval, and as your symptoms improve, gradually increase the amount of ‘approved’ fruits and vegetables from 2 servings. As these are tolerated, add small quantities of other foods into your diet, but stay away from high fibre foods for now. Keep a note of what you introduce and how you react to them. If a food doesn’t ‘work’ try it again some other time. Many people find that keeping a food diary helps them keep track of food and symptoms. This can also be very useful to show your treatment team or GP.
* Your appetite will probably fluctuate but do try and keep eating regularly. Regular eating helps with appetite and bowel function.
* Capitalise on eating when you are hungry, not when you think you should eat. With that in mind, don’t worry about eating at the ‘wrong times’ or eating meals out of sequence: if you fancy having a bowl of Rice Krispies at 2 a.m., just do it. Have quick snack and easily heated meals available for any time that hunger strikes.
* Make efforts to enjoy your food: nice presentation, pleasant eating environment, a stress-free atmosphere – all of these things will help with appetite and digestion.
•If your symptoms rapidly worsen, despite the restrictions, SEE YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.
FOOD TO INCLUDE ON A LOW-FIBRE DIET
General Guidance –
o All fruits and vegetables should be peeled, deseeded and membrane-free
o Vegetables should be well-cooked (except as listed below)
o Limit fruits and vegetables as indicated below, or as advised by your treatment team;
o A serving is roughly 80 grams
Vegetables – 1-2 servings per day + peeled, mashed potato (if liked); all skin and seeds removed. Those with recent bowel obstructions may not be allowed vegetables.
Okay raw or cooked: lettuces; de-seeded and peeled cucumber, courgettes/zucchini and tomatoes
To be well-cooked or tinned/canned: asparagus, aubergine, beetroot, carrot, celery, tinned green beans, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, (bell) peppers/capsicums, white potato, pumpkin, radish, spinach, squashes, swede, tinned wax beans
Caution OR have very small amounts (these are very individual foods, tolerated well by some people and not others): other fine, green, French and runner beans; cabbage; cauliflower; onions (check with your doctor on this one); mangetout/snowpeas; parsnips; sweet potatoes (not yams)
Fruits – 1-2 servings per day; all seedless, skinless and membranes removed. Those with recent bowel obstructions may not be allowed fruit.
Okay raw or cooked: very soft ripe apricots and peaches; ripe melon; ripe banana (1/2 small); very soft avocado (1/4 piece)
Well-cooked, poached or tinned/canned: applesauce/stewed apples/pears; tinned cherries; tinned lychees, mango (Pakistani and Alphonse are least fibrous), pineapple (the latter not a low-residue diet); poached/tinned rhubarb; tinned skinless fruit cocktail
Fruit and vegetable juices (clear/pulp-free/strained): apple, orange, grape, grapefruit, cranberry; tomato, carrot & vegetable based juices
Bread: all white (refined) and seed-/nut-free breads – white loaf, plain bagel, soft pretzels, matzoh, melba toast, zwieback toast, waffles, French toast (‘eggy bread’), white English muffins and crumpets; white flour tortillas, naan, chapattis, roti, lavash and pitta. Some other breads may be suitable but read the label – flours made from/with legumes are unsuitable.
Cereals: any cereal less than 1 g of fibre per serving, e.g. cornflakes, puffed wheat, Rice Krispies, Special K, Cheerios.
Pasta and Rice: white rice, plain white pasta, noodles, macaroni, orzo.
Meat, Fish and Other Proteins: well-cooked, ground/minced beef, turkey, pork, chicken; cooked eggs; fish and seafood; tofu and tempeh; smooth peanut butter (up to 2 tablespoons per day). Tip – use moist heat to cook proteins; avoid grilling or roasting as it can make food crispy or tough. Avoid: Nuts, crunchy peanut butter, seeds, legumes and pulses (e.g. chickpeas, baked beans, lentils)
Dairy and Dairy Substitutes: up to 480 ml/2 cups of any milk, plain yogurt (add unseeded jam for fruity taste) and yogurt/kefir drinks; mild cheese. Most dairy is fine unless it has ‘bits’ in it. Usual precautions for live/probiotic dairy products if on chemotherapy. Low-residue: avoid dairy but non-dairy is fine, e.g. soy or rice milk (check fibre per serving on non-dairy milks and products).
Fats, Oils, Sauces, Gravies and Dressings: all allowed except spicy dressing and sauces. Low-residue: avoid dairy but non-dairy is fine.
Snacks and Desserts: ‘white’ crackers, ginger snaps/biscuits, plain biscuits and cookies such as vanilla wafers, arrowroot biscuits and ‘rich tea’ biscuits; pancakes and waffles made with refined flour; smooth puddings such as Jello® brand or Alpro® soya; jellies/Jello ®; approved supplement drinks; rice puddings; ice cream and sherbet (not low-residue), sorbets and ices (with no fruit pieces)
Soups: broth and strained soups from allowed foods (add milk, cream or silken tofu to give ‘body’ and protein); cream soups (aim for no more than 1 g of fibre per serving); noodle and rice soups (ditto). Avoid any beans, whole grains, corn or peas.
Drinks: clear fruit and vegetable juices (freshly pressed and sieved will add nutrients to the body – see ‘Juicing 101’); squashes and cordials; milk and non-dairy milk (check fibre on label); approved supplement drinks (not Fortisip Multi-fibre or any fibre-containing drinks). Tea and coffee are usually fine, but not on a low-residue diet.
Cooking Tips: Make sure all cooked foods are soft and easy to chew. Best cooking methods are those that keep moisture in the food – poaching, braising, stewing, microwaving, boiling and steaming. Roasted, broiled and grilled foods take moisture away from food, making it tough. Fried foods can cause stomach upset and cramping in many people so it is often best to use a moist method and add oil at the end of the cooking time. This may be necessary to ensure enough calories in the day.
Menu Planning: Eating little and often is recommended, perhaps three main meals (but small ones to aid digestions) and two to three snacks. Juicing (not smoothies) of fruit and vegetables is encouraged to help add nutrients that are missing from eating so little whole fruit and vegetables.
FOODS TO AVOID ON A LOW-FIBRE DIET
Whole grain breads, pasta, grains, rice, noodles and anything made with these; herbs (even chopped ones); strong cheeses; yogurt with fruit skin or seeds; most raw vegetables and fruits; tough meat/chunky meat; dried fruit and prune juice (check fibre of any juices you buy), olives, all beans, pulses, nuts, seeds and whole grains; food with whole coconut/desiccated coconut; popcorn; horseradish; cocoa powder (high in insoluble fibre), highly spiced food and dressings/sauces. You may or may not be allowed chocolate/chocolate syrup: check. Other foods may be allowed/disallowed by your doctor, so do ask.
Here are some extra resources that you may find helpful:
Fiber Guardian – a US site with 900 foods sorted by type
Fiber Content of Foods (choose foods by clicking on the alphabet selection bar) – comprehensive overview of American products and raw foods
How To Eat A Low Fiber Diet (slightly annoying, but useful, slideshow) – Health.com
How to Eat (and Recover from) a Low-Fiber Diet – Healthline.com
Kellie Anderson 2012 (updated 29 March 2015)
juicing fruits and vegetables you have been advised not to eat is often a great way to get in essential nutrients. Here is my ‘Tummy Tonic’ juice (don’t eat the garnish!)
Making little tartlets with lower-fibre vegetables can liven up a bland low-fibre diet. Here’s my easy recipe for you. Just look within the recipe for how to adapt the main recipe for your needs.
67 thoughts on “Help with a Low-Fibre Diet”
pls. email me some receipes as my husband is on a low fibre diet after his surgery.
Hi there. I’m putting some together & will happily send them through once I’ve tested them. In the meantime think the opposite of healthy food really, but not greasy or spicy. Use my guidance notes alongside any instructions from the hospital, with medical advice superseding mine if it differs. Best wishes, Kellie
I would like your information as well
I am interested in this as well, my mom has colon cancer and I am looking to recipes to get her nutrition and go easy on her body!
I’m working on them in the evenings and I will be putting some up on here very soon. Please check back. I will hold your email for when I have a collection for epublication. Meantime I hope you found this page useful.
I am interested in low fiber recipes as I cook for people with cancer, including colon cancer. I’ve made some low fiber foods, but am trying to learn more. Thank you!
Thanks, this is very informative and useful information.
Thanks, Norma. Is that an issue for anyone you know? It’s quite a tricky diet for sure.
Thank you. My mother underwent radiation therapy for ovarian cancer and has a bowel obstruction that is devastating. I’m looking for recipes that are low fiber and high nutrient that she can enjoy and not trigger episodes that put her in the hospital with dehydration. ( So keep up the good work. I am grateful for this page and your efforts.)
You are so welcome, Robin. Low-fibre is quite tricky to make healthy – & interesting. I hope the ideas help. I will try and test and write up some more soon. Best wishes, Kellie
Kelly its Kate Ross remember me ? I came to your class at Maggies the one how had pancreatic cancer. I do not seem to be able to down load your low fibre recipes. Can you help? Hope you are well Kate
Hi Kate. So good to hear from you. I’m not sure why you can’t grab them. Email me Kellie.Anderson@maggiescentres.org and I will send them to you myself. How’s that? I am teaching in Fife today so it might be this evening before I can get to it.
Hello Kellie. I also cannot access the links to your recipes. I don’t have cancer but I am about to start a low-fibre diet to deal with IBS. I would love to have a look at the recipes if that’s possible (I’m vegetarian so low-fibre is going to be quite a challenge!).
Hi there. I’m not at home until tomorrow so it’s hard to check why that is a problem. But hopefully if you hover over ‘nutrition and cancer’ at the top of the page the page titled ‘easy and delicious low fibre recipes’ is selectable for you. Let me know if this isn’t the case. I’ll check the link within the low fibre diet page when I get home. Thanks for letting me know. And I do have veggie things on.
thanks for the v quick reply! I’ve got it from the top of the page, many thanks.
Great stuff. But I’ll still repair the link. Hope you like it but I want to add more.
I had a severe bowel blockage (renal bleeding, etc). Had CT scan and awaiting colonoscopy to confirm diverticulosis. Trying to manage this by myself until then as getting many conflicting suggestions (no fibre, low fibre, high fibre). Have to take lactalose syrup every day to clear as in constant pain (no bloating) and cannot tolerate many foods. Decided to go for: Oats in the morning; yoghurt with Inner Health Plus for lunch and Fortisip (was prescribed by doc due to weight loss) for dinner and HEAPS of water all day. Heard that it was not a good idea to take Fortisip. Now I am really confused. Exercise daily as well along with stretching and ‘jiggling’. What are your thoughts?
Hi Sue. I am so sorry you are having such a hard time, and receiving conflicting advice. Because I am not a doctor, and I don’t know you or the cause for your problem, my advice has to be quite general and ‘safe’. Until the results come back (and you can get targeted prevention advice) I would steer clear of obvious fibre, including oats, especially if this causes pain. Fibre containing foods should be spaced out during the day (see the link in the article for a list of fibre in foods). I am assuming that the blockage is completely away, and obviously you don’t want it to return, but until the results play it safe with lower fibre and lots of water. And with the doctor’s okay gradually add fibre back in, starting with things like smoothies (where fibre is intact but broken down somewhat) and soothing/ diverticulosis-minimising oats. The last thing to add would be beans and nuts/seeds. For now I would make sure the Fortisip you use is fibre-free and just has much-needed calories and nutrients. Instead of oats, something like a fortified rice-based cereal (hot or cold) would be best; eggs should be okay too. Nourishing soups made with peeled veg and some protein – like ground chicken, broth and rice noodles would be tasty and well tolerated in small amounts at a time. Warm, but not hot, drinks are great. Hopefully this is short term for you and you will soon be back to a normal, fibre-filled diet that will help prevent future incidences. I hope this helps, but please discuss your diet with your physician, who will be best placed to give tailored advice.
Hi I’m in need of some dietary help for my “sluggish” stomach. I am a medication controlled diabetic of 10+ years. My A1Cs have been very high for the past 6 months because of poor diet and being non-complient with my meds. I’m seeing an endocrinologist and a RD to get things back under control. I also have GERD which has been playing havic with my well being. I saw my internist on the urging of the RD who suggested the possibility of GASTRO PERISIS. Tests did not confirm that but its been decided I have a “sluggish” stomach. Part of the issue is, does the sluggish stomach cause the high sugars or do the high sugars cause the sluggish stomach? I was told to keep to a low fiber and low fat diet. I’m also trying to keep my carbs at 174 grams a day. I have lost 20 pounds in the past 3 months and my sugars are better, just not great yet. I really need help with a diet that will cover all my dietary needs and my medical issues. Any help or guidence would be so appreciated. I look forward to your response, thanks.
I’m only holiday right now and my Dad’s computer keeps crashing and I just lost a long-winded reply to you. So, I will get back to you whenj I return to the UK. Meantime, any chance of a second opinion about the low fibre? If you are not in pain or have symptoms of irritable bowel/blockage, wondering in medium fibre might be better.
I HAVE HAD BOWEL PROBLEMS FOR MORE THEN 8 YEARS. I STARTED WHEN I WORKED FOR 3 M DISTRIBUTION CENTER. NERVES AND STRESS?
3 YEARS LATER I HAD UTERINE CANCER STAGE 3 HAD SURGERY , AND 25 RADIATION TREATMENTS. WHICH IN TURN MESSED UP MY SMALL INTESTINE AND HAD TO HAVE ALOT OF THAT REMOVED . IN THE MEAN TIME I WAS SUFFERINGBETWEEN RADIATION AND SMALL INTESTINE SURGERY HAD GALL BLADDER REMOVED.
SO HERE I AM 5 YEARS LATER STILL HAVE A LOT OF LOOSE STOOLS AND SOMETIMES GO ALOT ON DAYS BUT JUST SMALL AMOUNT ALL DAY LONG, WHICH GIVES ME HEMMROIDS AND TERRIBLE SORE BOTTOM. LIKE MY BOTTOM IS ON FIRE.
AS OF YET DOCTORING AT MAYO AND IN HOMETOWN CLEAR LAKE IOWA., NO ANSWERS. I NEED TO BE ON A LOW FIBER DIET..
PLEASE IS THERE ANY HELP?
I am so sorry to read that you have been having such difficulties, and for so long. Please discuss the low fiber diet with your physician & treatment team as they are best placed to safely advise you. Low fiber diet is quite restrictive and one needs to have specific, personalised advice if the diet is to be adhered to long term. Because I don’t know you, & don’t have all of the information that your doctor would, I am unfortunately unable to give specific advice. But if you are told to follow low fibre please discuss this page with your doctor, as well as click on the food list link. And have a look at the low fibre recipes too. I will be adding to them shortly, so check back. I wish you well, Judy.
My husband developed colon cancer after years with Ulcerative Colitis.. Because of the radiation treatments he developed obstructions of the small intestine (he has no bowel). 5 years ago he underwent surgery which was very successful but now it has all begun again. We are trying to avoid another surgery but on the low fiber diet he is losing weight and is so bored of the food that I make. Another added problem is he is border line diabetic and all of his brothers have heart disease because of diabetes. We are trying to avoid this problem so juicing is pretty much out, ensure has been used but causes diarrhea. Are there any recipes I could try/ I don’t see a link to any site to go thru them.
Thanks so much for all of your help.
I’m sorry to hear your husband -and you – are going through such a hard time. I am a health educationist, not a dietitian, so don’t have the specialist training that would be of benefit to you. If you look at the cancer and nutrition index on my blog you will see a link to a some lf recipes, some of which may help with weight. I am trying to put together an ebook of more recipes but finding the time at night to make and photograph the food is a challenge. But hopefully some of what I already have up is suitable. I would urge you to get a dietitian referral as they would be able to offer bespoke advice for your situation.
I am type 1 diabetic and I have recently been diagnosed with Enteric Neuropathy. For the last 3 1/2 years I haven’t been able to eat because the nerve damage means I am unable to process real food. so I’ve been drinking 4 Ensure nutrition drinks a day for the whole of that time. I had a loop ileostomy in August which has meant that I am finally able to eat, but I’m struggling to find food and recipes that are both “diabetes friendly” and “stoma friendly” and would really appreciate some advice. The plan is to remove the whole of my large intestine later this year or early next year so the low fibre diet is going to be long term. The nerve damage means that the stoma works very erratically which complicates everything even more complicated and things will change again following the next operation. Any help that you can give would be greatly appreciated
Hi Sarah. That’s a heck of time you have been be going through. Unfortunately the scope of your issues can’t really be dealt with here. I hope you understand. Your medical/dietetic needs definitely require specialist input and guidance. Please do get a referral to a diabetic nurse and perhaps a palliative dietitian as they would have experience of low-fibre and diabetic issues. Some of the recipes on my low-fibre recipes page may be appropriate for you. All best wishes, Kellie
There is a link to my low fibre recipes on this page. I hope you like them.
Hi, I just wanted to say that I found magnesium, thiamine (vitamin B1) and of course plenty of water a HUGE help in dealing with digestive issues. I was getting constipation and undigested food when going to the loo, probably too much fibre and not enough water. But the magnesium and thiamine really help boost digestive enzyme activity. And it’s becoming increasingly apparent that many people don’t get enough magnesium. So check your diet! I presume that would also apply regardless of whether you’ve had cancer or not. But do check with your doctor. Good luck and best wishes to all
Yes true! Magnesium is a component of fiber. When fiber is removed , it is removed it is reduced too much. Try to take magnisium supplement. Am Doing this diet due to rectal ulcer.
This is very helpful. My sister had a bowel blockage just before Christmas and is suffering from ovarian cancer which causes lots of ascites. She is on chemotherapy but has lost a lot of weight. Unfortunately her eating habits were all very healthy (high fibre, whole foods etc) and she finds some of this advice difficult but gradually I have become aware that a kind of “silkiness” in her food is the thing to go for, everything soft and slippy. She enjoys a little neck of lamb stew cooked with pearl barley – what do you think of that? And mushrooms – I make a sauce for her to pour on rice vermicelli made of mushrooms, silken tofu and soy sauce. And meat stocks with added smooth peanut butter whisked in. I see you are saying keep the nuts down. Plaice and grated cooked beetroot warmed in butter goes down well. It is so difficult to think of new ideas, I will look at your recipes. Thank you for addressing this issue in greater detail, at least I feel we are on the right track though we have had very little help with this.
Your sister is lucky to have you in her corner. Your ideas sound delicious – low-fibre needs or not. Give her my best wishes.
Nut and seed milks may make a good option.
Hi there. I think very well whipped white would be fine and perhaps toasted and ground oats (oat flour) might sub for the nuts but that would be an educated guess. Let me know how it goes!
Kellie your page is a blessing. I’ve had Crohns disease for the past 15 years and my family and I have always found it difficult to “create” a diet suitable to either my remission or flare up status. So I used to end up just picking out/ avoiding high fibre foods from the meal. Being Asian, our meals seem to be differently structured to adapt to this, but I will definitely try. Thank you so much and please keep up the good work.
Hi Kellie, my son has crohnes disease, seemed ok, no signs of flare up until he had his routine investigations which showed up signs. He’s on low residue diet until next MRI and just started back on 50% elimental diet, 1 litre per day between meals. Your recipes have given me more choice for him, thank you! Unfortunately his dad is diabetic with his dietry needs and I’m post cardiac surgery with low fat required, we struggle to have 3-way healthy meals! Any suggestions pls??
I would really urge you to see a dietitian, who is in a position to have a proper consultation, with follow ups. Your question is quite a bit more complex than can be met by me here in this particular thread. Dietitians are specifically trained to address complex and intertwining needs. I’m sorry.
Hi. I was wondering if you can give me ideas please. I have had IDB for the last 15+ years and been managing my diet well (from a gut perspective). However, I need to lose some weight and have been having some grief due to tinkering with my diet. Meals are OK – I generally don’t have a problem tweaking them – eggs, white bread, well cooked veges and meats are all OK. Where I am having problems is finding low-calorie, low-fibre snacks. Plain biscuits work well for my gut – unfortunately they don’t work well for my backside. I tried changing to rice cakes (didn’t read the packet…) thinking they would be white rice. I found out the hard way that they were brown rice to be “healthy”, similarly for vitaweet crackers and nut bars. Suffice it to say that the last month hasn’t been pleasant. Any ideas for low-calorie, low-fibre nibbles? Thanks!
I’m sorry you are experiencing problems with blending your low-fibre needs with your desire to lose weight. It is a tough one. As you will of course recognise, most of the carbohydrate options are ones that spike blood sugar levels. To balance that out it is always necessary to match that with lean protein or something like a hard-boiled egg (or even just the whites). Here is a link to a useful article that I hope gives you sow ideas http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/snack-foods-lowresidue-lowfiber-diets-10091.html. I think you are in Australia so I’m not sure of the available options. Perhaps chat to a nutritionist or a GI nurse for tailored advice. Best wishes, Kellie
Hi Kellie, near the start of this article, you write “Try to drink as much as you can without filling yourself up, choosing ‘food’ drinks such as clear fruit and vegetable juices rather than just water. Drinking is very important to prevent constipation. Making your own clear and strained juice from combinations of peeled fruits and vegetables will maximise your nutrient intake during this restricted diet”
Am I assuming that your suggesting using a juicer to create smoothies, which I want to do, but I believe that most vegetables are high in fibre.
Can you clarify this for me please as I’m a very confused 55 year old man with very frustrating IBS and I’m finding all of your info very interesting and extreamly helpful, but as I say, I’m confused at this suggestion of having liquid vegetables.
Hi Terry. Thanks for your question. For juices I am meaning using a juicer, which is a machine that separates out the fibre into a container. The juice pours into a separate container or your glass. Smoothie makers and of course blenders pulverise the whole fruit or vegetable. Why don’t you have a look at my Juicing 101 page? http://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/nutrition-and-cancer/juicing-101/. Here you will find full explanations and some recipes. I hope this helps!
Hi Kellie and many thanks for your speedy reply. I shall indeed take a look at your juicing page and also continue to read your fascinating and very useful information.
You are very welcome, Terry. Keep well.
I had a total colectomy 15 years ago (diagnosed with FAP)but feel no wiser as to what to eat & what to avoid.Most days I am suffering with gripey/windy/pouch & forever up & down to the loo.Any advice would be most appreciated.I take codeine phosphate (30mg regularly) I have tried numerous meds from my GP (currently on mebeverine) but no relief.Im 5’4″tall & currently weigh 9 stone but would be happier at 8.5. I look forward to hearing from you.
Lyndy (age 50) Live on Leicester UK xx
Hi Lyndy. I’m really sorry you have been having such distressing ongoing symptoms. Although I can’t offer individual advice in this space, I’m wondering if you might benefit from following a lower fibre diet under GP approval and supervision for a short time. It’s tricky to do long term but in the short term (a couple of weeks max) it may help calm the digestive tract and help with symptoms. Some people need to do this off and on to deal with flare ups. But do discuss with your GP. The thing about the digestive tract is that, unlike a broken bone that can be isolated to heal, the digestive tract always has to keep working. And working harder with a fibre-rich diet. Which is fine and very healthy if it works well, of course. Advice and links here on the page as well as recipes on another page in this section. I hope this helps at least a bit. If you have a Maggies Centre near yiu do go and see if you can have a chat with their nutritionist. Best wishes.
Hi Kellie..I have Adhesions and bowel obstruction, after having a hysterectomy 5 years ago, because of Endometriosis..My Doctor reccommends a low fiber diet..Will your green smoothie help me in any way??..Especially to help me lose the weight??..I am 173lbs.
Hi Nicole. Smoothies by their nature contain fibre, albeit much processed down by the blender, so are therefore inappropriate to a low-fibre diet. You would be better having juices to get some of the nutrients missing in a low fibre diet. The information in this post and in the links provided should provide guidance. Do see if you can get referred to a dietitian to help you with managing/losing weight on a low-fibre diet. All best to you.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 5 years ago and for the first couple of years I was managing my symptoms well. However 2 years ago I moved to Australia and my symptoms worsened dramaticaly. Back in April I was hospitalized for a week and was advised to go on low fibre diet by my dietitian. I Have read many articles about low fibre and food to eat and to avoid but keep struggling with recipes. Recently I was told that I may end up with ostoma bag and I said to myself I have to follow a low fibre diet properly (together with meditation, exercise, etc). Could you please help me to get some idea of recipes for every day meals? Really appreciate your help!
I’m sorry to hear you are struggling. The ideas in my linked page Easy Low Fibre Recipes should give you some ideas, and this page some guidance as to what kind of foods can be prepared. Please also explore the links on this page too. Really you are best going back tonight dietitian and telling them you are struggling and ask for more specific guidance and a recipes sheet, booklet and/or link to such materials. That’s what they are there for. All best, Kellie
Thank you Kellie, this wasn’t the page I was on before, and there is lots of useful info’ here for me to pass on to mum and dad! Karen
You are very welcome, Karen.
I had a colonoscopy it has gone to be Annalise’s but they told me it was cancer I haven’t been able to go to loo as the large intestine is blocked what sort of things should I avoid
You must take advice from your doctor in this instance. Blockage is serious and cannot be resolved through diet, although diet can help once the issue is sorted. Once it’s cleared do take advice on the amount of fibre you can safely have. Best wishes
This is fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! I’ve had a recent flare-up of diverticulitis, which is especially upsetting because it’s the first once since having a sygmoidectomy 5 years ago. I thought I was I the clear. Oh well, it’s a kick in the arse to clean up my eating habits. Wheat is a trigger for me, so I’m going back to eating gluten free. Can I substitute a gluten free flour in your pear and cocoa pudding recipe?
Of course! I’m so glad these pages are useful to you. I hope you’re feeling like yourself soon. 😊
This helped me so much!! I’m 15 with an ileostomy and the tummy tonic juice looks awesome!! Super excited to try everything out! Thanks! 😊
Dear Kellie, on reading your website i have found it very helpful and I am wondering if you could perhaps give me some further assistance. I have an ileostomy and on a daily basis I drink a litre of a glucose solution prescribed from a london hospital to help with my hydration levels. After my surgery in 2015 I lost weight and my weight dropped to 47 kilos, which 2 years later is still me current weight. I find I need to consume a high calorie diet to maintain this weight. The problem I’m now experiencing is I have a high glucose level. I was wondering if you might be able to give me some advice on how I can reduce my high glucose levels, but still be able to maintain my weight? I do not want to suffer any further problems as my daily life is already extremely restricted. In 2014 I had my first operation and ended up with a colostomy, in January 2015 I had a reversal, which sadly after 3 weeks I knew hadn’t worked. In April 2015 I had the colostomy put back but 2 days later I suffered a perforation and now have the ileostomy and a semi functioning colostomy. I look forward to hearing from you with any advice you might have. Kind regards Judith
Dear Judith. Thank you for your kind comments. Unfortunately I’m not allowed to give individual advice but what I can say is that most people can safely add calories by adding healthy fats. I have a page on Help with Gaining Weight that will give you some ideas. Do try and see if you can be referred to a dietitian. He or she will be the best person to advise on gaining weight whilst watching your blood sugar. Best wishes, Kellie
Thank you Kelli!
As I sit in the hospital with the menu in my lap and the orders for our docs to follow a “Low Residue/Low Fiber” diet, to help my husband recover from surgery for his 1st and only diverticulitis attack—I am overwhelmed with gratitude for your insight, information and links!
We had a high fiber/juicing regimen so to have this happen—all new to us!
If my mobile phone could look “page worn” with coffee stains—this would!
Thankful & grateful!
You are very welcome, Julie. It’s extremely gratifying to read your comment. Thank you for taking the time to write it amidst all of the upheaval. It’s a lot to take on board but hopefully your husband is on the road to a full recovery.
Aw, thank you Kelli!
Enjoyed your advise to us re.prostate last week. Thank you but can you explain why zinc is not good to supplement?
Hi Tony. So nice to hear from you. The reason is that it is easy to get more than you need and it is best to obtain through food. This is from Prostate Cancer, Nutrition and Dietary Supplements, An Overview (2019) [on Medscape] “The findings that zinc levels are decreased in men with prostate cancer and that zinc suppresses prostate cancer cell growth and invasion have led to the hypothesis that zinc may play a protective role. However, the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study showed an increased risk of prostate cancer in men who consumed more than 100 mg daily.  High-dose zinc has been shown to promote prostate cancer development. Studies of persons taking large amounts of zinc have also reported adverse effects on the urinary tract…..there is no compelling reason to supplement with zinc for prostate health; the amount contained in the diet, with or without a multivitamin (usually the recommended daily allowance), is normally sufficient.” In the Introduction, they wrote: “All of the dietary nutrients that may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer are readily available. Whether substituting or adding dietary supplements is advantageous continues to be investigated. The general consensus is that any nutrient that is contained in food is better than an dietary supplement. In addition, several dietary supplements that are marketed as antioxidents have the potential, if used in excess, to increase the risk and/or progression of prostate cancer. [6, 31, 42, 43] No high-quality study has shown that any supplement can significantly reduce the risk for, or progression of, prostate cancer.” I would say that if you want to take in zinc, zinc as part of a multi-vitamin would likely have lower amounts than in a zinc only suppl.
Any chance of moderation….. after a few days…..? I am still interested in the warnings against zinc supplements…..
Hi Tony. Because I know that you are using a low fibre diet for symptomatic relief, when to stop and how to moderate is up to how you feel. Usually up to five days is helpful. And gradually add the fibre back rather than suddenly going back to your normal diet. I hope this helps. 🙂