Low Fibre Diet

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-1384-2023
  • Departments:
  • Last Updated: 31 August 2023

What is fibre?

Fibre is found in foods originating from plants. Some types of fibre cannot be broken down in our digestive system and as a result pass straight through the digestive tract adding bulk to bowel motions.

Why do I need a reduced fibre diet?

This is normally used as a short-term treatment, where the bowel requires temporary rest, to reduce bowel secretions or prevent bowel obstruction.  In some cases, this diet may be required longer term.

Foods which are high and low in fibre

Food Group Low in Fibre High in Fibre
Meats All other meat products: lean, well-cooked meats may be better tolerated Meat products made with wholemeal pastry, breaded meat products.  Processed products and meats high in fat may make diarrhoea worse
Fish All other fish products Fish products made with wholemeal pastry, breaded fish products.  Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines may make diarrhoea worse
Dairy Products Plain yoghurt, cheese, milk, eggs, margarine, butter, custard Yoghurts containing fruit pieces, cereal, added fibre or nuts.

Cheeses containing fruit or nuts.

Bread and Cereals White varieties of bread and baked goods such as chapattis, crumpets, scones

Plain cakes made with white flour e.g. Victoria Sandwich, Madeira

Plain crackers, crispbreads and rice cakes

Plain varieties of biscuits e.g. rich tea, morning coffee, custard creams, bourbon, ginger nuts, shortbread, chocolate biscuits (penguin, club, KitKat)

White rice, pasta, noodles, cous cous

Cornflakes, Special K, Rice Crispies, Coco pops, Sugar Puffs

Wholemeal and granary bread and baked products, fruit scones, teacakes.

Fruit cakes

Crackers made with wholemeal flour or with seeds e.g. Rye crispbreads

Biscuits containing bran (e.g. digestives) or fruit (e.g. fruit shorties)

Wholemeal pasta, brown rice

Wheat biscuits, Shredded wheat, Muesli, Granola, All Bran, Porridge

Puddings Milk puddings, ice cream, jellies, meringue, fruit crumble, plain sponges, custard Puddings made with wholemeal flour or dried fruit
Drinks Tea, coffee, milkshakes, milk, hot chocolate, fruit squashes, fruit juice without bits Pure fruit juice with bits, smoothies
Other Oils, smooth soups and sauces, jam with no bits, honey, shredless marmalade, boiled sweets, chocolate, toffee, crisps Pickles, highly spiced foods, chocolate or sweets containing fruit or nuts


Pulses e.g. chick peas, lentils and beans

What about fruit and vegetables?


Where possible avoid skins and seeds. Try small portions initially to assess tolerance. The guide below outlines fruits lower in fibre.

  • Tinned fruits such as pears, peaches, mandarins, lychees
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Ripe bananas
  • Peeled apples, pears
  • Satsumas, oranges with pith removed
  • Stewed fruits without pips

Please note dried fruits, coconut and pineapple should be avoided due to their high fibre content.


Where possible avoid skins, seeds and stalks.  Try small portions initially to assess tolerance.  The guide below outlines vegetable lower in fibre:

  • Well-cooked carrots, swede, squash
  • Courgettes
  • Aubergines
  • Boiled spinach
  • Well cooked cauliflower and broccoli

Please note salad vegetables, peas, beans, sweetcorn, mushrooms, celery, Chinese vegetables (e.g. bean sprouts, bamboo shoots) should be avoided due to their high fibre content.

All potato varieties are suitable on a low fibre diet provided the skin is removed.

Do I need to take a multi-vitamin and mineral?

Due to the restrictions of this diet, your dietitian or doctor may recommend a multivitamin tablet to meet your vitamin and mineral needs.

How much fluid do I need?

It is important that you have an adequate fluid intake while following a low fibre diet. You should aim to have at least 6- 8 cups/glasses/mugs of fluid daily unless told otherwise by a health professional.  The guidance may be different if you are following this diet to reduce bowel losses and will be guided by your medical team.

Re-introducing high fibre foods

Your dietitian will advise you on reintroduction of higher fibre foods when it appropriate.

What if I have a reduced appetite or I am losing weight?

If you have a poor appetite or you are unintentionally losing weight, you may find the following information helpful:

  • Eat little and often – try to eat 5 – 6 snacks/meals per day
  • Use full fat, ‘thick, and creamy’ varieties of foods, e.g. spreads for bread, yoghurts, milk and full sugar foods and drinks.

Enriching your food will help to increase your energy (calories) and protein intake when your appetite is poor.

All of the foods below are very good sources of energy (calories) and can be added to a variety of foods:

  • Full fat milk
  • Cream/evaporated milk
  • Margarine/butter (full fat)
  • Grated cheese
  • Honey/syrup
  • Sugar

Example meal plan


  • Low fibre cereal (e.g. cornflakes, rice crispies) with milk
  • White toast with seedless jam, shredless marmalade, butter, honey
  • Egg on white toast
  • Bacon sandwich made with white bread

Mid morning

  • Plain biscuits or cake
  • Plain yoghurt


  • Smooth soup with white bread
  • Meat/fish with potatoes, pasta or rice and portion of low fibre veg
  • Sandwich (made with white bread and an appropriate filling).
  • Egg on white toast
  • Followed by a dessert e.g. milk pudding, yoghurt, sponge and custard

Mid afternoon

  • Plain biscuits or cake
  • Plain yoghurt

Evening meal

  • Smooth soup with white bread
  • Meat/fish with potatoes, pasta or rice and portion of low fibre veg
  • Sandwich (made with white bread and an appropriate filling)
  • Egg on white toast
  • Followed by a dessert e.g. milk pudding, yoghurt, sponge and custard


  • Plain biscuits or cake
  • Plain yoghurt
  • White Toast
  • Hot chocolate, hot milk

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Dietetic Department on tel no: Hull Royal 01482 674490 Castle Hill: 01482 461941, Queens Centre: 01482 461135

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.