A low fiber diet is beneficial in the event of indigestion, cramps, or any sort of inflammation in the bowels, including diarrhea. Making awareness about low fiber diets that much more critical.
It is also advised in situations where individuals are diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It helps give the bowels some rest, giving it ample time to recover from the inflammation. A low fiber diet has several benefits, some of which are outlined below:
- It reduces the amount of undigested food moving through the bowels or intestines.
- It reduces the size and the number of stools produced by the body.
- It also eases abdominal pain, diarrhea, or any other inflammation.
Diarrhea alone contributes to the death of 1 in every 9 children(1) across the world.
Who Needs a Low Fibre Diet?
A low fiber diet must only be incorporated on the recommendation of a doctor. You are usually advised to follow this diet in the event of cramping, or gut inflammation. The following are the issues that require an individual to follow a low fiber diet:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
This diet is not meant for weight loss. It is extremely limited in its nutritional value, and can thus be harmful to the body over an extended period.
A low fiber diet is also known as a low residue diet.
Foods to Eat in a Low Fibre Diet
1. Low Fibre Foods
Low fiber foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, and eggs are ideal inclusions in a low fiber diet. They help ease bowel movements and prevent any further inflammations. These foods are highly versatile and can thus be eaten with any other vegetable or meat.
Given the restrictive nature of the diet, rice, or pasta should constitute at least two meals, as there are hardly any other alternatives that can be consumed. Bread is a great inclusion in a day’s breakfast and can also be eaten with eggs to ensure that while your intake of fiber is low, your body gets its necessary intake of protein.
[ Read: Low Potassium Foods ]
2. Low Fibre Fruits
A low fiber diet, as mentioned earlier, isn’t the highest in terms of nutritional value. It is thus essential that one consume adequate fruits to ensure a sufficient intake of vitamins and gain enough energy for the day.
Fruits like bananas, watermelons, peaches, and papayas can all be eaten raw, or can even be mixed up in a fruit salad or blended into a smoothie. They make for an excellent breakfast option, or can even be consumed as a morning snack.
You must eat at least a bowlful of fruits every day to give your body its daily nutrients.
3. Low Fibre Vegetables
Vegetables are a crucial part of a low fiber diet, as just like fruits, they give the body the nutrients it needs to function healthily daily. They are a rich repository of electrolytes and vitamins that will keep you energetic throughout the day.
Vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, asparagus, and tomatoes can be eaten in multiple ways. They can be added to pasta, used in curries, or even eaten in the form of a salad. Make sure to include vegetables in at least two meals every day.
[ Read: Low Phosphorus Foods ]
4. Low Fibre Meats
Tender meats and fish are edible in a low fiber diet. They are crucial as they supply the body with its daily protein requirements, which are broken down to produce energy.
Tender meats and fish can be consumed by grilling them, boiling, or even using them in salads and curries. They can easily be paired with white rice or can be added to pasta. Ensure that you include meat in at least one meal every day.
While a low fiber diet aims to reduce the intake of fiber, one can still consume soluble fibers in smaller quantities as compared to insoluble fibers, which are more irritating to the stomach.
Foods to Avoid
Given that a low fiber diet is limiting in nature, certain foods must be avoided to prevent any further inflammation or cramps in the bowels. These are listed below:
- Vegetables: Onions, garlic, and potatoes must be avoided as they contain elements that can cause further inflammation.
- Fruits: Avoid eating either raw or dried fruits as they can further increase the discomfort caused due to the inflammation or the cramps. They’re better consumed in the form of juices or smoothies.
- Whole-grain foods must also be avoided as they contain comparatively higher quantities of fiber.
[ Read: Zero Carb Foods ]
The limited nature of a low fiber diet doesn’t leave too many options for the day’s meals. However, some of the food items that you can include meal wise are:
- Low fiber cereal with toned milk. You can include cornflakes.
- White bread or toast with a choice of butter or fruit jams
- Poached eggs
- Sandwiches made from white bread with either chicken or turkey.
- White pasta or white rice with vegetable curry or any meat or fish mentioned above.
- White rice or pasta with low fiber meats or vegetables
- Chicken breast and a side of low fiber vegetables
The following are certain tips that you must keep in mind to prevent further inflammation while on a low fiber diet:
- Eat smaller meals every 3 or 4 hours.
- Keep away from any forms of caffeine or alcohol
- Avoid fatty or spicy food, as they can cause further irritation.
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- Consumed smaller amounts of dairy or low-fat versions
While a low fiber diet can come across as really limiting, sticking to it is an ideal way of getting rid of any stomach irritations or inflammations. The various foods and tips above, if followed for the prescribed period of time, can help you get back on track to eating the food of your choice in just a few weeks.
1. Do I necessarily need to consult a doctor before starting a low fiber diet?
Yes, a low fiber diet in the event of cramps or inflammation should only be included upon the advice of a doctor.
2. For how long do I have to follow a low fiber diet?
The duration depends entirely on the degree of inflammation and what the doctor prescribes as a result.
3. Do I have to stick to this diet every day of the week?
Yes. Cheat days won’t be of any help as they’ll only prolong or worsen the inflammation.