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Low Fiber Diets

Ask the Nutritionist

Q: I'm supposed to be eating white foods because I have anal cancer and I need a low fiber diet. Sample meals would be very helpful.

Susan, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

A: Fiber is found most concentrated in whole foods such as vegetables, whole wheat and other non-processed foods. Below I have outlined high and low fiber foods and a few meal suggestions for a typical day.

Meat, fish, poultry and proteins:

  • Tofu, fish, shellfish, smooth peanut butter, eggs, ground meat (best baked or broiled with mild seasonings)
  • Avoid all beans, nuts, peas, lentils and legumes, processed meats (hot dogs, sausage, cold cuts) and tough meats with gristle
  • Milk and cheese are good sources of low-fiber protein/fat and vitamins/minerals

Bread, cereals and grains:

  • Processed grains (white breads, pretzels, plain pasta, cous cous)
  • White rice (be sure to cook white rice, cream of wheat or grits well
  • Avoid brown or wild rice, corn bread, bran, nuts, granola, coconut, seeds, dried fruit

Vegetables and potatoes:

  • Well cooked vegetables without seeds, stems or skins, roasted vegetables
  • Sweet or white potatoes without skins
  • Strained juices without pulp or spices
  • Avoid raw or steamed vegetables, peas, corn, onions, cabbage


  • Soft or cooked fruit without seeds or skins
  • Melons (in small amounts)
  • Avoid dried fruits, berries with seeds and prune juices

Other foods:

  • Avoid popcorn, pickles
  • Be sure to drink extra fluids to balance your bowel movements and avoid constipation
  • As for meals, we would recommend eating foods that are still nutrient dense but low in fiber


  • 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, 1 slice of white toast with smooth peanut butter, cantaloupe
  • Melons (in small amounts)
  • 1 cup tea, 2 scrambled egg with cheese, zucchini, white potato (no skin)


  • 1 slice White toast with smooth peanut butter


  • Blended soup with squash and apple with added chicken, rice crackers, applesauce, 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • OR tuna sandwich (substitute celery with cucumbers without the skin and try using plain yogurt with celery spice instead of mayonnaise) on white bread, melon


  • 3-4 oz wild fish with fresh herbs (tablespoons of fiber rich vegetables, such as herbs will be an insignificant amount while still adding flavor and nutrients) ½ cup white rice, 1 cup cooked carrots, roasted squash or mushrooms

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  • Ask the Nutritionist

    • Do you have questions about making healthy food choices during and after cancer treatment? Our team of nutrition experts can help. Submit your question through our Ask the Nutritionist form.
    • To create a customized plan, please schedule an appointment with a Dana-Farber nutritionist by calling 617-632-3006.
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