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Low Fiber Diets

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    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

    Fruits:

    • 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

    Breakfasts:

    • 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)

    Snack:

    • 1 slice White toast with smooth peanut butter

    Lunch:

    • 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

    Dinner:

    • 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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