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6 low-fiber vegetables that a dietitian recommends eating for a low-fiber diet

Your doing fiber wrong.

Your doing fiber wrong.

CRISTINA PEDRAZZINI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY and Matt Anderson Photography via getty

Most of us have gone about our entire adult lives with the messages ingrained in us that we should always be eating our vegetables, and plenty of them, in order to ensure we’re getting all the nutrients we need and consuming enough fiber. Have you ever wondered, though, if you could be getting too much of a good thing and could benefit from scaling back on the fiber?

According to New York City-based dietitian Bianca Tamburello, RDN and nutrition marketing specialist at FRESH Communications, it’s always important to talk to your doctor or dietitian before adjusting your diet. If you’ve determined that it’s the right path forward for you, here’s how you can consume low-fiber vegetables in a healthy manner.

Low fiber vegetables

According to Tamburello, choosing low-fiber vegetables is a safe way to get important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients while following a low-fiber diet. Some options for low-fiber vegetables include:

  • Cooked tomatoes (such as in tomato sauce)
  • Cooked spinach
  • Cucumbers and zucchini (with no seeds or skin)
  • White potatoes (with no skin)
  • Acorn squash (without seeds) 
  • Cooked carrots

Canned vegetables are also typically low in fiber,” Tamburello says.  

Can you eat carrots on a low-fiber diet?

Raw carrots are known to be high in fiber, which may leave you inclined to shy away from them if you’re seeking to move in the other direction. However, “cooked carrots are considered a low-fiber vegetable and are typically recommended for individuals following a low-fiber diet.” Tamburello says. 

Always consult with your doctor or registered dietitian about your specific dietary needs, even when it comes to avoiding certain foods, she says.  

Can you eat cooked vegetables on a low-fiber diet?

According to Tamburello, vegetables cooked well are typically recommended on a low-fiber diet. “Cooking helps break down the fiber in vegetables, making them easier to digest,” she says.

Not only that, but cooked vegetables often taste better than raw vegetables – you’re more likely to enjoy vegetables roasted with a bit of olive oil and seasoning than you would if they were plain and raw.

Foods to avoid on a low-fiber diet

If you’re aiming to cut back on fiber, it’s recommended to avoid whole grain products (ie. Whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc.), nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, and most raw vegetables, Tamburello says. 

“There are also some vegetables that even cooked are difficult to digest and should be avoided including kale, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli,” she explains. “Fried and spicy foods should also be avoided.”

How much fiber should you eat in a day?

According to Tamburello, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends about 25 g of fiber per day for women and 34g per day for men. Low-fiber and low-residue diets meanwhile typically limit fiber to 10 g per day. 

“A low-fiber diet is usually recommended by a doctor or registered dietitian to lessen stress on the digestive system after certain surgeries or due to certain medical conditions,” she says. “Because the benefits of consuming fiber outweigh any negatives, following a low-fiber diet is typically only recommended for only a short period of time.” 

How to tell if you’re getting too much fiber

According to Tamburello, most Americans do not eat the recommended amount of fiber and thus don’t tend to experience the effects of too much. However, it is possible to eat too much fiber, which can lead to gas, bloating, and constipation.