Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plant cell walls that provides and maintains the structure of the plant. Dietary fiber includes cellulose, hemicelluloses, polysaccharides, pectins, gums, mucilages and lignins. Although they are chemically unrelated, they all resist digestion by the human body. It is this resistance that gives these fibers their importance in both the normal functioning and disorders of the large intestine or colon.
In certain medical conditions, it is important to restrict fiber. These include acute or subacute diverticulitis and the acute phases of certain inflammatory conditions of the bowel, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In addition, a low residue, low fiber diet is used as a transition diet after some types of intestinal surgery. A low fiber diet is also used for a period of time after a colostomy or ileostomy is performed.
Depending upon individual food selection, the Low Fiber Diet is adequate in all nutrients (National Research Council’s Recommended Dietary Allowance 1989). Strict and prolonged reduction in vegetable and fruit intake may necessitate a multi-vitamin supplement.
This material does not cover all information and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care.