Special Cancer Diets

High Fiber Diet

Fiber is the part of plant foods that cannot be digested by the body. Sometimes called "roughage," it can help form a larger, softer stool that passes through the bowel more easily. Fiber has also been shown to improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes.

General high fiber diet guidelines:

  • To be considered high in fiber, a diet should contain at least 25 grams of daily fiber
  • Focus on whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water
  • Add fiber to your diet gradually to prevent gas and cramping

Low fiber diet (also called low residue diet)

The low residue diet is designed to reduce the number of bowel movements. It is typically used for people experiencing diarrhea or abdominal cramping or during flare-ups of diverticulitis.

General low fiber diet guidelines:

  • No fried foods
  • Avoid lactose products if they are irritating to you
  • Eat cooked fruits and vegetables (not raw)
  • Choose white or refined breads and cereals

High fiber diet food recommendations:

Food Group Eat more of these foods Avoid these foods
Grain
  • Breads made from whole grains (wheat, rye, bran, cornmeal)
  • Any bread with seeds, nuts or dried fruit
  • Cereals (oatmeal, Shredded Wheat, bran cereal)
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Refined breads and cereals (white bread, rolls, plain muffins, crackers)
  • Cream of wheat
  • White rice
  • Large amounts of refined pasta
Fruit
  • All raw or dried fruit
  • Eat the peel whenever possible
  • Canned or cooked fruit
Vegetables
  • All raw or lightly cooked vegetables
  • None
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese
  • Choose low fat products whenever possible
  • None, but try to limit whole milk products
Meat & Other Protein
  • All meats & other proteins (limit high fat meats)
  • Choose dried beans, peas whenever possible
  • High fat meats (to keep saturated fats down)
Fats
  • All (use sparingly)
  • None
Miscellaneous
  • All nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn
  • None

Low fiber diet (also called low residue diet)

The low residue diet is designed to reduce the number of bowel movements. It is typically used for people experiencing diarrhea or abdominal cramping or during flare-ups of diverticulitis.

General low fiber diet guidelines:

  • No fried foods
  • Avoid lactose products if they are irritating to you
  • Eat cooked fruits and vegetables (not raw)
  • Choose white or refined breads and cereals

Food recommendations:

Food Group Eat more of these foods Avoid these foods
Grain
  • Enriched, refined white bread, buns, bagels, English muffins
  • Plain cereal (such as Cheerios, Rice Krispies or Cornflakes)
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Crackers (saltine or graham)
  • White rice, pasta
  • Whole grains
  • Any bread with seeds, nuts or dried fruit
  • Rice or pasta that is highly seasoned
Fruit
  • Fruit juice (except prune juice)
  • Canned fruit
  • Ripe bananas
  • Prune juice
  • Raw fruit
  • Dried fruit
Vegetables
  • Canned or cooked vegetables (without skin or seeds)
  • Raw vegetables
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese (May need to limit if it causes distress) Cottage cheese
Meat & Other Protein
  • Lean meat, fish and poultry
  • Eggs
  • Beans, peas, legumes
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
Fats
  • All oils, margarine and butter
  • Coconut

Low sodium diet

Most individuals should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily (equal to about 1 teaspoon salt). The average American, however consumes almost twice this much. People with certain conditions such as high blood pressure or kidney disease need even less sodium.

The following tips can help you take the salt out of your diet without taking out the flavor. If you are on a prescribed salt restriction, speak to your Registered Dietitian for more specific guidelines.

General low sodium diet guidelines:

  • Don't use the salt shaker at the table. Use herbs and salt-free seasonings with food instead of salt
  • Eat food in its natural and unprocessed form (like a potato instead of potato chips). Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry and unprocessed grains
  • Look for "Low Sodium" or "Sodium Free" products
  • If you must buy canned foods, look for "No Added Salt" products. If not available, rinse and drain the canned food to reduce the sodium content
  • Avoid high sodium sauces and seasonings (such as bouillon, soy sauce and marinades)
  • Don't use the salt shaker at the table. Use herbs and salt-free seasonings with food instead of salt
  • Eat food in its natural and unprocessed form (like a potato instead of potato chips). Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry and unprocessed grains
  • Look for "Low Sodium" or "Sodium Free" products
  • If you must buy canned foods, look for "No Added Salt" products. If not available, rinse and drain the canned food to reduce the sodium content
  • Avoid high sodium sauces and seasonings (such as bouillon, soy sauce and marinades)

Avoid the following high-sodium foods:

  • Pre-packaged and processed foods
  • Pickled foods
  • Canned foods (soups, vegetables, broth)
  • Cured meats, such as bacon, cold cuts and sausages
  • Cheeses
  • Frozen dinners
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