A low-fiber diet, also known as a low-residue diet, aims to reduce the amount of undigested matter that moves through your large intestine. This diet is often recommended for people who have problems such as Crohn’s disease, Diverticular disease, or Ulcerative colitis.

But this does not mean you cannot enjoy a nice slice of pizza?

One of the most significant concerns people have about low-fiber diets is whether they can eat pizza on a low-fiber diet. Yes, you can, if your pizza is made up of ingredients that fall under the category of a low-residue diet plan.

Most pizza doughs contain at least some semolina flour or whole wheat flour, both of which have high fiber content. However, there are low-fiber pizza options, such as dough made with refined flour. You can also top it with a simple tomato sauce, leaner meat, and a good choice of cheese.

Can You Eat Pizza on a Low-Fiber Diet?

While low-fiber diets may not be ideal for everyone, they may be necessary in some instances. For people with certain diverticular diseases follow special diets on the advice of a doctor to manage their symptoms. A low-fiber diet can be restrictive, but there are plenty of foods you can still enjoy.

Pizza can be one of them, you can still make a delicious and still be healthy pizza that is easy on your digestive system with simple ingredients. With just a little creativity, you can still enjoy pizza even on a low-fiber diet. Remember, if there is a will, there is a way.

What is a Low-Fiber Diet?

A low-fiber diet is a diet plan that limits the amount of fiber you eat. Fiber is a specific type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest. It is mainly found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. So, a low-fiber diet restricts such foods to lower the stress on your large intestine.

A low-fiber diet typically contains 10-15 grams of fiber per day. Most people need about 25 grams of fiber every day. However, people with certain medical conditions, like gastrointestinal disorders, may need to limit their fiber intake and should stay away from high-fiber foods as much as they can.

Who Are the People on Low-Fiber Diet?

People who need a low-fiber diet are those dealing with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis. A low-fiber diet can help reduce inflammation and other symptoms associated with these conditions. It can also help to prevent blockages in the intestines caused by the buildup of undigested fiber. By limiting their intake of high-fiber foods, people who suffer from digestive disorders can improve their overall health and well-being. People with:

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

man holding his stomach, diagrams of stomach with ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel diseases. They are both conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.


hands over aching stomach

Diverticulitis (flare-up) happens when the diverticula becomes inflamed which causes an increase in diarrhea, cramping, and bowel irritability which shows symptoms of intense pain, abdominal cramping, bleeding, bloating, and even fever. 

The following are some conditions when your healthcare provider or your dietician may put you on a low-residue diet:

It is best advice when on a low-fiber diet to always read food labels carefully. A wide range of foods, notably yogurt, ice cream, cereal, and even beverages, can sometimes contain added fiber. Additionally, try to stay and look for specific foods that have less than 1-2 grams of fiber per serving.

Medical Disclaimer

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making changes to your diet, especially if you have existing health conditions.

Consult a Healthcare Provider

It is imperative to consult a healthcare provider or registered dietitian before starting or making significant changes to your diet, especially when you are dealing with digestive issues like Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease, or ulcerative colitis. These conditions often require individualized treatment plans. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized advice based on your medical history, current health status, and specific needs.

Here is a list of recommended foods you can eat on a low-fiber diet

A low-fiber diet varies from person to person, and it depends upon every person’s metabolism. But certain foods remain constant in all low-residue diets including:

●    Tender meat, lunch meat, fish and poultry, ham, bacon, and shellfish

●    Tofu, eggs, and creamy peanut butter (with no chunky peanut bits)

●    White rice and white pasta

●    Baked goods that are made with refined wheat flour, such as waffles, bread, pancakes, biscuits, bagels, graham crackers, and saltines

●    Dairy products, if tolerated

●    Hot/cold cereals that have less than 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving, such as those made from rice

●    Well-cooked potatoes

●    Vegetable and fruit juices (liquid diet)

●    Fruits like bananas, applesauce, melons, and canned peaches (no skin)

●    Plain tomato sauce

●    Butter, oils, margarine, and salad dressings without seeds

Here are some foods you should avoid on a low-fiber diet

Few types of foods must be avoided if you are following a low-fiber diet. These include the following foods:

●     High-fiber fruits and vegetables: These include fruits and vegetables with skins or seeds and dried fruits.

●     Legumes: This includes beans, lentils, and peas.

●     Whole grains: These include wheat, oats, and rye.

●     Brown rice, wild rice, barley, oatmeal, granola, bulgur, shredded wheat, and quinoa

●     Dried beans, lima beans, peas, baked beans, and lentils

●     Chunky peanut butter

By avoiding these foods, you can ensure you are getting the fiber you need without overloading your system.

Reading Food Labels for Fiber Content

When you are on a diet that restricts certain nutrients, food labels become more than just a list; they are a tool to help you stick to your eating plan. One of the most crucial elements to look for when you are on a low-fiber diet is, of course, fiber content. Here is how to make sense of food labels so you can keep track of your daily fiber intake:

canned pizza sauces

Locate the Nutrition Facts Panel

On most packaged foods, the nutrition facts will be displayed on the back or side of the package. You might also find them on the bottom of some items. They are usually inside a box to make it easier to spot.

canned pizza sauce and it's nutritional facts label

Find the ‘Total Carbohydrate’ Section

Under this umbrella category, you will find several line items, including sugars, added sugars, and importantly, dietary fiber.

Nutritional fact section of a pizza sauce emphasizing on the total carb and dietary fiber

Check the Grams of Dietary Fiber

The amount of fiber is listed in grams and usually accompanies a percentage that indicates how much of the recommended daily value the product provides. If you are on a low-fiber diet, you will want to opt for foods that offer low grams of dietary fiber per serving.

Nutritional fact section of a pizza sauce emphasizing on the amount per serving

Understand Serving Sizes

Remember that the fiber content mentioned is usually per serving. Make sure you understand what a ‘serving’ entails—be it a single slice, 100 grams, or half a cup. If you plan on eating multiple servings, you will need to do the math.

canned pizza sauce emphasizing on the ingredients

Ingredient List

Sometimes, foods might have low fiber but may contain ingredients that are high in fiber but make up a small portion of the product. For extra caution, glance through the ingredient list for items like whole grains, seeds, or bran.

a pizza sauce with a packaging stating "diced tomatoes"

Check for Health Claims

Beware of claims like “source of fiber” or “high in fiber.” These may indicate that the food is not suitable for a low-fiber diet, even if the rest of the product looks okay. Or in the case of the picture clearly stating “DICED”, meaning tomato skin included which means fibers.

mobile app for scanning food barcodes for nutritional guide

Use Apps or Guides

There are various apps and pocket guides that can help you understand food labels quickly. You can scan the barcode with your phone, and it will tell you how much fiber is in the food item, among other things.

Understanding food labels can empower you to make informed choices, allowing you to adhere to your low-fiber diet with confidence. Always remember to consult your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about what is best for your specific health needs.

Why is Pizza not Traditionally a Low-Fiber Food?

The main reason is because of the things and ingredients that go into making pizza. Generally, there are three main elements in every pizza: the crust, the sauce, and the toppings.

Let us examine each one and see how a pizza can become unsuitable for a low-fiber diet.

The Crust

Photo by Engin Akyurt

Pizza is generally deemed a high-fiber food because of its ingredients. The major component of any pizza is its dough, and most pizza doughs are made with whole-wheat flour, eggs, and olive oil.

Eggs and olive oil are not that harmful, but when it comes to wheat flour, contains a lot of fiber. Restaurant pizza doughs are made with processed white flour, which is stripped of its natural fibers which may be good but can also be hard to digest.

The Sauce

pouring pizza sauce on a pizza dough
Photo by Alesia Kozik

Plain tomato sauces are a great option for low-fiber diets since raw tomatoes have about 1 gram of fiber per 1/2 cup. However, if you go on the complicated side of things and create a rich sauce with levels of fat or cheese, the sauce will have more grams of fiber.

The Toppings

close up of pizza topping
Photo by Nadin Sh

Canned toppings and/or raw or steamed vegetables can add color to your pizza, but they are not good on a low-residue diet so try to avoid them.

Furthermore, most people like to top their pizza with slices or diced onion to give it some crunch, which is not a good idea if you are on a restricted fiber diet.

Artisan pizza or modern pizzerias like fresh options, including fresh vegetables such as Brussels sprouts or corn. Although these may seem like adventurous options, they can make a pizza unsuitable for a low-fiber diet. Just stick to basic.

Flour, Sauce, and Toppings

As mentioned, the 3 elements of a pizza; are the crust, the sauce, and the toppings. All of which we can choose to change to better suit a low-fiber diet. Let us start with the flour.

Which Flour is Best for Making Low-Fiber Pizza?


When crafting the perfect low-fiber pizza, the type of flour you use can make all the difference. So which flours are ideal for those looking to minimize their fiber intake?

White Flour (All-Purpose Flour): This is a standard choice for many homemade pizzas. It typically contains about 2-3 grams of fiber per cup, making it suitable for a low-fiber diet.

00 Flour: This highly refined Italian flour is often used in traditional pizza recipes. It provides a smooth, fine texture and contains approximately 1-2 grams of fiber per cup.

Cake Flour: While not a traditional choice for pizza, cake flour is very finely milled and has around 0.5 grams of fiber per cup. It can give your crust a delicate texture and is one of the lowest in fiber.

Rice Flour: Although not a traditional choice for pizza, white rice flour is low in fiber with approximately 1-2 grams per cup. It’s also gluten-free, offering a different texture that some might find appealing.

Remember, the fiber content can vary slightly between brands, so it’s a good idea to read the nutrition labels to ensure you’re staying within your dietary guidelines.

Now let us turn to our sauce…

What Types of Pizza Sauce are Best for a Low-Fiber Diet?

When you are on a low-fiber diet, you must be cautious about every ingredient that goes into your food, and pizza sauce is no exception. The best option for a low-fiber diet is a plain tomato sauce made from peeled tomatoes. Tomatoes are relatively low in fiber, especially when they are peeled—offering about 0.5 grams of fiber per half-cup serving.

Here is a simple-to-follow DIY sauce for your pizza…

DIY Low-Fiber Tomato Sauce

Take 1 cup of peeled, canned tomatoes (blended smooth).

Add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of sugar to taste.

If you wish, add a tiny amount of garlic powder or dried herbs for flavor. Remember, herbs and spices contain fiber, but the amount is generally negligible if you use them sparingly.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat.

While many pre-packaged pizza sauces could fit into a low-fiber diet, it’s crucial to check the nutritional information for fiber content, as some brands might add vegetables or use unpeeled tomatoes, which increases the fiber amount.

Opting for a homemade sauce gives you control over what goes into your meal, making it easier for you to stick to your low-fiber diet while still enjoying the flavors you love.

If you do decide to use a store-bought sauce, remember to read the food label carefully. Some sauces include vegetables, herbs, and even fibers as additives, which can compromise your low-fiber diet.

And lastly, our toppings…

What Toppings Are Suitable for a Low-Fiber Diet?

Choosing the right toppings for your pizza is crucial when you are on a low-fiber diet. Luckily, there are a variety of options that can make your pizza both delicious and compliant with your dietary restrictions.


sliced ham, grilled chicken breast and strips of bacon

Most meats are naturally free from fiber, so feel free to add a protein source to your pizza. Choices like chicken, ham, and bacon are popular, containing 0 grams of dietary fiber.


slice of gouda cheese, shredded mozzarella, and a slice of parmesan cheese.

Cheeses like mozzarella, parmesan, and gouda are excellent choices for a low-fiber diet, as they contain minimal to no fiber. They not only add a creamy, satisfying texture but also provide good flavor.


It is recommended to stay away from vegetables but if you are craving some veggies on your pizza, it is crucial to stick to options that are low in fiber. It is also advisable to cook them thoroughly to further reduce their fiber content. Some choices include:

Spinach: 1 cup cooked contains approximately 4.3 grams of fiber. Use sparingly.

Zucchini: 1 cup cooked has about 2.5 grams of fiber. Use thinly sliced and in moderation.

Mushrooms: 1 cup cooked contains roughly 2.2 grams of fiber.

Herbs and Spices

While herbs and spices do contain some fiber, the amounts are often negligible given the small quantities typically used for seasoning. However, for those who are on a strict low-fiber diet, even these small amounts should be considered.

Quick Tips for Choosing Toppings

Stick to proteins and cheeses that are naturally low in fiber.

If using vegetables, choose low-fiber varieties and cook them well.

Be mindful of herbs and spices. While they add flavor, they also contribute some fiber.

Remember, when in doubt, always consult the nutritional information for each ingredient to ensure that you are adhering to your fiber restrictions.

Foods that Definitely Avoid

While this article outlines the foods that are safe for a low-fiber diet, it is equally essential to know which foods to avoid. High-fiber foods like whole grains, legumes, raw fruits, and vegetables can be especially troublesome. Spicy foods and rich, fatty sauces are also best avoided.

So, Can I Eat Pizza on a Low Fiber Diet?

Yes, you can still eat pizza on a low-fiber diet by simply checking the ingredients first and knowing what is not suitable for your low-fiber diet. If you are going to dine out or order a pizza, read the specifications, or ask them if they can make alterations. But to be on the safer side it is best to create your own at home, at least you can monitor what’s the “do’s” and “don’ts” of the ingredients yourself.

The key is to use a thinner crust and limit the toppings. For the crust, you can use a pre-made option or make your own using gluten-free flour. As for toppings, choose ones that are low in fiber, such as vegetables that have been completely cooked, or better yet skip the vegetables. Avoid raw vegetables and heavy sauces. 

Fast Food Advisory

Photo by Anna Shvets

If you plan to go out to eat a pizza or order from some pizza chains out there, you can never be sure whether the pizza will fit into your diet plan. Sadly, It is best to avoid fast food to avoid potential digestive problems. For people who recently had bowel surgery, it is best advice to eat homemade, healthier foods and religiously follow your prescribed diet. 

Dining Out Tips

While cooking at home gives you the best control over your diet, dining out is sometimes unavoidable. In such cases, opt for restaurants that allow you to customize your order. Explain your dietary needs clearly to the waiter and avoid items like deep-fried foods, thick-crust pizzas, or anything with raw vegetables and heavy sauces.

How to Make a Low-Fiber Pizza?

Pizza and a low-fiber diet may seem like opposites, but you can have the best of both worlds if you pay attention to your food intake limitations.

Making your pizza gives you control over all the ingredients, and you can choose what toppings you like and how much cheese you want. You can add what’s acceptable toppings according to your diet plan.

If you are on a low-fiber diet and want to create a pizza, try to remember the key is to “Make it Simple“.

List of Ingredients:

●    2 cups of refined white flour (00 Flour)

●    1 Packet of instant yeast (1 packet contains 1.1 g of dietary fiber)

●    2 tbsp. of sugar (0 fiber)

●    ¾ tsp of salt

●    ¼ tsp of garlic powder (1 tsp (3g) of powder has 0.3 grams of dietary fiber)

●    ¾ cup of warm water

●    2 tbsp. of olive oil or butter

●    50 gm of peeled tomatoes (unpeeled regular size has about 1.5 grams of fiber, peeled regular size had only about 0.5 gram of fiber per half cup)

●    Tomato paste (optional) Prepared tomato sauce provides about 2 grams of fiber per half-cup serving.

●    Shredded Mozzarella (0 fiber)

●    Ham, bacon, chicken (all these 3 have 0 dietary fiber) one can choose one or all 3.

1. Knead the Dough, Make a Good Crust

The base element of a pizza is its crust. The foundation of a good crust comes from the dough and how you knead it.

Flour, yeast, oil, and sugar are the main ingredients of the dough. Refined wheat flour and rye flour are great substitutes for whole wheat flour. Yeast and sugar in such small amounts have a very low fiber rate and can be easily used to make your pizza without increasing the fiber count.

man kneading the dough and a man rolling the dough

A well-rested dough develops better flavor and has that restaurant-quality chew and texture. Once you have kneaded the dough to form a sticky mixture, it is important to let it rest but for not more than 12 hours to double in size. This will also make your dough light and airy, which would be amazing for a short-crust pizza.

Going low on fiber does not have to mean sacrificing flavor. If you want to infuse some flavors, you can also brush your dough with butter to give it an extra touch of taste.

Thin crust pizzas are usually done in 15-20 minutes in a 420 °F pre-heated oven. If you have a wood-fired oven, it will only take 4-5 minutes.

2. Go Light with Your Sauce

A classic pizza has tomato sauce. All you need to do is put the tomatoes, garlic powder, and bay leaf in a pan and let them reduce. Add tomato paste if you want it to be a little tangy. Season to your liking and spread a light, thin layer on your dough.

hand applying a thin layer of pizza sauce on a pizza dough

Going light on the sauce is the key to reducing the fiber on your pizza. Moreover, the extra sauce can make your crust soggy. So, have a decent layer of plain tomato sauce for a tasty pizza and a healthy diet.

Keep the spices low or none, and do not eat any vegetables that are not included in your diet. Processed meats should be avoided in most because they can cause stomach problems as well.

3. Try Not to Go Overboard with Your Toppings

ham and cheese pizza with thumbs-up, and a supreme pizza with a "NO" symbol over

The key to making a pizza for a low-fiber diet is restraint, remember the key “Keep it Simple”? It is one of those cases where less is more.

So whatever toppings you want to put on, ensure you do not overload it because more toppings lead to more fiber. Ham, chicken, and ground meat are good options to add protein to your pizza as long as you keep them in a limited amount.

4. End it With Fresh Cheese

hand sprinkling shredded mozzarella cheese over the pizza dough with sauce and ham

Fresh, low-fat shredded mozzarella add the perfect stretch to your pizza while being nutritionally beneficial. Do not go overboard with cheese, and keep it light. When your pizza is out of the oven, sprinkle fresh parmesan and enjoy the marvel you have created.

Are There Any Alternative Ingredients for Additional Dietary Restrictions?

If you have other dietary restrictions, like lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, it is essential to know that a low-fiber diet can be adjusted to suit your needs. You could opt for lactose-free cheeses or gluten-free crust options. Be sure to read food labels or consult your healthcare provider for tailored advice.

On A Low-fiber Diet

Meal Planning

Planning your meals for the week can save time and ensure you stick to your low-fiber diet. Plan snacks like yogurt or white toast to keep you fueled throughout the day. A well-thought-out meal plan can ease the stress that comes with sticking to a specialized diet.

Why is Symptom Tracking Important?

Listening to your body is crucial when you are on a specialized diet. Maintain a food diary to track what you eat and any symptoms that follow. This can help you and your healthcare provider identify foods that are particularly problematic for you.

Are There Cost Considerations for a Low-Fiber Diet?

Photo by Nicola Barts

Low-fiber diets can sometimes involve specialized ingredients, which can be more expensive. However, there are budget-friendly options available. Buying in bulk or choosing store brands can help lower costs without compromising your dietary needs.

Children and Elderly: Adjusting the Diet by Age

The dietary needs can vary by age, and it is important to consult your healthcare provider for age-specific advice. Younger and older individuals may require adjustments in texture or nutrient content to meet their unique needs.

Psychological Aspects of Moving to a Specialized Diet

Let us be honest, A diet change can be emotionally challenging. It is common to feel deprived or isolated when you cannot partake in meals like you used to. Discussing these aspects with a support group or mental health professional can provide emotional support and practical coping strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a low-fiber diet suitable for everyone?

No, a low-fiber diet is specifically designed for individuals with certain digestive issues or those who have recently undergone bowel surgery. Always consult your healthcare provider for a personalized plan.

Can I consume dairy products on a low-fiber diet?

Dairy products are generally low in fiber and may be suitable for some people. However, if you are lactose intolerant, consult your healthcare provider for alternatives.

Is it safe to eat out while on a low-fiber diet?

Eating out can be challenging due to limited control over ingredients. It’s safer to eat homemade meals but if you must eat out, choose restaurants that can cater to dietary restrictions.

Final Thoughts

In summary, a low-fiber diet can be a crucial part of managing digestive issues such as Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease, and ulcerative colitis. The diet primarily consists of foods low in dietary fiber and should be customized according to individual health needs.

It sounds daunting, but it involves some basic restrictions, and following them will save you from future pain or any severe symptoms.

Having a pizza on a low-fiber diet may seem unusual, but it is all about having the right ingredients and keeping a balance between health and taste. It is possible if you follow the diet plan recommended by your dietician, and by always being aware of your fiber count intake.

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