Is Bacon a Low Fiber Food? A Guide to Understanding Bacon’s Place in a Low Fiber Diet

Following a low fiber diet is often recommended for people with digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and after colon surgery. High fiber foods can be difficult to digest and can aggravate gastrointestinal symptoms. But what about beloved breakfast staples like bacon? With its savory, salty, crispy goodness, bacon seems like it should get a pass when fiber is a concern So is bacon actually a low fiber food that can be enjoyed freely on a low fiber diet? Let’s find out

What is Bacon?

Bacon refers to slices of cured, smoked and salted pork belly meat. Pork bellies are the cuts of fatty meat from the underside of a pig. This fatty cut results in bacon’s signature rich flavor and crispy texture when cooked. The pork bellies are salt cured, then hot smoked over wood chips to infuse smoky flavor. The curing and smoking process both preserve the bacon and enhance its taste.

Nutritionally, bacon is high in fat, sodium and cholesterol, but low in carbohydrates and protein. A serving of pan-fried bacon contains minimal fiber at 0.2 grams per slice. So bacon can technically be considered a very low fiber food.

Understanding Fiber Content in Foods

Fiber comes from the parts of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and beans that the body can’t digest. There are two main types:

  • Soluble fiber – Found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits and carrots. Dissolves in water to form a gel-like texture.

  • Insoluble fiber – Found in foods like wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. Does not dissolve and absorbs water to add bulk to stool.

High fiber foods include whole grains, bran cereals, nuts, seeds, fruits with skin and membranes, dried fruits, legumes, and many vegetables.

Meat and other animal products contain no fiber since they come from animal tissue that is made up of proteins and fats. Bacon contains a very small amount of insoluble fiber, likely from added ingredients used in processing and curing.

Is Bacon Allowed on a Low Fiber Diet?

Bacon made purely from pork belly meat is generally permitted on a low fiber diet in normal serving sizes. The most restrictive low fiber diets limit fiber intake to 10-15 grams per day. Typical bacon contains less than 1 gram of fiber per serving, so it can conveniently fit into a low fiber meal plan.

Here are some guidelines for including bacon in a low fiber diet:

  • Enjoy 2-3 slices of bacon per serving a few times per week. This provides flavor without excessive fat and sodium.

  • Opt for thin sliced bacon which tends to be leaner and cooks up crispy. Thick cut bacon may have more fat.

  • Bake bacon in the oven on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. This allows fat to drip off and results in crispy, evenly cooked bacon.

  • Microwave bacon between paper towels to absorb excess grease. Keep an eye on it as microwaved bacon can quickly go from limp to overdone.

  • Crumble extra crispy cooked bacon into salads, soups, omelets or other dishes to add smoky bacon flavor.

  • Try turkey or chicken bacon for an even leaner option while still getting that sweet, salty, bacon taste.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Eating Bacon on a Low Fiber Diet?

While bacon is low in fiber, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

  • High fat and sodium content – Bacon is cured with salt and has loads of saturated fat. This can be problematic for certain heart, blood pressure, and kidney conditions.

  • Nitrates/nitrites – Many bacon products are cured and preserved using these chemical additives that may pose health risks when consumed in excess.

  • Highly processed – Heavily processed meats like bacon have been associated with increased cancer risk.

  • Flare up of certain conditions – Greasy, fatty bacon can aggravate gastrointestinal conditions.

  • Cooking methods – Frying bacon produces carcinogens and the burnt bits may irritate the GI tract.

So those on a low fiber diet should still eat bacon and other processed meats in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. Check with your doctor about what dietary limits are right for your specific health status and condition.

Tips for Following a Low Fiber Diet

If your doctor recommends a low fiber diet, be sure to follow their guidance closely to determine approved foods and serving sizes. Here are some general tips:

  • Remove skins, seeds, hulls, peels and membranes before cooking fruits and vegetables. These contain much of the fiber.

  • Cook fruits and vegetables well – steaming, boiling or microwaving. Raw produce is higher in fiber.

  • Choose white bread, pasta, rice and crackers made from refined grains. Avoid whole grains.

  • Limit beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and dried fruits.

  • Read food labels and avoid products listing whole grains, bran, psyllium, nuts or seeds in the ingredients.

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Decreased fiber can lead to constipation.

  • Slowly reintroduce high fiber foods under your doctor’s supervision.

Sample Low Fiber Diet Meal Plan with Bacon

Here is a sample menu for one

These Are Super Low Fiber Foods For Low-Residue Diet


Can I have bacon on a low-fiber diet?

Choose these foods: Tender meat, fish and poultry, ham, bacon, shellfish, and lunch meat. Eggs, tofu and creamy peanut butter. Dairy products if tolerated.

Is bacon ok before a colonoscopy?

Fats/Oils allowed: Butter, margarine, salad oil, mayonnaise, cream, crisp bacon, plain gravies and dressings. Fats/Oils not recommended: Nuts, olives, coconuts and seeds. Soups allowed: Strained soups or any soups made from allowed foods, broth or bouillon. Soups not recommended: All other soups.

What meat has the least fiber?

Meat, chicken, turkey, fish and dairy products do not contain dietary fiber. However, avoid tough meats because they may be difficult to digest. Keep in mind: Your clinician may recommend a daily multivitamin because of the limits of a low-fiber diet.

What foods are low in fiber?

Hot and cold cereals that have less than 2 grams of dietary fiber in a single serving. Cereals made with rice cereals often have very little fiber. Canned or well-cooked potatoes, carrots and green beans. Plain tomato sauce. Vegetable and fruit juices. Bananas, melons, applesauce and canned peaches (no skin).

What is a low fiber diet?

A diet low in fiber is mainly composed of ultra-processed, industrialized foods, prepared with refined flours, fried foods, baked goods, sweets, sugary foods, and soft drinks. One of its main characteristics is that the Western diet is low in fiber, marked by the absence of fruits, vegetables, whole foods and a high consumption of fast foods.

Can Bacon be part of a healthy diet?

Yes, bacon can be part of a healthy diet. Here’s how to use the flavorful ingredient in your cooking. It’s hard to deny that bacon possesses magical qualities. Bacon gets people out of bed in the morning, turns basic dishes into flavorful favorites and gives new life to classic recipes.

Is Bacon the healthiest food?

“Sure, bacon isn’t the healthiest food out there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it from time to time,” says EatingWell senior digital editor, Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD. “Plus, there are some upsides to bacon—a single 1-ounce slice delivers 4 grams of protein, which can help you to feel more satisfied after a meal.

Leave a Comment