Background: The purpose of this randomized, controlled pilot study is to address the question whether normal hospital diet (NHD) is safe when compared with low-bacterial diet (LBD) given to prevent infections in cytopenic patients who receive antimicrobial prophylaxis (AP). Patients and methods: The patients were randomized into two groups: one group to receive AP and LBD, the other to receive the same AP and NHD. The primary outcome parameter is colonization of the digestive tract with aerobic gram-negative bacilli and yeasts. Secondary outcome parameters were infections and total societal costs. Results: No statistically significant differences between treatment groups were observed regarding the primary outcome parameter, gut colonization by yeasts or gram-negative bacilli, or infections, use of antimicrobials, days with fever and total societal costs. Conclusion: On the basis of the results of this pilot study, NHD appears to be as safe as LBD in patients with chemotherapy-induced cytopenia. Furthermore, the results indicate that LBD may offer no additional benefit as an infection preventive measure to the measures already implemented, such as AP. Thus, a larger randomized study, powered adequately to determine noninferiority of NHD to LBD is warranted and safe to be carried out.