Foods to eat when on a bland diet – Below are foods you can eat when on a bland diet for gastrointestinal conditions
A bland diet is made up of foods that are soft, not too spicy, and low in fibre. It can be used to treat ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and gas. A patient may also need to eat bland foods after stomach or intestinal surgery. A patient on a bland diet should not eat spicy, fried, raw foods, alcohol, or caffeinated drinks. Fatty foods, strong cheeses, whole grains (rich in fibre), and the medications; aspirin and ibuprofen are also avoided while on this diet.
Such a diet is called bland because it is soothing to the digestive tract (it minimizes irritation of tissues). It can also be bland in the sense of lacking flavour, but it does not always have to be so; non-irritating food can be appetizing food, depending on preparation and individual preferences.
A bland diet allows the digestive tract to heal before introducing more difficult to digest foods. Most canned fruits and vegetables are free, with the exception of tomatoes. Tomato-based sauces on pasta are avoided. Bananas are good, however, higher fibre and acidic fruits should be avoided. Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes are very easily digested, but it is important to avoid high-fat toppings like butter. Vinegar based foods such as pickles are to be avoided as are sour fermented foods like sauerkraut.
A bland diet is designed primarily to help patients recover from gastrointestinal conditions or other medical conditions primarily to help patients recover from gastrointestinal conditions or other medical circumstances in which improved digestion would be essential. It is not especially effective as a long-term weight loss diet, although portion sizes are strictly controlled. Many people find a bland diet to be very difficult to maintain, although some find the use of acceptable spice alternatives does make it easier. Most patients slowly return to a more normal diet once their medical issues have been resolved.
Foods to eat when on a bland diet
Below are some foods you can eat on a bland diet
- Cooked, canned, or frozen vegetables
- Fruits and vegetable juices
- Milk and other dairy products; low-fat only
- Bread, crackers, and pasta made with refined wheat flour
- Cooked or canned fruit with the skin and seeds removed, such as applesauce or canned peaches
- Refined hot cereals, such as oatmeal and cream of wheat
- Creamy peanut butter
- Lean, tender meats such as poultry, whitefish, and shellfish that are steamed, baked, or grilled with no added fats
- Soups especially broth
- Weak tea
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Foods to Avoid
Foods to avoid when on a bland diet include:
- Fatty dairy foods, such as whipped cream or high fat ice-cream
- Raw vegetables
- Strong cheeses such as bleu or Roquefort
- Fresh berries and other fresh fruits
- Dried fruits
- Vegetables that make you gassy such as broccoli, corn, cauliflower, cucumber and green peppers
- Whole grain or bran cereals
- Whole grain bread, cereals, or pasta
- Pickles, sauerkraut, and similar foods
- Spices such as hot peppers and garlic
- Foods with a lot of sugar, honey, or sweeteners in them
- Seeds and nuts
- Highly seasoned cured or smoked meats and fish
- Fried foods
- Medicine that contains aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Other healthy tips
- Stop smoking if you do.
- Do not eat within 2 hours of when you go to bed
- Chew your food slowly and chew it well.
- Eat small meals, and eat more often during the day.
- Stop eating foods that are not on the DO NOT LIST if you don’t feel well after eating them.
- Drink fluids slowly.
Your healthcare provider can refer you to a dietitian or nutritionist to help you plan a healthy diet. He will also tell you when you can start eating other foods again.