Are you fed up with spending all your time in the bathroom? Does this destroy your routine and doesn’t let you work? Then you need a simple treatment option to keep your gut and intestinal metabolism healthy.
There can be many reasons for diarrhea, such as infections due to contamination of food and water, intake of supplements from unknown sources, etc. However, the low concentration of dietary fibers in the body can also serve in regulating loose bowel movements or diarrhea.
Following a bland diet for diarrhea can help you in preserving the nature of your gut and supporting it naturally.
Medically, several conventional treatments are a viable option including surgeries related to your digestive tract. However, using them can increase your risk of contracting infections and other diseases. The culture of having a bland diet is very traditional, and even today many people prefer over the other options.
Even surgeons sometimes recommend people preparing for surgery in extreme conditions or are about to have a procedure involving the disturbance of the digestive system should first try to integrate the bland/soft diet.
A bland diet is known for its soft dietary and digestive constituents that make the digestion process simpler and more comfortable. A bland diet constitutes of foods that are soft and not very spicy. They should be low in fiber to maintain the fiber content of the body.
If you tend to follow a bland diet, then you should eat spicy in little amounts, and same goes with the fried and raw foods. High caffeine quantity in your drink including the consumption of alcohol can also worsen your case.
Bland Diet: An Overview
In simpler words, a bland diet is a diet plan which consists of foods that are easy to digest and does not lead to any digestion problem. A bland diet includes the food items that are low in fats, small in fiber consistency and easily chewable. It offers a mild taste and the level of spice constituents is very low.
A bland diet is also popularly known by the name of BRATT or BRAT diet, but they both have a little difference. BRAT is the acronym form of the food items that are a part of the dietary plan. The full form of BRAT is Banana, rice, applesauce, and toast. These food items are a part of the diet plan of a bland diet or a soft diet, but you can find other exciting options to eat too.
Sometimes, doctors prescribe the patients of gastrointestinal inflammation to change their diet to a soft diet. Gastrointestinal inflammation and other digestive problems can occur because of infections such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease and diverticulitis.
In such problematic and uncomfortable conditions, one must follow a bland diet, as these food items will not hinder the digestion activities of your gut.
Another gastrointestinal problem that can affect your digestive system is peptic ulcers(1) or acid reflux. You can follow a bland diet to eliminate the problem. The bland diet also includes intake of the smaller quantity of meals. The amount becomes small, but the consumption of food should be frequent. One should chew adequately, eat slowly and should not lay down immediately after eating.
[Read: Natural Treatments for Diarrhea]
What Foods Can You Eat in Bland Diet?
Since bland diet foods are light and are not harmful to our health, they include food items with low fiber such as starchy grains. On the other hand, some raw fruits carry enough dietary fiber to get digested easily.
Canned stuff that stores fruits and vegetables can be considered helpful too for some people, while they might not suit the other people. Steamed vegetables should not be in the diet, and one must avoid their consumption.
Intake of bland diet meals that can result in being excellent sources of protein is also very beneficial. The protein sources include – eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt, baked chicken and smooth peanut butter. The other options for a healthy bland diet are –
- Fruit and vegetable juices
- Bread and crackers
- Pasta made up of refined white flour
- Refined cereals like cream of wheat or, farina cereal
- Custard and puddings
- Soup, more specifically the broth
- Weak tea
- Other low-fat dairy products
What Foods to Avoid in Bland Diet?
There are a lot of foods that should not be in your diet if you want to follow a strict bland diet. The whole diet revolves around the intake of soft food items that can be easily digested and supported by your gut.
Consumption of fat diet or diet with high amounts of dietary fiber can also cause indigestion and constipation. High-fat foods, such as red meat, fried potatoes, and cream can also be problematic.
Food items that are sugary and piled with sweetness should be avoided, such as – cookies, cake, candies, ice cream, and doughnuts. Here is a list of food items that one should avoid while following a bland diet –
- Raw vegetables
- Dried fruits
- Sauerkraut and pickles
- Bran or whole grain cereals
- Seeds and nuts
- Fried foods
- Vegetables that are known to produce gas problems, such as – cucumber, green peppers, broccoli, cabbage, corn, and cauliflower.
Benefits of Bland Diet for Diarrhea
Here are some fantastic health benefits of choosing a bland diet
1. It Helps in Curing Bacterial Food Poisoning
A bland diet is highly efficient in treating bacterial food poisoning, as well as an upset stomach. It will help you feel better within two or three days.
2. It Provides Relief from the Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a common phenomenon in pregnant women. It is accompanied by nausea and discomfort. A bland diet can make meals short and frequent, which will provide relief from morning sickness.
3. It can Cure Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is also known as infectious diarrhea(2), and it occurs due to infections. Bland diet tends to stabilize the process of digestion. It helps in the treatment while enhancing the absorption as well.
4. It Makes Digestion Faster and Easier
A bland diet includes simpler foods as compared to those of a regular diet. Since the number of complex substances decreases, the metabolism becomes easier. It facilitates the breakdown of a simple meal at a faster rate.
Bland Diet Vs. Brat Diet
Bland diet and brat diet serve the same purpose and have many similarities in their beneficial uses, but they still have a small or minute difference. The Brat diet includes only a diet meal that provides for bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast, whereas bland diet covers and offers many other foodstuffs. Brat diet can result to be a good breakfast, by fulfilling every morning dietary need.
Bananas are beneficial when you are suffering from diarrhea, as it makes the body lose specific amounts of potassium and bananas replenish the potassium quantities.
If the brat diet continues for the long term, then it can cause malnutrition, as it covers only specific nutrients due to which the rest of essential nutrients will get deficient.
What are the Uses of Bland Diet?
Here are some beneficial uses of a bland diet
- Doctors prescribe low diet post the surgery of the digestive tract of an individual, to let the digestive tract heal with simple food, before the introduction of more difficult foods to digest.
- It is beneficial for the patients who are suffering from gastrointestinal problems or any other conditions, where the most important and essential requirement is proper digestion of food.
- Though dairy and milk products in a bland diet are acceptable, the milk products that consist of cocoa, excessive fats, and strongly spiced cheeses, should not be consumed. Low-fat dairy products are truly useful in soothing the irritated linings of the digestive tract.
Delicious Recipes of Bland Diet
Many delicious recipes are beneficial to have while following a bland diet. For breakfast, you can choose to eat scrambled eggs, as they are proteinaceous and have a low amount of fats. For your dessert, you can prepare a sugar-free pudding and enjoy it without fearing any digestive problem.
Here is the step by step process to make these yummy bland food recipes –
1. Scrambled Eggs for Breakfast
- Four eggs (for two servings)
- One-fourth cup of milk
- Two tablespoons of butter
- Salt and pepper, as per taste
- Take a bowl and stir the ingredients except for butter for some time.
- Take a pan and heat the butter in it and pour the egg mixture. When the eggs will set, pull the eggs gently from the pan.
- Pull, lift and fold the egg while cooking it. Remove the scrambled eggs from heat and serve hot.
2. Sugar-Free Pudding for Dessert
- Two cups of milk
- One-fourth teaspoon of salt
- Half cup of milk mixed with cornstarch
- A three-fourths teaspoon of vanilla extract
- One-eighth teaspoon of uncut stevia
- Two tablespoons of butter spread (optional)
- Heat two cups of milk in a saucepan and when it gets warm, add the mixture of milk and cornstarch in it.
- Boil the mixture for some time. Stir constantly for three minutes after the boil.
- Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients in the saucepan. Freeze the pudding and let it cool. Serve it.
[Read: Brat Diet for Diarrhea]
Is Bland Diet Safe for Kids?
The bland food diet is often useful for children who suffer from an upset stomach or diarrhea. It provides rest to the digestive tract and reduces the amount of stool produced.
Though it serves great benefits to most of the age groups, according to the experts, a bland diet might not go well for sick children as the bland diet foods have low fiber and lack enough nutrition which might not fulfill the nutrient requirements of children at their growing stages.
According to pediatrics, the diet for children must include enough fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, meat, and yogurt.
Bland diet for diarrhea and other gut-related problems is highly effective and beneficial. Since it simplifies the complexity of digestion, it provides relief from various digestive issues.
The recipes of the bland diet are quite comfortable and nutritious. Most importantly, they save a lot of time while preparing the dishes. The benefits of bland food are countless, and it puts our health on the right track.
Q 1: What is a Bland Diet?
A bland diet is a planned diet that helps in effectively curing the discomfort caused by gastric and intestinal problems. It is also helpful in treating various disorders related to the gut.
Q 2: What are Bland Foods?
Bland foods are the food items that constitute to form a bland diet collectively. Bland foods have low fiber content and less amount of fats. The aim is to make the process of digestion easy.
Q 3: What Can You Eat on a Bland Diet?
If you are following a bland diet, then you have plenty of options having low fiber and less fat to eat. One must avoid sugary food items too. It also includes low-fat dairy products.