What is a Bland Diet?
Bland diet incorporates easily digestible food which does not irritate the gastrointestinal tract. It includes soft, well-cooked, low-fiber foods with minimum use of spices and oil. It is recommended for people who have undergone intestinal surgeries and for those undergoing treatment for vomiting, acid reflux, ulcers, nausea and diarrhea.
Bland diet includes foods that minimize irritation and discomfort for patients suffering from digestive and intestinal health problems.
Certain Foods that You can Eat while on a Bland Diet are:
- Low-fat dairy products such as milk, cottage cheese and other mild cheeses. Two to three servings of milk products are considered ideal for those on a bland diet.
- Canned or frozen vegetables, cooked vegetables and certain vegetables in juice form. The vegetables recommended to eat when on a bland diet are pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potato, beets, green peas, asparagus, mushrooms and carrots.
- Fruits juices, ripe banana, apples without skin, canned peaches, stewed apple and applesauce.
- Breads, muffins, pasta prepared from refined flour, refined cereals rice, cream of wheat, pudding, custard Tender and lean meat, fish, shellfish, turkey, chicken, and chicken stock. For a bland diet it is best to stick to cooking methods for meats such as steaming, grilling or baking with no added fat.
Foods to Avoid on a Bland Diet
Avoid the below-mentioned foods when on a bland diet:
- For those on a bland diet for treating diarrhea must avoid all dairy products
- Fresh cream, whipped cream, strong cheese like Roquefort and bleu
- Vegetables such as green pepper, dried peas, onions, corn, cabbage, celery, cauliflower and cucumber
- Wild rice, bran cereals, whole grains, nuts, seeds
- Dried fruits, berries, fresh fruit
- Fried foods, pickles, highly seasoned foods
- Sugary foods, foods with honey, pastries, candies, syrups, marshmallows, molasses, chocolate, peppermint
- Mustard, garlic, chili, onions and hot peppers
- Tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages
When Should You be on a Bland Diet?
Bland diet can be beneficial for improving certain health conditions and for faster recovery after surgeries involving the digestive tract.
- Frequent heartburn and other gastrointestinal health problems: Eating bland foods in short intervals throughout the day can alleviate gastric acidity and also provide relief from gastrointestinal problems and heartburn.
- Diarrhea: Bland dishes made of rice and steamed vegetables during diarrhea, relieves bloating of the stomach, abdominal cramps and stomach pain.
- Eosinophilic esophagitis: It is an inflammation in the esophagus with symptoms such as heartburn and difficulty in swallowing. Eosinophilic esophagitis patients are specifically asked to refrain from caffeine.
- Ulcers: Bland diet for ulcers patients must be made with no or mild seasoning. Small frequent meals are better than a few large meals as foods are easily digested when consumed in small quantities.
- For people with gallbladder stones, a bland diet with fresh juices of fruits and vegetables can be safely consumed.
- Hiatal hernia: For people suffering from hiatal hernia, a condition where stomach pushes into the diaphragm, a bland diet with no extreme food temperatures can greatly help that is the bland foods must not be very cold or very hot.
- Bland diet can also aid weight loss. But it is not recommended for long-term use. It is the controlled meal plans, low-fat dairy products, low-sugar foods and minimal use of oil in a bland diet that contributes to weight loss.
- For breastfeeding women with sensitive stomach, your doctor might recommend eating a bland diet. This is also recommended when infants suffer from colic as a result of their mother’s diet.
Other Bland Food Small Meal Ideas:
- Baked sweet potato
- Grilled carrot sticks with cottage cheese
- Pasta made with spinach and mushrooms
- Noodles with eggs and vegetables
- Rice porridge with carrots, potatoes and spinach
- My doctor told me to go on the bland diet after surgery. What can I actually eat? - (http://www.cookforyourlife.org/recipes/bland-diet)
- Bland Diet - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000068.htm)
Latest Publications and Research on Bland Diet
- TRANSLATION AND CULTURAL ADAPTATION OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET QUALITY INDEX IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS. - Published by PubMed
- Evaluation of a Quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire for 5-Year-Old Children in an Asian Population. - Published by PubMed
- Design and validation of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for the nutritional evaluation of food intake in the Peruvian Amazon. - Published by PubMed
- Evaluation of a Novel Tool for Screening Inadequate Food Intake in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Patients. - Published by PubMed
- Smartphone applications available to pregnant women in the United Kingdom: An assessment of nutritional information. - Published by PubMed