Bland Diet: Food to Eat and Avoid

What Is a Bland Diet?

In case you are suffering from any gastric issues or problems like heartburn, ulcers, acid reflux, etc. then your doctor would recommend you to have a bland diet. In case there was a surgery, then also this diet would be prescribed to you to be followed for a short period of time after the surgery in the digestive tract.

A doctor may ask you to follow a bland diet when you get sudden vomiting and diarrhea. If your bouts are affected by the nor virus infection that is spread through food or water contamination.

The bland diet has to be followed when you have some digestion symptoms. The symptoms may usually include nausea and diarrhea, lack of appetite. The problems can worsen due to eating particular foods. The time you need to follow the bland diet will vary according to your specific health condition.

Why eat a bland diet?

When you are sick with the gastrointestinal issue, you can get well with the bland diet. This can cause health issues like vomiting, diarrhoea, and nausea, etc. Bland diet for ulcers is something you can opt for reducing the issues of symptoms and problems. This diet will be effective in getting treated for the ulcers along with some lifestyle changes including stress free lifestyle.

Eating a bland diet is easier as these are soft in texture. It also has less fibre content and of higher pH content and not much spicy. Because of these factors, these foods are easily digestible.

The best part of a bland diet is it is comfortable for your gut as well as satisfies your taste buds. This diet can be treated as the best diet for you when you are suffering from any digestive problems and symptoms. Though your digestive symptoms may differ from one person to another, the main aspect is to know which type of food is suitable to eat in a bland diet and what foods to avoid when you are under the bland diet.

What can you eat on a bland diet?

What is a bland diet is something you might want to know in detail now. Though the preference of foods is different in each person, you can always filter your food choices based on the advice of your doctor or dietician.

When you want to know what is a bland diet, the commonly recommended bland diet food list is as below:

Low-fat dairy

When you consume milk, it is always better to check the fat content in it. It is advisable to intake low fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese or any other dairy products. Due to lactose intolerance and milk protein intolerance, you can suffer from gastric issues.

Hence, as per expert recommendations, if you have peptic ulcers, it is better to avoid dairy products.

Read Also:- Top High Protein Foods to Eat

Certain vegetables

Bland food diet doesn’t mean that you can have all types of vegetables. While you consume vegetables, make sure that the below vegetables are good to eat when you are on a bland diet. Here are some of the vegetable bland diet examples:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • White or sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin

If you are looking for some bland dinner ideas, it will be ideal to use the above-mentioned vegetables. The way you can eat these vegetables can be as fresh, frozen or canned. You can consume as boiled or steamed, but better not to consume as raw vegetables. Avoiding butter or ghee or less oil will be a good idea to ensure less fat intake.

Based on your dietary conditions, some people can intake green vegetables like lettuce in salads. Vegetables causing gastric issues are good to avoid as it can create digestive problems. Especially vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family such as lettuce, kale, broccoli, sprouts, etc.

Low-fiber fruits

For a list of bland foods, you may avoid high fiber fruits. It is good to avoid fruits like bananas and melon. However, you can have avocados even though these are rich in fiber.
Processed grains

Grains are good to have when you are under the bland diet meals, even when they are in the processed foods such as breads, pasta. Refine wheat products are also edible in your bland diet.

However, if you are intolerant to gluten, then you can have the below choices of foods:

  • Cooked cereals
  • White pasta
  • Oatmeal

Poultry, eggs, and fish

Poultry products like lean meats and marine foods are good for a bland diet. With mild seasonings and by boiling or cooking, the below lean protein food for a bland diet

  • Skinless chicken
  • Fish, such as salmon and trout
  • Shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster, and crab
  • Eggs
  • Tofu

Cream-based soups

Having cream-based soups is also a good choice when you are in a bland diet. They are of low fat as well as include only mild seasoning. These are some of the best bland diet choices for anyone due to its mild taste and easily digestible properties.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea can be taken during your bland diet. This is a good drink choice which you can take with or without honey.

Dessert foods

Unlike other diet plans, bland diet foods don’t ask you to control on any dessert foods. This is the best part of this diet if you have a craving for sweet dishes. Some of the dessert choices you can have are as below:

  • Vanilla pudding
  • Marshmallows
  • Plain cookies
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • jam without seeds

However, the important point to note is to ensure there is a need to reduce or avoid the use of added sugar in these desserts which can, in turn, worsen the symptoms.

Seasoning To Avoid in Desserts:

Also, make sure they are seasoned in a moderate manner. More seasoning will lead to issues like stomach irritation and some such seasoning that may make it intolerant for your stomach. It would be good to avoid more seasoning of the below things:

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Salt

Make sure you use only the mild flavors for seasoning so that it will not irritate your stomach in a bad way.

Foods To Avoid For Bland Diet

As we know the impact of taking food is different from one person to another. When some foods make heartburn to people, others may be fine with that food. Hence, the heartburn or gastric symptoms of foods like tomato, garlic, potato, and caffeinated tea will not be similar in the case of every one of us.

In general, there are certain foods to avoid in a bland diet. Such foods are as below:

High-fat dairy

Dairy products that are of high-fat content need to be avoided. These are as below:

  • Whole milk
  • Whipped cream
  • Ice cream
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Bleu cheese
  • Roquefort cheese

Dairy products can bring some symptoms in the people when you are planning for a bland diet. Hence, it is recommended to totally avoid dairy products.

Certain vegetables

There are some vegetables that create more gas in the stomach. Hence, such vegetables need to be avoided for your better health by following the bland diet.

  • Cruciferous types, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Cabbage

Tomatoes and its products are highly acidic and hence, these foods have to be avoided.

Seeded and acidic fruit

Seeds and skins of different fruits and vegetables are not good if you are following a bland diet. The acidic properties in some fruits can create heartburn in some people. Here are some of such acidic fruits to avoid in your bland food list.

  • All berries
  • Grapes
  • Prunes
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruits

So, it will be better to avoid taking any fruit juices as well as dried fruits.

Whole grains

Whole grains are usually packed with high fibre content and therefore such foods should be avoided. The gluten in the whole grains can also raise the stomach symptoms. Foods like barley, rye, wheat, etc should be avoided. Such whole grains that have gluten are as below:

Avoid these:

  • Wheat bread
  • Grain bread
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Added sugars

Poultry and fatty meats

Low fat foods can be taken when you are in a bland diet. However, foods with high fats like red meats and poultry products have to be avoided when you follow this diet.

You have to follow a low fat bland diet and especially you need to avoid taking fatty and greasy or fried protein foods. These foods are prone to create more gastric problems. Beef and chicken with their skin and fried fish can be more problems which can also create digestive and gut problems.

Fatty meats, poultry, beans, and fish

Lentils and dried or canned beans of all types can generate the gas. Beef, chicken with the skin on, and fried fish may also irritate your gut. It is also recommended to avoid fish and meat sauces as precautions when you have bland foods to eat.

Alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages

Having alcohol is another issue when you are in a bland diet. Caffeinated drinks may also cause stomach related problems. Some of such beverages include coffee, tea, and soda.

Dressings and sauces

Sometimes dressing and certain sauces can cause problems in your diet when you follow bland diet foods. It can elevate the stomach upsets rather than reducing the problems. Mustard ketchup, salad dressings are some common foods that can be problematic. Hence, these foods are to be avoided while having your bland diet recipes. In this list, some other such dressings and sauces that you should stop eating during a bland diet are as below:

  • Fatty desserts, such as cheesecake and dark chocolate
  • Olives
  • Popcorn
  • Granola
  • Nuts

Meal Plan for Bland Diet

If you want to know what foods are on a bland diet and proper bland diet menu so that you can make ideal bland diet recipes, below is the list of foods you can intake.

Suggested Meal plan Suggested foods and beverages
Breakfast

  • Fruit juice
  • Cereal with Milk
  • Meat/Meat Substitute
  • Bread/Margarine
  • Beverage
  • Orange Juice
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft Cooked Egg
  • Toast
  • Milk, Decaffeinated Tea
Noon or evening meal

  • Soup 
  • Meat/Meat Substitute
  • Vegetable
  • Fruit Juice
  • Dessert
  • Bread/Margarine
  • Beverage
  • Cream Soup & Crackers
  • Meat Loaf without Gravy
  • Buttered Green Beans
  • Apricot Juice
  • Apricot Juice
  • Bread & Margarine
  • Milk
Dinner

  • Juice
  • Meat/Meat Substitute
  • Vegetable
  • Dessert
  • Bread
  • Beverage
  • Tomato Juice
  • Sliced Baked Chicken & Noodles
  • Peas
  • Applesauce
  • Bread, Butter or Margarine
  • Milk

Important Bland Diet Tips

  • When you follow a bland diet, it is necessary to follow a particular bland diet foods regime, unlike your normal diet routine.
  • Always prefer to eat foods at small intervals rather than having heavy meals at 3 times a day. Larger meals can affect the digestive system.
  • Each meal needs to be eaten slowly without overdoing it.
  • You can reduce digestive symptoms with the use of supplements such as aloe vera.
  • It is also recommended to avoid intake of foods at later night or at the odd hours which is not familiar to your biological clock.
  • Try not to go to sleep with a full stomach as it can worsen the symptoms.

FAQ

Your bland diet menu may include some of the must haves which you cannot skip when you are suffering from heartburn, nausea, vomiting etc. You need to include soft and low fiber foods in the bland diet menu. Also try to reduce spicy foods and seasonings in your diet. Avoid fried foods and oil in your dishes while having a bland diet.

Better avoid fried potatoes. However, potatoes when baked are good to have. You can also have sweet potatoes in the bland diet.

Eating lean meats like tuna which is either canned or fresh is a good choice in your bland diet. However, you should limit frying it or adding spices while cooking.

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