Bland diet for digestive problems

Bland diet is a soft, non-spicy, low fiber diet. It is recommended for people with certain digestive conditions such as diverticulitis, pancreatitis, bowel obstruction, and colitis.

Types of bland diet 

Bland diets are clear liquid diet, low fiber diet and non-spicy diet.

Examples of bland diet

  • Cooked vegetables.
  • Low fat or fat free milk.
  • Fruit juices and vegetable juices.
  • White flour breads, crackers, and pasta.
  • Light cereals with low fiber.
  • Lean meat.
  • Fish and sea food.
  • Peanut butter, jelly and seedless jam.
  • Pudding and custard
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Soup and broth.
  • Weak tea.
  • Clear liquid diet.

What to avoid if you are on a bland diet

  • Raw vegetables.
  • High fat dairy products such as whipped cream or high-fat ice cream.
  • Strong cheeses, such as bleu, Monterey Jack  or Roquefort cheese.
  • Fried foods.
  • Dried fruits.
  • Whole-grain or bran cereals.
  • Whole-grain breads, crackers, or pasta.
  • Spices, such as hot pepper and garlic.
  • Foods with high sugar content.
  • Seeds and nuts.
  • Highly seasoned, smoked or cured meats and fish.
  • Very rich and creamy foods.
  • Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.

Who should be on a bland diet

  • Patients recovering from abdominal surgery.
  • Those with diverticulitis.
  • Patients with severe colitis.
  • Those with severe esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus caused by acid reflux).
  • Patients with persistent nausea and vomiting.
  • Those with bowel obstruction.
  • Patients with acute pancreatitis.

Who should not be on a bland diet 

  • Patients with diverticulosis.
  • Those with irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Patients with celiac disease.
  • Those with ulcerative colitis or crohn’s disease that are in remission.

How to do the bland diet 

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Stay hydrated.
  • Eat small meals multiple times a day.
  • Chew your food carefully.
  • Avoid late meals. Do not eat 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Stop tobacco.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • The bland diet is not a permanent diet. If your bowel obstruction or diverticulitis resolves, you don’t have to remain on a bland diet.

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