Bland diet includes soft foods hence is also referred to as a “soft diet”. This diet was invented with a motive to reduce peristalsis and prevent irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. Some useful guidelines on the bland diet are discussed below.
A bland diet is particularly made up of foods that are soft, low in fiber and are not very spicy. It is meant to treat people suffering from conditions such as ulcers, vomiting, nausea, heartburn, and gas.
This diet can also be beneficial for people who have undergone stomach or intestinal surgery. While following a bland diet one needs to eliminate fried, spicy and raw foods, caffeine and alcohol from their diet.
The basic requisite to be kept in mind, while following a bland diet, is to eat foods that are easily digestible, tender and mildly seasoned. You should eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables each day, which should include frozen, canned and cooked vegetables such as carrots, spinach, asparagus tips, and squash.
Lettuce can be consumed in small quantity and salads made from the permissible foods can also be eaten. You should avoid all the vegetables that form gas like cucumber, Brussels sprouts, etc.
A bland diet recommends you to eat 2-4 fruit servings daily. It includes cooked or canned fruits without tough fibers, skins, or seeds, all fruit juices, banana, avocado, oranges and grapefruit without membranes. Do not eat figs, berries, and fresh and dried fruits. Milk and milk products, cottage cheese and plain mild cheese are allowed.
Very coarse cereals and whole grains should be avoided in bland diet. But you can eat white, refined wheat products, English Muffins, plain white rolls, soda or plain crackers, cooked, refined cereals like oatmeal, and pita bread, tortillas, etc. Potatoes, enriched rice, barley, macaroni, and couscous can also be consumed.
Foods to be avoided are: bread and bread products containing nuts or dried fruits, potato chips, wild rice, etc. Fats and snacks should be used sparingly and fried pastries, highly seasoned salad dressings should be excluded from diet.
You can eat 2-3 servings of meat and meat substitutes per day. Foods allowed are: eggs, soups, fish, shellfish, and poultry, smooth nut butters, all lean, tender meats, etc.