Understanding importance of Bland diet and Bland foods: A bland diet is used in conjunction with lifestyle changes to address health issues such as ulcers, acidity, nausea, vomiting, and GERD. Doctors generally advise it to patients when they undergo an intestinal or stomach surgery.
Bland Foods diet involves foods that are low in fiber and soft foods that are easy to digest. Foods that are fried, spicy, raw, or caffeine-rich foods are not allowed. Let us learn more about the bland diet and its benefits in detail.
16 Bland foods for a Bland diet
Bland Foods in any bland diet comprises of foods that are plain with no taste. You may not find these foods to be appealing to your taste buds. This diet is made up of foods that are low in fat and fiber so that it gets easily digested and does not put any strain on your digestive organs. Here is a detailed listing of foods that you can eat on this soft or low-residue diet.
Milk and other dairy products
Low-fat dairy items that include skimmed milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and other fat-free or low-fat products
Cooked, frozen or canned form of vegetables are included in bland foods.
Yams and potatoes with skins that are either baked, creamed, boiled, mashed or diced are part of bland foods.
Canned fruit, apple sauce, muskmelons, watermelons, and bananas etc are part of bland foods diet.
You can drink all types of vegetable and fruit juices except citrus juices. people who are suffering from chronic digestion issues such as GERD, or IBS, should refrain from drinking tomato and citrus juices
Flour based items
Bread, crackers, and pasta made with refined white flour are commonly recommended food items in bland diet.
Refined, hot cereals, such as cream of wheat (farina cereal) are perfect examples of bland foods for breakfast.
Lean, tender meats, such as poultry, whitefish, and shellfish that are steamed, baked, or grilled with no added fat
Butter and Oils
In fats, you can eat creamy peanut butter, margarine, mayonnaise, homemade butter, canola oil, olive oil, and mild salad dressings.
In desserts, you can eat plain or flavored gelatin, pound cake, jam/jelly, syrup, honey, sponge cake, pudding, ice-cream, non- peppermint, and non-chocolate custard, ice milk, tapioca pudding, and cookies. Ensure that all these foods should be made from low-fat milk.
In grains, you can eat rice, wheat, tortillas, melba toast, English muffins, white bread, multigrain bread, rolls, pasta, refined and hot cereals like cream of wheat, vanilla wafers, Graham crackers and other foods made from fortified/enriched flour.
Fruit based water or milk Popsicle are generally part of any good bland diet. It can serve as snack in bland foods diet.
Protein rich food
In protein sources, you are advised to eat only those foods that have low calorie and fat content. These include creamy peanut/almond butter, eggs, well-cooked and fat-free chicken, fish, lamb, pork, and veal. You can also eat lean and tender meats in a steamed, grilled, or baked form such as whitefish, shellfish, and poultry with no added fat.
Tofu made from soybeans that are ground in water, then heated, and thickened with minerals like calcium or magnesium salt. Tofu is rich in many nutrients good for human body
Soup and broth are allowed in this diet. You can season them with salt, mustard seeds, allspice, thyme, cinnamon, paprika, other powdered spices in moderation.
In beverages, you are allowed to drink weak tea, herbal or decaffeinated tea, freshly pressed and unsweetened vegetable and fruit juices, water, sports drinks, and caffeine-free carbonated drinks.
Prohibited in Bland Foods Diet
All foods that are slow to digest and heavy on the stomach are not advised to be consumed on a bland diet. Here is a list of foods that are excluded from a bland diet:
- high-fat dairy foods, such as ice cream, whipped cream, creamy milkshakes, etc.
- strong cheeses that include Roquefort cheese, or bleu
- raw fruit and vegetable salads
- citrus fruits and tomatoes in all forms
- vegetables that cause the build-up of gas in the system such as cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, corn, and green peppers
- dried fruits
- bran cereals and whole-grain
- whole-grain bread, pasta, and crackers
- fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles
- strong spices and seasonings, such as garlic, and hot pepper
- sweet, and foods with added sugar
- nuts and seeds due to the high amount of fiber in them
- highly cured, smoked and seasoned meats and fish
- fibrous and tough meats
- spicy and fried foods
- alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages
- medicine such as aspirin or ibuprofen
Bland Food Diet Benefits
A Bland Food diet is effective in the treatment of following types of medical conditions:
Bacterial food poisoning
Your doctor may recommend a bland diet if you are suffering from bacterial food poisoning. Eat a bland diet for a few days till the condition cures, and return to a normal diet.
Bland diets are beneficial to get relief from certain digestion-related conditions that include heartburn, stomach ulcers, GERD, etc. The foods included in this diet are light on digestive organs, i.e., stomach and intestine in the body. Eating these foods helps reduce the frequency of heartburns in the body.
Treats Upset stomach
A bland diet is helpful in the treatment of an upset stomach. It comprises of foods that have low fat and fiber content in them. These foods are easy to digest and does not cause any irritation in the stomach, throat, mouth, and intestines. Your digestive system does not need to make any extra effort to digest these foods.
A bland diet is also beneficial in the cure of morning sickness in expecting mothers. This diet reduces episodes of vomiting. Consuming a bland diet in smaller and frequent meals helps relieve nausea and belatedness.
After Gastric Surgery
Your doctor would suggest you go for a bland diet after gastric surgery. While you are recovering, you are not permitted to consume normal food as your stomach is not recuperated yet and may lack the ability to digest food properly. Due to this reason, soft foods are recommended for some time after gastric surgery. Once you recover completely, you can resume your normal diet.
Gastrointestinal bowel disease:
This is another important benefit of going on a bland diet. This diet is advised in Gastroenteritis or infectious diarrhea and chronic cases of Crohn’s, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or inflammatory bowel disease.
At the time of suffering from diarrhea, your stomach may not perform to the best of its capabilities. This makes it important to give it some rest. A bland diet is advised in diarrhea as it may offer comfort and fulfill your nutritional needs effectively. (1)
Useful Tips To Follow When On A Bland Diet
A bland diet is easy on your stomach and intestine that eases digestion. Here are a few dietary tips that will further help in facilitating the digestion process.
- Eat frequent meals in smaller amounts many times in the day.
- Slowly chew the food and chew it properly before you swallow it.
- stop smoking
- limit your alcohol consumption as it is hard on your stomach
- do not eat anything two hours before going to sleep
- completely avoid foods that are not allowed to eat on this diet
- make a habit of drinking drinks and beverages slowly.
You need to follow this diet until you do not recover completely. Your doctor will advise when you can begin to resume your normal diet again. Even if you are cured, it is beneficial to stick to only healthy foods. You can even refer to a nutritionist or a dietitian to design a healthy diet. (2)
Commonly Asked Questions
Here are a few Frequently asked questions on Bland foods and Bland diet.
What foods are bland and easy to digest?
Foods are soft and quick to digest are bland. They are the perfect foods to eat when you have a sluggish digestive system or suffering from digestive issues:
1. low fat or fat-free dairy products
2. cooked, frozen and canned vegetables
4. bananas, canned fruit, apple sauce, and melons
5. fruit and vegetable juices except for citrus fruits and tomatoes
6. bread, pasta, crackers, that are made using refined white flour
refined foods and hot cereals
7. tender and lean meats that include poultry, shellfish, and whitefish in steamed, grilled, and baked form with no added fat
8.creamy peanut and almond butter
9. low-fat custard and pudding
10. vanilla wafers
11. graham crackers and
16. soup, and broth
17. herbal teas and decaffeinated beverages and drinks
Can you eat mashed potatoes on a bland diet?
Yes. You can eat mashed potatoes in a bland diet. They are the ideal replacement for fried eggs, potatoes, bread, and meats. Baked, broiled, or mashed foods are healthier for your digestive system.
Are bananas bland food?
Yes. Bananas is a bland food, and you can include it in any form such as fruit salad, milkshake, and any other form. The major benefit of banana is that it is soft and gets digested quickly in the body. The high potassium content in this fruit aids in digestion. This makes them beneficial in the treatment of diarrhea that can lead to loss of potassium in the body.
How do you make a bland tasty diet?
Many people think that bland foods can’t make a tasty dish. This is not true. There are several ways in which you can add flavors and varieties to your bland diet and make it more tempting.
1. Substitute pepper by thyme on your chicken to make it taste delicious.
2. Nutmeg is a spice used in the preparation of various types of desserts. As it is strong in nature, you can replace it with cinnamon for a tasty treat.
3. You can’t eat nuts on a bland diet, and there are no other foods that can give you the same level of crunchiness and flavor of nuts. However, it is permitted to add peanut or almond butter to your delicious dishes.
4. Avoid raw vegetables and fruits as they are high in fiber. Your stomach will have to work more to digest them. So, in place of these foods, you can try pureed fruits or applesauce to make it a fruit-filled treat.
5. If you have been habitual of caffeine-rich beverages, then it may be difficult to avoid caffeinated beverages. You can substitute it with herbal tea, sparkling water, or coconut water.
6. In place of fried potatoes, eggs, etc., you can try consuming them in baked, broiled, or mashed form with seasoning and olive oil dressing to make it more flavorful.