Bland diets are useful for people having trouble with their digestive system. They are used to treat chronic gastritis, ulcers, heartburn, nausea, chronic diarrhoea and reflux disease. Bland diets are also followed after having surgery on your digestive tract.
A bland diet consists of foods that are easily digestible and contain little-to-no spices or oil. Foods must be soft and low in fibre. Foods that you may eat on a bland diet include:
- Low-fat dairy: Skimmed milk, low-fat cheese, and frozen yoghurt
- Lean meat: Skinless chicken and turkey, extra lean ground beef, fish and meat substitutes (tofu, Quorn)
- Refined (white) grains: white rice, bread, pasta and crackers
- Canned/soft fruits: canned peach, avocado, banana, apple sauce and fruit juice
- Cooked/soft vegetables: sweet potato, squash, spinach, mushroom, carrots and small amounts of lettuce
Certain foods need to be avoided as they can irritate the gastrointestinal tract. These include:
- High-fat dairy foods: whipped cream, full fat milk, strong cheese and full fat ice cream
- Gassy vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, onions and dried peas
- Certain fruits: dried fruits, berries and cucumber
- Whole grains: brown rice, bread, pasta and bran cereals
- Seasoned, smoked, processed and cured meat or fish
- Fried foods
When following a bland diet it is also advised that you don’t eat within two hours of bed time, drink and eat slowly, eat smaller but more frequent meals, and chew your food more.