Bland diet for gastritis, ulcers, diarrhea, and reflux disease

By: Mohan Garikiparithi | Colon And Digestive | Friday, January 13, 2017 - 08:00 AM

bland-diet-for-gastritisEating a bland diet is often recommended for conditions like gastritis, ulcer, diarrhea, and reflux disease. By adhering to a bland diet, patients can experience relief from symptoms and promote healing of the digestive system, particularly after surgery.

A bland diet consists of soft foods that are not spicy and low in fiber. Too much fiber can be taxing on the digestive system so if it isn’t working properly.

A bland diet is based on the principals of avoiding spicy foods, fried food, raw food, as well as alcohol and caffeine.

You should follow a bland diet until otherwise notified by your doctor. They will instruct you on when it is safe to resume eating all types of food once again.

When should you be on a bland diet?

The premise of a bland diet is avoiding or at least limiting your intake of foods that can irritate the digestive system. A bland diet is therefore recommended for individuals dealing with certain health conditions or recovering from surgery.

Some of these conditions include acid reflux or frequent heartburn, diarrhea, eosinophilic esophagitis, ulcers, frequent gallstones, and hiatal hernia. People who are looking to lose weight and breastfeeding women who have a sensitive stomach can benefit from a bland diet, too.

Bland diet: Foods to eat and avoid

Foods you can eat while on a bland diet include:

  • Milk and other dairy products, low-fat or fat-free only
  • Cooked, canned, or frozen vegetables
  • Fruit juices and vegetable juices (some people, especially GERD patients, may want to avoid citrus juices)
  • Breads, crackers, and pasta made with refined white flour
  • Refined hot cereals
  • Lean, tender meats, such as poultry, whitefish, and shellfish that are steamed, baked, or grilled with no added fat
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Pudding and custard
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Soup, especially broth
  • Weak tea

Foods to avoid on a bland diet include:

  • Fatty dairy foods, such as whipped cream or high-fat ice cream
  • Strong cheeses, such as bleu or Roquefort
  • Raw vegetables
  • Vegetables that make you gassy, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green peppers, and corn
  • Seedy fruits such as berries or figs
  • Dried fruits
  • Whole-grain or bran cereals
  • Whole-grain breads, crackers, or pasta
  • Pickles, sauerkraut, and similar foods
  • Spices, such as hot pepper and garlic
  • Foods with a lot of sugar
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Highly seasoned, cured or smoked meats and fish
  • Fried foods
  • Alcoholic beverages and drinks with caffeine

Bland diet chart

The bland diet chart below developed by Genesis and outlines what to eat and what to avoid in each food category.

Food Category Foods Recommended Foods to Avoid
Grains Any – such as pasta, rice, bulgur
(Note: prepared without fat [such as oil, butter])
Grains prepared with fat
Vegetables Any
(Note: prepared without fat)
Vegetables prepared with fat (such as French fries, mashed potatoes made with butter or cream), tomato juice, tomato sauce
Fruits Any (except citrus)
(Note: prepared without fat)
Citrus fruits and juices
Milk Low-fat or non-fat milk, soy milk, buttermilk, powdered milk, low-fat or non-fat yogurt, low-fat or non-fat cheese, low-fat or non-fat ice cream, sherbet Whole and 2% milk products, cream, regular cheese
Meats and Beans Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, soy, dried beans, nuts, and nut butters
(Note: prepared without added fat)
Fried meats, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, salami, bologna, hot dogs
Snacks, Sweets, and Condiments All unless listed Pepper, chili powder, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, rich desserts (such as cakes and pastries), doughnuts, chocolate
Beverages Water, non-fat or low-fat milk, juice, caffeine-free soda, and herbal tea Peppermint or spearmint teas, decaffeinated or regular coffee and tea, caffeinated soda or energy drinks, chocolate milk, hot cocoa, alcoholic beverages
Fats and Oils Less than 8 teaspoons per day


Bland diet suggestions

There are other considerations to be aware of when embarking on a bland diet. You should switch to eating smaller meals more frequently, make sure you chew your food slowly and properly, quit smoking, avoid eating within two hours of bedtime, eliminate foods on the “avoid” list, drink fluids slowly, and avoid medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen as these can be irritating for the stomach.

Bland diet sample menu

To get started, here is a sample bland diet three-day menu.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Scrambled or poached eggs cooked without fat
Hominy grits
Stewed or canned pears
Oatmeal or cooked rice cereal (sweetened with a small amount of honey or maple syrup)
Canned or stewed fruit
Rice cereal or cornflakes with low-fat, skim, or rice milk
Stewed fruit
Strained fruit or applesauce
Sponge cake
Cup yogurt
Saltine crackers
Plain rice cakes with creamy nut butter
Creamy peanut or almond butter sandwich on white bread
Cottage cheese
Vanilla pudding made with low-fat, skim or rice milk
Grilled chicken breast
Mashed potatoes made with low-fat, skim or rice milk and no butter
Steamed or boiled carrots
Stewed peaches or canned fruit cocktail
Cup of chicken noodle soup
Plain crackers (not whole grain)
Cottage cheese
Baked or broiled chicken
Steamed white rice or boiled noodles
Cooked peas or green beans
Rice pudding made with low-fat, skim, or rice milk
Broiled salmon
White rice or couscous
Steamed asparagus
Angel food cake
Broiled whitefish
Cooked peas
Baked potato with low-fat or fat-free sour cream
Frozen yogurt
Low-fat cottage cheese
Arrowroot cookie
Plain crackers (not whole grain)
Baked apple drizzled with maple syrup


Related: Gastritis stomach inflammation symptoms, causes and treatment

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