What is a Bland Diet?
There are so many diets out there in the market right now, different diets depending on the result that you need. Because a lot of people want to lose weight, diets are totally in the zone. Nonetheless, there are still diets that are specific to certain stomach problems of people or even animals and one of them is known as the bland diet.
What is the bland diet?
Simply put, the bland diet is a diet that consists of foods that are cooked instead of serving as raw, mostly they are soft, not spicy and practically with zero dietary fiber. There is this certain need to avoid foods that are fried or fatty, whole grain foods that are rich in fiber are also a no-no and so are strong cheeses and some medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
The diet is called bland since it sooth the digestive tract and also minimizes the irritations in the tissues of the tract itself. It might also be called that way because in a sense, it does lack flavor which is the meaning of bland. However, it does not need to be lacking in flavor, at least not always for there are foods that are within this diet that can also be quite appetizing, all depending on the way the food is prepared and the preferences of the person to be on the diet.
Facts Bland diet
There are a lot of facts about the bland diet than you may know of and in order to understand more about bland diets, here are some of them:
- Bland diets are usually recommended to people who have had intestinal or stomach surgery before or those people who had experience with heartburn, ulcer, vomiting, nausea, gas and the like. The diet allows the digestive tract to be soothed and healed before it is introduced to other foods that may be difficult to digest.
- There are actually quite a lot of dairy products and milk products that are allowed on the diet and some are even recommended on the bland diet given that there is some exception to the rules. Of course, chocolate flavored products are strongly forbidden along with spiced cheeses or those dairy products that are high in fats like half and half and heavy cream. Dairy foods that are mild can sooth linings that are irritated. However, those with excessive fats like spices can and cocoa may have the adverse effects.
- Canned vegetables and canned fruits are practically okay to consume as long as they are not tomatoes. Those sauces that are based on tomatoes are highly avoided especially on pastas. Bananas are okay, good even, but acidic fruits that are high in fiber must be taken note of and avoided at all costs. Sweet potatoes and baked potatoes are quite easy to digest but toppings such as butter has high fat and must be avoided. Pickles and other vinegar based foods are strongly a no-no. Any other sour fermented food such as sauerkraut should also be a no-no.
- One of the difficult adjustments that need to be done would be to involve proteins and meat. If you are going for a strict bland diet, it is important to go for protein, peanut butter that are softer. Tofu and eggs and the like are also encouraged rather than going for seasoned meat.
- There are certain meat that can be allowed as long as they are not deep fried, processed or breaded such as fish and poultry that are steamed or served together with a salt substitute.
- This diet is designed to help those patients with gastrointestinal conditions to recover or those who have medical circumstances that they need to cope with where in improving their digestion would be important to them.
- This diet is not effective to be used like any other long term diet out there as it is a diet for recovery and it is very hard to maintain. Some even uses accepted spices just to make it easier to belong to this diet type.
- Also, most people who uses this diet has gone back to their normal diet once their problem or issues with digestion has been resolved.
Foods to eat vs Foods you cannot eat
If you are going to go on this type of diet: the bland diet, it is necessary to know what type of foods you can eat and what are the things you cannot eat. Here are some of the foods that you can and cannot eat.
- You can go grab some dairy products and even milk products off the shelves of your local grocery or super market but you have to make sure that they are practically low fat or fat free, otherwise, you need to shelve those cartons of milk back.
- You can opt for vegetables whether they are canned, cooked or frozen, just grab them from the ref and cook them up or eat them raw although the best would be to cook them as raw foods are not encouraged in this type of diet.
- If you are into juices, like fruit and vegetable juices, then you can go for it! Fruit and vegetable juices are allowed in this diet but those people especially people having GERD should try avoiding citrus fruits such as orange and mango.
- Things that are made with white flour that has been refined are totally a go! Crackers, breads, pasta as long as it is made from that type of flour, you can splurge on eating them. Cook them any way you want and just go for it and enjoy your day eating them!
- Hot cereals that are refined like farina cereal or Cream of wheat is also highly encouraged. If you are into this stuff, you can enjoy your heart’s desire and eat this until you do not feel like eating anymore.
- No worry if you are into meat as you can actually still eat them! Go for the tender, lean meats like poultry, shellfish, white fish and have them steamed, baked, grilled and make sure that there is no fat added and you can enjoy them for as long as you want!
- A lot of people are into buttery things and foods with peanut butter. Well, great news! Peanut butter, as long as it is creamy is allowed in the bland diet! You can now make your favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and eat them until you satisfy your stomach!
- If you are into desserts, then custard and pudding are allowed for you! Hey, who in the world does not love desserts? This can make or break your meal and you know it!
- Eggs are practically the most basic food that anyone can try to cook and if you are into cooking, you know the importance of eggs. Luckily, this is included in the diet!
- If you are into hot foods, then soup is one of the things that must be in your list of food you want. Worry not because soup is included! Just make sure that they have broth and that they are healthy for you!
- Tea is one of the most popular beverages nowadays and is it not amazing that tea is also included in the things you can eat or drink during this diet? Yes, because tea is that amazing, it makes it into the list! You just have to make sure that it is strong, instead of weak.
Foods to Avoid
Now, moving on to the foods that you might want to do your best to avoid even if that means you need to close your eyes or cover your nose or even just shutting your mouth up not to take a single bite even when you are already drooling.
- Whipped cream and ice cream are actually high in fats and you cannot go for foods that are high in fat when you are in a bland diet so this is a big no-no.
- Cheeses that are strong like Roquefort or bleu cheese are also not in your league. If you want to keep yourself in this diet, you need to learn to follow the rules so forget about the cheese and focus on the meats that are allowed for you.
- Okay, so if you are a vegetarian, just one thing is needed, you need to forget about eating your vegetables raw! Make sure they are cooked. Boil them, toss them in the pan, heat them up, just do not eat them raw because this is going to affect your diet.
- You cannot have gas in your stomach when you are going for this type of diet so push aside those greens that are prone to making you gassy such as cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, cabbage and green peppers and more. As long as it makes you gassy, you need to say no to eating it.
- If you are into berries, say goodbye to them once you have decided to enter this diet. You need to be really careful in selecting your food, seedy fruits are not allowed.
- Fruits are delicious and juicing them out and drinking them is totally within your reach but drying them is definitely not so as sad as it sounds you need to stop your relationship with dried fruits.
- Bran cereals or breads or pasta or crackers can be put in the forgotten list as you need to erase them from your meals, completely! You can try to forget they even existed in the first place. Yeah, you should definitely go for other types of food.
- Spicy foods can be erased from your list because they are definitely not allowed as they can irritate your stomach extremely! Forget peppers, forget garlics and anything that says hot and spicy because you need to shut them off.
- Sweet foods that have a lot of sugar content must also be forgotten along with other food types.
- Fried foods are a no-no and you need to take good care of your body and leave the caffeine and alcoholic drinks exactly where they are, you cannot even dare to take a single sip or forget about this diet at all and suffer the consequences.
Bland diet for Dogs
For dogs, practically the same type of what to eat and what not to eat applies. Mostly, the bland diet is recommended for dogs that are suffering from diarrhea. What you need to remember as an owner is that they need food that can easily be digested. Go for boiled hamburger and add in some white rice for some few days.
Check the signs for your dog: if there are no symptoms such as weakness, abdominal pain and vomiting, then you should consult the veterinarian and have your dog checked. Otherwise, that type of diet would be just fine.