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Fruit juices and other easily digested foods are allowed on the bland diet.
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A bland diet consists of foods that are designed to be easily handled by the digestive tract. A bland diet may be needed for people who are recovering from surgery on the digestive tract or who have problems with nausea, heartburn or other digestive issues. Foods allowed on a bland diet are generally soft and not heavily seasoned.
The bland diet includes foods from all of the major food groups. Mild cheeses, cottage cheese and low-fat dairy products are allowed. Fruits and vegetables can be consumed as long as they are well cooked, canned or juiced. For grains, choose foods made with refined white or wheat flour. Cooked refined cereals, such as cream of wheat and oatmeal are also safe. Enriched white rice and pasta are also allowed on a bland diet. Lean, tender meats such as turkey and chicken as well as fish and shellfish can provide protein on a bland diet.
Other Recommended Foods
Most soups, especially broths, can be consumed on a bland diet. Beverages without caffeine, including fruit drinks and herbal teas, can also be consumed as tolerated. For sweets, molasses, seedless jams, honey, marshmallows and plain chocolate candies can be consumed in moderation. Certain fats and oils, such as margarine, mild salad dressings and mayonnaise, can be consumed, but should be used sparingly.
Foods to Avoid
As a general rule, people on bland diets should avoid foods that are heavily seasoned or greasy, such as fried foods. Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds should also be avoided, as they can irritate the digestive tract. Gas-forming vegetables, such as cauliflower, peppers, onions, broccoli and cabbage should also be avoided. Finally, alcohol and caffeine should be excluded from a bland diet.
People following a bland diet may benefit from eating smaller, more frequent meals. Drinking liquids slowly and chewing food thoroughly may also reduce the stress put on the digestive tract. It may also help to not go to bed within two hours of eating. Finally, for people on a bland, eliminating any food that causes discomfort, even if it is on the "allowed" list is advisable.