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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Types of Diet >>  Bland Diet

Bland Diet Plan

A bland diet has foods that can be easily digested as these are cooked with minimal spices and oil. Foods like flatulence-causing fruits and vegetables, spicy foods, and fried foods are also eliminated from the diet. Alcoholic beverages and drinks with Xanthine are also eliminated.

Bland Diet Nutrition

  • Bland food can help you avoid or reduce irritation in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • A bland diet is ideal for those with dyspepsia, reflux esophagitis, chronic gastritis, and peptic ulcer disease. This diet is also recommended to patients suffering from hiatal hernia.
  • Patients who have undergone an intestinal or stomach surgery are often recommended a bland food diet.
  • Bland food diet is light and easily digestible.

Here is a list of foods that are incorporated in a bland food diet.

  • Milk and dairy products: Try to include two to three servings of milk or milk products every day. Cottage cheese and mild cheeses can be included in the diet.
  • Vegetables: You might like to include mild-flavored vegetable juices, and other vegetables in canned, frozen or cooked form. Some of the vegetables that you can use in your meals are squashes, spinach, sweet potato, green peas, pumpkin, mushrooms, beans, carrots, beets, and asparagus. You can make yourself a tasty salad with these vegetables and can even mix in bits of lettuce. The vegetables that you must avoid are corn, dried peas, turnips, green pepper, cucumber, onions, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Fruits: You can drink fresh fruit juices.
  • Breads and grains: You can have tortilla, bagel, pita bread, muffins, and plain white rolls. You can have seedless rye breads and breads made with refined wheat. You can even eat macaroni, noodles and pastas. Avoid whole grains and coarse cereals. Avoid wild rice and fried potato chips as well as bread products with dried fruit.
  • Meat and meat substitutes: You can eat lean, tender meat, poultry, fish and shellfish. You can have smooth nut butters, soybean curd and crisp bacon. You might enjoy soups made with meat or chicken stock and cooked with mild seasoning. What you cannot eat as part of the bland diet is cured and smoked meats. Also avoid sardine anchovies, chunky peanut butter, sausages, and corned beef.
  • Fat and snacks: Use the following sparingly in your meals – fortified margarine, butter, mayonnaise, sugar, syrup, molasses, honey, hard candies, and marshmallows. Avoid fried pastries, doughnuts, and desserts with coconut and nuts.

Bland Diet Benefits

Though most people would keep bay from a bland diet, there are a number of bland diet health benefits that any person can experience.

Ulcerative Colitis:

Bland diets are usually recommended for people suffering from ulcerative or inflammatory conditions of the stomach, esophagus, intestines or any such medical conditions. A bland diet plan in such cases is designed in such a manner that it tends to minimize the physical discomfort and irritation while ensuring that the individual gets adequate nutrition. While planning bland diet meals you should always consult the healthcare provider to allow them to asses ones nutritional needs and accordingly recommend the correct diet. Many times it has been observed that ulcerative conditions tend to result in iron deficiency as well as loss of blood thereby making it essential to also have some other nutritional supplements. While deciding on which bland diet foods to consume you should keep in mind certain factors such as the lifestyle and certain individual food tolerances. Besides this, you should avoid the consumption of gastric irritants such as caffeine, carbonated drinks, chili powder, alcohol, specific drugs and even pepper. Bland diet plans are designed in such a way that they tend to limit the symptoms while meeting ones nutritional needs. Vegetables are an essential part of bland diet recipes as they are rich in potassium, folate, vitamin A, C and other such minerals and vitamins. Healthy bland diet menus will always include vegetables that have been freshly cooked and will not include vegetables such as cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower that are known to cause gas and flatulence. Similarly a bland diet plan will include plenty of fresh fruits as they contain antioxidants that tend to protect the cells from oxidation. On the other hand one should avoid citrus fruits that are known to be acidic in nature.

Acid Reflux:

A bland diet for GERD may include plenty of foods that are rich in fiber as fiber tends to aid the digestion process as well as include the consumption of plenty of fluids and fresh drinking water. Avoid the consumption of condiments, chocolates, fried meat and fatty foods that are known to aggravate the condition further. The diet helps those suffering from acid reflux or colitis or gerd because it tends to create and environment in the stomach that makes digestion easier. Additionally, it will also include soft foods and soft foods are known to produce very little peristaltic movement in ones digestive tract. Those following this diet should also not consume foods that have too much of a starchy composition and additionally instead of consuming meats which are difficult to digest, a healthy bland diet plan will suggest the consumption of meal alternatives such as tofu.

Heartburn or Gastrointestinal Disorders:

It includes the consumption of small meals throughout the day to minimize distention and gastric acidity.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis:

It includes decaf coffee as well because studies have shown that even decaffeinated coffee tends to cause esophageal pressure resulting in gastric acid reflux in ones esophagus as well as an increase on the secretion of gastric acid.


It will typically include foods that are soft textured and mild flavored such as breads, fruit juices, cereal with milk and beverages.

Hiatal Hernia:

Those who take up a bland diet for hiatal hernia or other such medical conditions should ensure that along with the bland diet they should try and minimize emotional upsets and worry during their mealtimes , one should avoid the consumption of very hot or very cold foods and also chew their food well and eat slowly.


It will include foods that have minimal seasoning or spices and that is soft and easy to chew.

Gallbladder Stones:

It will also emphasize the consumption of fresh fruit juices and vegetables.


In some cases the doctor may also suggest a bland diet for breastfeeding. This is mostly in the case of those women who have a sensitive stomach. This is essential because breastfeeding women are required to get the required and the right kind of nutrition as the baby is solely dependent on the mother at the initial stages for its supply of nutrients. Additionally some babies may also develop a medical condition known as colic on account of being sensitive to their mother’s diet. A bland diet is also known as an elimination diet wherein, breastfeeding women tend to reduce or completely stop the consumption of foods that are known to be allergenic. Such foods may include eggs, soy, citrus, peanuts, dairy and so on. Before taking up a bland diet for breastfeeding one should first identify the symptoms or signs displayed by the baby signaling the need to switch to a bland diet. These may include difficulty in sleeping, fussiness after being fed, diarrhea, nausea, crying for long periods of time and even stomach upset. All these symptoms signal a reaction to the food being consumed by the mother and then the child via the mother’s breast milk.

Stomach Surgery:

Bland diet meals may also be recommended for patients who have recently undergone stomach surgery or intestinal surgery as bland diet foods are easily digestible and light on the stomach.

Gastrointestinal Disorders:

Bland diet meals are also recommended by most doctors for those who tend to have various gastrointestinal disorders as they have minimal amount of seasonings thereby reducing the possibility of adverse digestive reactions when consumed. It will include foods that have a heavy starch and acidity level such as grain cereals and bread and will instead emphasize on the consumption of fruits, milk, grains and vegetables. Soft foods are an important part of bland diet plans because while consuming these soft foods the stomach does not release too much of the gastric juices which is required for the foods to get digested. This is because soft foods are such that they can be digested easily with minimal stomach juices.

Weight Loss:

One of the benefits of a bland diet on account of the controlled eating is also weight loss. However one should bear in mind that a bland diet is not to be followed on a long term basis for weight loss and weight control because it one may miss out on some essential nutrients if the diet is followed for too long.

Submitted on January 16, 2014