A gastrointestinal (GI) Soft Bland Diet is commonly used for a variety of consumers, patients and reasons. I recognize the GI Soft Bland diet is a long name for someone to adhere to, yet the use of it is multifaceted. One might be placed on this diet: as a “transition” diet–from clear liquid to a general diet; due to gastrointestinal diseases (i.e. Crohn’s Disease, gastroparesis, diverticulitis); acid reflux and/or due to intolerance to spicy flavors.
A GI soft bland diet consists of low residue, low fiber foods. These types of foods are soft in texture and easy to swallow and digest. While the foods may be “lighter’ in texture, this type of diet is still nutritionally adequate.
It’s also important to identify the difference between a GI soft bland diet and mechanical soft. These two diets are NOT interchangeable. While a GI soft bland diet is for those that have a hard time swallowing, mechanical soft is for those that have difficulty chewing (i.e. those with dental problems).
Essentially, a GI soft bland diet provides one’s GI tract time to “rest”, prior to the reintroduction to a regular-high fiber diet.
- Indigestible fiber is reduced by using cooked, tender or canned legumes and vegetables.
- Seeds, nuts and skin must be removed and avoided (i.e. no strawberries due to seeds)
- Limited to tender, soft cuts of meet–no pork roast or “tough” meats
- Limit sharp and/or highly seasoned cheeses
- Limit fried foods, rich gravies and sauces, lunch meats, sausages and/or hot dogs
- Avoid high fiber grains, such as bran or whole wheat
- Avoid desserts with chocolate, nuts, dates or raisins
- No caffeine (i.e. coffee, tea, soda) or alcohol
- Avoid gas forming veggies such as beans, corn, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, turnips, peppers, etc.
- Avoid highly flavored salad dressings and/or condiments (i.e. mustard, Tabasco, sriracha)
- Can eat bananas, but all other raw, fresh fruits should be avoided
While this diet’s recommendations are meant to provide comfort to its patients, one may need to make personal modifications!
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