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Q.

What is meant by a "bland diet," and what kinds of foods are encouraged and discouraged?

 

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A.

A bland diet generally involves avoiding foods and drinks that could irritate the digestive tract. Foods that can irritate the digestive tract include, but are not limited to:

  • Raw vegetables and fruits

  • Alcohol

  • Coffee

  • Tea

  • Highly spiced foods

Instead, choose foods that are low in fiber, lightly seasoned and soft. A bland diet can limit some key nutrients. Fortunately, most people don't need to follow a bland diet for very long.

Today, a common reason to start a bland diet in the short term is during the initial recovery from some type of gastrointestinal surgery.

In the past, the bland diet was routinely used in the management of ulcers, but that is no longer the case.

Copyright 4/8/2008 Harvard University. All rights reserved. HHP/HMS content licensing handled by Belvoir Media Group.

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