A bland diet includes foods that are soft, low in dietary fiber and are cooked rather than raw. This type of diet is used to treat ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and gas. A patient also may be prescribed a bland diet after stomach or intestinal surgery.This diet is called bland because it soothes the digestive tract and minimizes the irritation of tissues.
When on a bland diet, individuals should eat small meals and eat more often throughout the day. Also, individuals should refrain from eating within two hours before bedtime, drink fluids slowly and chew food slowly and thoroughly. Individuals should refrain from smoking during a bland diet.
Softer protein sources, such as peanut butter, eggs and tofu, are encouraged over fibrous meats. Fried and fatty foods, strong cheeses, whole grains rich in fiber and medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, should be avoided. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages should also be avoided.
Although portions are strictly controlled, the bland diet is not especially effective as a long-term weight loss solution. Some find a bland diet difficult to maintain, although the use of acceptable spice alternatives does help. Many people return to a more normal diet once their medical issues have been resolved.