Bland Diet – What Is It And How To Do It?

Reviewed by Madhu Sharma, Registered Dietitian
Written by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Do you have acidity, diarrhea, or stomach ulcers? Or, did you recently undergo a stomach or intestinal surgery? If yes, stop eating spicy, greasy, and salty foods immediately and start following the bland diet. Read on to know more.

A bland diet doesn’t mean you have to eat tasteless food. Since your stomach is sensitive, you need to ensure you don’t do anything to irritate your stomach or the intestinal lining. So, you must avoid foods that are potential stomach irritants. This diet can also work for those who want to avoid eating spicy food or get rid of breakouts. In fact, many people who started following the bland diet never resumed their older dietary habits because this diet improved their overall health.

For now, remember, like spicy doesn’t equal tasty, bland doesn’t equal tasteless. In this article, we will tell you about the basic dietary guidelines of the bland diet, foods to eat and avoid, bland diet menus and recipes, and yoga positions to help treat your stomach problems. Let’s begin!

1. Dietary Guidelines

You should take utmost care to avoid irritating the stomach walls. These dietary guidelines will help you understand what type of foods you should choose at home or while eating out. Take a look.

  1. Always eat cooked, boiled, broiled, microwaved, baked, stewed, roasted or creamed food. Do not eat fried, blanched or raw food.
  2. Avoid using too much salt or seasoning.
  3. Do not eat the peel of fruits or nuts.
  4. Strain fruit or vegetable juices using a sieve.
  5. Avoid consuming citrus fruits or juices if they irritate your stomach.
  6. Avoid eating whole grain, multigrain, and wheat flour. Opt for white rice, white flour, white pasta, and white bread to avoid irritating the stomach lining.
  7. Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  8. Do not drink aerated drinks, pulpy fruit juices, and caffeinated drinks.
  9. Use low-fat dairy products.
  10. Eat well-cooked lean proteins.
  11. Avoid non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin.
  12. Chew your food well before gulping it down.
  13. You can have 3-4 meals per day, but be careful to snack only on the allowed foods.

2. Foods To Eat And Avoid

Image: Shutterstock

Food GroupServings Per DayFoods To EatFoods To Avoid
Fruits And Veggies2-3Sweet potato, waxed beans, pumpkins, carrots, beetroot, white potato, summer and winter squash, strained vegetable juice, avocado, banana, fruit juice without pulp, orange and grapefruit without the membrane and seeds, and apple without the peel.Fried veggies, potato wafers, spicy veg preparations, fried potato, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, tomato, berries, and figs.
Proteins & Nuts2-3Soy, tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt, cod, trout, herring, soft boiled eggs, lean cuts of chicken, lamb, pork, peanut butter, groundnuts, and well-cooked and soft meat.Greasy, spicy, and highly seasoned meat, fried chicken, fried fish, fried poultry, raw eggs, dry beans, sausages, ham, chunky peanut butter, nuts with the outer cover, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds.
Carbs6-10 servingsWhite bread, flour pasta, white rice, rice noodles, flour spaghetti, flour flatbreads, rice wraps, flour biscuits, and cornbread.Whole wheat bread, multigrain flour, multigrain bread, highly seasoned biscuits, multigrain biscuits, whole wheat cookies, cookies with dry fruits, popcorn, and brown rice.
Fats & OilsIn moderationButter, mayonnaise, margarine, olive oil, avocado dressing, cream cheese, sour cream, white sauce, cream sauce, and olive oil and dijon mustard dressing.Animal fat, highly seasoned and high-calorie dressings, coconut oil.
Dairy2-3 servingsButtermilk, low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, condensed milk, pasteurized egg nogs, low-fat milk powder, mild cheeses, cottage cheese, and low-fat milk ricotta cheese.Full-fat milk, full-fat yogurt, and strong cheeses.
Herbs & SpicesIn moderationSalt, olives, and mild spices.Black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili, chili sauce, garam masala, allspice, clove, garlic, ginger, barbecue sauce, sweet chili sauce, strong lemon-based sauces, mustard seeds, and pickles.
Desserts & SweetsIn moderationHoney, ice cream, seedless jam, syrup, molasses, chocolate, marshmallow, custard, white flour cakes, pudding, sherbet, hard candies, jelly, and gelatin dessert.Marmalades, donuts, fried ice cream, chocolate with nuts, ice cream with nuts, desserts with fruits, and sweets made from full-fat milk.
BeveragesWater, buttermilk, coconut water, strained fruit and vegetable juices.Coffee, energy drinks, tea, alcohol, fresh fruit juice with pulp, and lime juice.

Once you have a clear idea about what foods you can consume and what to avoid, chalking a diet plan becomes easier. Here are 3 diet menus for you. Follow the one that suits you the best. You can also make your own diet chart depending on the foods you are allowed to eat.

3. Bland Diet Menus

Image: Shutterstock

Menu 1

MealWhat To Eat
Breakfast (8 am)2 slices of white bread with peanut butter and 1 banana
Lunch (12 pm)Baked trout with carrots in canned pear sauce + white rice
Post Lunch Snack (4 pm)½ cup low-fat yogurt
Dinner (7:30 pm)Flour spaghetti and tofu balls with butter and a sprinkle of herbs

Menu 2

MealWhat To Eat
Breakfast (8 am)1 scrambled egg + 1 toast with margarine + 1 cup strained carrot juice
Lunch (12 pm)Roasted chicken breast with baked mushroom and asparagus
Post Lunch Snack (4 pm)1 banana
Dinner (7:30 pm)Sweet potato salad with low-calorie dressing + boiled codfish

Menu 3

MealWhat To Eat
Breakfast (8 am)2 white flour and low-fat milk pancakes with maple syrup
Lunch (12 pm)Blended squash and avocado soup
Post Lunch Snack (4 pm)1 cup strained fruit juice or buttermilk
Dinner (7:30 pm)Macaroni with tuna and herbs

You don’t have to survive on tasteless food if you are on the bland diet. It is best that you cook your meals to avoid consuming foods that should be avoided by you. Here is a yummy bland diet recipe that will hit your taste buds with a myriad of flavors.

4. Easy Bland Diet Recipe

Spaghetti And Tofu Balls

Image: Shutterstock

  • 3 oz spaghetti
  • A large pot of water
  • 3 oz mashed tofu
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon mixed herbs
  • Cooking spray
  • 3-4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated American cheddar cheese
How To Cook
  1. Preheat the oven at 180°C.
  2. Mix flour, salt, and a pinch of mixed herbs with the mashed tofu.
  3. Shape the dough into small balls.
  4. Spray a baking tray with cooking spray.
  5. Place the tofu balls on the tray and spray them with the cooking spray.
  6. Bake them for 10-15 minutes at 140°C.
  7. Boil a large pot of water and add
  8. A teaspoon each of salt and olive oil to it.
  9. Add the spaghetti and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
  10. Drain the water from the spaghetti and transfer it to a mixing bowl.
  11. Prepare the sauce by mixing the egg, milk, butter, and mixed herbs.
  12. Cook it in a frying pan on high flame for a minute. Keep stirring.
  13. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti and mix well.
  14. Drop in the baked tofu balls.
  15. Top it with grated American cheddar cheese.

Though your diet plays a vital role when it comes to curing intestinal irritation and digestion problems, yoga has also been known to cure a lot of diseases effectively. Here are 5 yoga poses that will help alleviate the pain and discomfort that usually accompany stomach problems.

5. Yoga For Treating Stomach Ailments

1. Apanasana

Image: Shutterstock

  • Lie on your back and draw your knees to your chest.
  • Clasp your knees with your hands.
  • Rock from side to side. Hold the position for 1-2 minutes and then leave your hands.
  • Repeat this 5 times.

2. Pashchimottanasana

Image: Shutterstock

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  • Slowly lower your upper torso to touch your toes.
  • Remove your hands from the toes and place them on the floor beside your feet.
  • Hold the position for 1-2 minutes.
  • Repeat this 3 times.

3. Kapalbhati

Image: Instagram

  • Sit on the floor and fold your legs. Place your hands on your knees such that your palms face the sky.
  • Keep your spine erect and close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath and exhale forcefully so that your stomach goes inside as you exhale.
  • Relax your mind, and while you exhale, think about all your ailments being exhaled out.
  • Do this for 5 minutes.
  • Gradually increase the time to 15 minutes.

4. Pavanamuktasana

Image: Shutterstock

  • Lie on your back. Relax.
  • Inhale. Fold your legs and bring them forward until your forehead touches your knee.
  • Place your arms around your legs and lock your fingers.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Exhale slowly and come back to your original position.
  • Repeat this 3-4 times.

5. Vajrasana

Image: Shutterstock

  • Sit on the floor. Fold your legs and tuck them under your thighs.
  • Close your eyes and keep your spine erect.
  • Position your palms on your knees.
  • Inhale and exhale slowly.
  • Repeat 5 times.

Following this diet plan will accelerate the healing of your stomach and will eventually bid goodbye to stomach ache and/or any other discomfort. Continue following this diet for as long as your physician recommends. Also, gradually introduce spicy or fried foods in your diet when your physician gives you the thumbs up. This will help your stomach and intestinal walls work better.

So ladies, no more cribbing. Fight that painful stomach ache by following the tasty and fulfilling bland diet. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the box below.

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.
Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.