The Dos and Don’ts of the Bland Diet

bland diet

The name promises bland, and it delivers. It’s designed to give some part of your digestive process a rest. Which part depends on what needs rest. But you can always count on the bland diet to rest your taste buds.

Joking aside, it’s not really that bad. And it’s not meant to be a long-term diet. Generally low in salt, fat, fiber, and of course spice, soft and easy to digest, your doctor will spell out the specifics.

When Is It Prescribed?

Diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, even ulcers or acid reflux may be helped by a bland diet. It makes sense. Reduce spice so as not to hurt inflamed tissues in your stomach, or reduce fiber to spare your colon. And the diet is also used before and after digestive tract surgeries.

What Do You Avoid?

It’s not likely the whole list will apply. Your doctor will advise you of the specifics.

  • Fiber – no raw vegetables, whole grains, some fruits.
  • Tough foods (remember, you’re aiming at soft) – e.g., sausages, some dried fruits, potato skins.
  • Gas-producing foods – vegetables and legumes.
  • Foods that have tiny hard bits – e.g., nuts and crunchy nut butters, corn.
  • Dairy or gluten – if you’re at all sensitive.

Of course, there are other possible foods on this list, depending on the condition the bland diet is treating.

What Can You Have?

Or to put it another way, what’s left?

  • Soft fruits, unsweetened, no skins or seeds – e.g., avocados, bananas, applesauce
  • Peeled potatoes
  • Creamy nut butters
  • Smooth soups and broths
  • Eggs, ground meats, cottage cheese

If it passes the foods-to-avoid test, it might be fine. Again, your doctor can advise you.

What Else?

You might also be advised to:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Not lie down after eating.
  • Eat slowly.


You may enjoy the bland diet more than you think. But the best part is the healing. And isn’t that worth a little bland?

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