What is BRAT Diet? – Overview
Stomach issues are a common problem faced by almost all people now and have become quite a serious matter of concern.
US college student survey of fall 2020 showed that approx. 8.5% of respondents were diagnosed with stomach problems.
In earlier times, pediatricians recommended the BRAT diet to treat stomach issues of children.
It’s because these bland and easy-to-digest foods can ease stomach problems and even reduce the amount of stool produced.
BRAT usually is an acronym that stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, which encompasses including these good items in the diet.
However, the experts believe the BRAT diet may not be a decent choice for dealing with stomach issues.
What is BRAT Diet and How does it Work?
BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) is commonly meant for patients with stomach issues. The BRAT diet comprises bland, low fiber foods and is often advised for dealing with stomach issues, digestive ailments, and diarrhea.
Pediatricians have prescribed the BRAT diet for infants experiencing diarrhea since earlier times. All of these included food items are bland and easily digestible.
So, this diet was commonly prescribed to infants to cure their stomach upset.
Sticking to these food items after dealing with sickness, vomiting, and stomach runs may help the patients feel better reasonably sooner.
However, the BRAT diet can be beneficial only for short periods. There are risks related to pursuing a diet so minimal in dietary fiber, protein, and fat for a more extended period.
When to Undergo the BRAT Diet?
A bland food routine like the BRAT diet is formulated to assist in recovering from stomach problems.
People can also utilize the diet for different issues, like after surgeries, where reasonable digestion would be effective.
In the past decades, professionals highly recommended this diet after surgeries or to infants during stomach upsets. However, the experts do not support this and avert from suggesting the BRAT diet in case of illness.
According to the experts, an extremely low dietary routine is associated with adverse repercussions. It is not advisable to undergo this diet.
However, if the patient is experiencing nauseousness, queasiness, diarrhea, or vomiting, asking a doctor if the BRAT diet may work is the best option to opt for.
Advantages of Brat Diet
Some people believe that following the BRAT diet can benefit those with an upset stomach and diarrhea. The apparent benefits include:
- Firmer stools: The food items in the diet are starchy and minimal in fiber, resulting in loose and fluid stools constraining more effortlessly.
- Soothing on the stomach: This diet contains low fat and protein as they are uncertain about disturbing the stomach and putting pressure on your digestive system.
- Decreased Nausea: Due to their bland aroma and lack of powerful smells, BRAT diets do not result in sickness or vomiting.
Food That Can Be Consumed During Brat Diet
The experts identify that a bland diet is somewhat different from the BRAT diet, and it can be more than just bananas, toast, or applesauce. Binding foods are acceptable foods you can eat during the BRAT diet.
Such foods are low in fiber and may stop diarrhea by firming up your stool. Primarily, you have to eat bland foods that are gentle on the stomach. Other bland foods include:
- Toasted cereals, like oatmeal or cream of wheat
- Weak tea
- Apple beverage or steady soda
- Boiled potatoes
Food To Avoid During BRAT Diet
Patients should avert foods that are non-bland on this diet. They include:
- Milk and dairy products.
- Fried, greasy, fatty, or spicy foods.
- Proteins food such as steak, pork, salmon, sardines, and other fish.
- Raw vegetables, comprising salad greens, carrot sticks, broccoli, and cauliflower.
- Acidic fruits include berries, grapes, oranges, lemons, and limes.
- Extremely hot or cold drinks.
- Alcohol, coffee, or other beverages comprising caffeine.
These food items should be particularly avoided while undergoing the BRAT diet.
Although it’s good to have a natural diet during certain stomach diseases, some food may accelerate the effects like loose motion, sickness, or vomiting.
How To Keep Up with The BRAT Diet?
There are no exact hard and fast rules to follow the BRAT diet, but generally, a 3-day plan exists.
On the first day, After the symptoms and 6 hours of sickness, give rest to your gut and pause to eat until vomiting has halted entirely.
When you wait to eat, try to suck ice cubes and drink water or sports drinks. This will assist in replacing water and electrolytes that were forfeited as a result of your ailment.
If the symptoms retrieve, avoid sipping clear liquids and pause a couple of hours before attempting again.
On the second day, start attending the BRAT diet. This diet is restricted and not very nourishing, so you won’t wish to keep up with it for an extended period than required.
On day three, observing your illness, you can slowly enlarge normal food around into your diet if you feel up for it. Start with soft-cooked eggs, boiled fruits and vegetables and white meat, like chicken. The significant thing is to fulfill your body’s signals. If you eat too much of an excessive variety soon, your indications may get worse.
Other Treatment Options
Apart from changing your diet, there are other things you can do to help improve your recovery from a stomach bug.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration is a severe probable difficulty of diarrhea. Drink clear liquids like water, sports, apple juice, and replenishing electrolytes is also a good idea to have.
- Avoid spicy or fry foods: Pay vigilance to the foods you consume. Some foods may be harder for the gut to absorb, causing diarrhea.
While experts disapprove of the BRAT diet as a long-term treatment for your stomach trouble, you may still want to avert fried, greasy, or hot foods for a few days.
The BRAT diet is not supported by the study, but it could be a valuable evolution to consuming a larger spectrum of foods after a stomach ailment.
You might stress about eating again after experiencing stomach problems, but dehydration is the biggest concern.
Consultation with an expert is critical before taking on the BRAT diet. Moreover, it will be better to undergo the BRAT diet no longer than 2-3 days.