BRAT Diet Food List – Overview
BRAT is short for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Back then, pediatricians would endorse the BRAT diet for children in order to treat stomach issues.
Today, the BRAT diet comprises bland, low fiber foods, and it’s often recommended for treating digestive problems and diarrhea in adults.
The notion is that these easy-to-digest foods can calm the symptoms of stomach problems and lessen the amount of stool produced.
Sticking to this diet after diarrhea, nausea and vomiting can help you feel better a lot quicker.
Although the BRAT diet is a quick-fix, there are risks associated with sticking to a diet that’s very low in protein, fats, and dietary fiber for a long time.
Some experts believe the BRAT diet might not be the best option to correct stomach issues, however, some advocate for it.
That said, this review will explore what to and what not to eat when on the BRAT diet and whether this diet can work for you.
Foods to Eat If You’re On The BRAT Diet
As you eat applesauce, bananas, and toast, you can slowly add some protein-rich foods to your breakfast. Some of the foods you can add to your breakfast when on the BRAT diet include:
- Soft fruits such as applesauce, avocados, bananas, melons, pumpkin, and canned fruits packed in water as opposed to heavy syrups.
- Oatmeal and rice cereal.
- Flavored rice cakes.
- Waffles without syrup.
- Boiled or scrambled eggs with a little oil or butter.
- Plain, low-fat yogurt with active bacterial culture.
Lunch & Dinner Foods
The foods you take during lunch and dinner when on the BRAT diet should be rich in protein and have some carbs to help regulate watery stool. Do note that your body might not tolerate excess fats, so your diet composition should include:
- Boiled or steamed vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, and green beans.
- Low-fiber starch such as wheat cream noodles, saltine crackers, and white rice.
- Skinless and unseasoned baked chicken, duck, or turkey.
- Drinks such as apple juice, bone broth, coconut water, Pedialyte, and weak tea
- Also, try an oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration. It should comprise one liter of boiled water, six teaspoons of salt, and one teaspoon of salt.
Foods to Avoid If You’re On The BRAT Diet
As you attempt to ease the effects of diarrhea other stomach problems, some foods can trigger nausea and vomiting; these include:
- Alcohol: Alcohol is a diuretic in nature and can lead to dehydration.
- Artificial sweeteners, including sucralose and sorbitol, can cause diarrhea.
- Beans can cause bloating and intestinal gas. While this is not usually a problem for many, it can be an issue if you’re experiencing stomach upsets.
- Caffeine: black tea, black coffee, and cola drinks all contain caffeine which is a diuretic.
- Certain vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli can cause bloating.
- Dairy products such as cheese, cream, and milk are a bit hard to digest if you have a stomach upset. However, plain yogurt is okay because it has probiotics.
- Heavy proteins such as beef, pork, and salmon are difficult to digest and cause additional stress on the stomach, especially if they have a lot of fat.
- High-fat and fried foods. Greasy foods are hard to digest and can worsen diarrhea.
- Spicy foods because they can trigger an already sensitive stomach.
- Sugary foods such as cakes, chocolate, cookies, and sodas can worsen symptoms.
BRAT Diet Meal Plan
There is limited research on how to follow the BRAT diet exactly. However, there are recommendations for a 3-day plan.
First 6 Hours
Within the first 6 hours of stomach upsets, you might want to skip food entirely. Then, give your stomach a rest and don’t eat until diarrhea and vomiting have stopped completely.
Try and have some ice chips, popsicles, sports drinks, and even water as you wait to eat. This will help replace the water and electrolytes lost as a result of diarrhea and vomiting.
First 24 Hours (Day One)
Gradually start taking clear liquids once vomiting has stopped. A good way to start it have a sip or two after ten minutes or so.
Some of the fluids you can take include apple juice, Jell-O, non-greasy broth or bouillon, water, and any beverages rich in electrolytes.
If nausea and vomiting symptoms return, stop taking fluids, wait for a couple of hours and try again.
On the second day, add bland and low-fat foods such as applesauce, bananas, chicken, cooked cereal such as flour and cream of wheat, jelly, steamed carrots, toast, and turkey.
Again, take small portions after a couple of hours.
On the third day, you can gradually add normal foods to your diet if you feel you’re up for it. Start with foods such as soft-cooked eggs, white meat, chicken or turkey, and vegetables.
The important thing is that you pay attention to your body’s cues because if you have a variety of foods too soon, nausea and vomiting symptoms can return.
Does The BRAT Diet Work?
The BRAT diet has been around for quite a while, and many people swear by it. However, there isn’t much proof backing it, and the chances that it will cure your stomach upsets are slim.
In most instances, diarrhea is caused by intestinal infections that clear up on their own after a couple of days.
As a matter of fact, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) no longer champions the BRAT diet for children because it’s so restrictive.
However, if you’re an adult, adopting the BRAT diet can help you feel a bit better while your immune system battles symptoms.
What’s more, you will get a bit hungry at some point, and BRAT foods are a lot less likely to worsen your symptoms.
The BRAT diet was designed to help people recover from stomach problems.
However, it also comes in handy in other situations such as post-surgery, where smooth digestion is required. So if you decide to adopt this diet, follow it for about two-three days until digestion improves.
|Foods to Include : Breakfast||Foods to Avoid|
|Soft fruits such as applesauce, avocados, bananas, melons, pumpkin, and canned fruits packed in water as opposed to heavy syrups.||Alcoholic beverages|
|Oatmeal and rice cereal.||Artificial sweeteners, including sucralose and sorbitol|
|Flavored rice cakes.||Beans|
|Waffles without syrup.||Caffeinated drinks such as black tea, black coffee, and cola drinks.|
|Boiled or scrambled eggs with a little oil or butter.||Certain vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.|
|Plain, low-fat yogurt with active bacterial culture.||Dairy products such as cheese, cream, and milk.|
|Foods to Include : Lunch & Dinner||Heavy proteins such as beef, pork, and salmon.|
|Boiled or steamed vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, and green beans.||High-fat and fried foods|
|Low-fiber starch such as wheat cream noodles, saltine crackers, and white rice.||Spicy foods|
|Skinless and unseasoned baked chicken, duck, or turkey.|
|Drinks such as apple juice, bone broth, coconut water, Pedialyte, and weak tea|
|Also, try an oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration.|