Bland Diet
En Español (Spanish Version)

What Is a Bland Diet?
A bland diet consists of foods that are least likely to irritate the gastrointestinal tract.

Why Should I Follow a Bland Diet?
This diet may be recommended if you are suffering from:

While this diet can’t cure these conditions, it can help manage their symptoms. In general, high-fat, spicy, fried, and acidic foods, and caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are the most likely to cause distress.

Food Choices on a Bland Diet
Food CategoryFoods RecommendedFoods to Avoid*Grains Any (eg, pasta, rice, bulgur) (Note: prepared without fat [eg, oil, butter])Grains prepared with fatVegetables Any (Note: prepared without fat)Vegetables prepared with fat (eg, French fries, mashed potatoes made with butter or cream), tomato juice, tomato sauceFruits Any (except citrus) (Note: prepared without fat)Citrus fruits and juicesMilkLow-fat or nonfat milk, soy milk, buttermilk, powdered milk, low-fat or nonfat yogurt, low-fat or nonfat cheese, low-fat or nonfat ice cream, sherbetWhole and 2% milk products, cream, regular cheeseMeats and Beans Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, soy, dried beans, nuts, and nut butters (Note: prepared without added fat)Fried meats, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, salami, bologna, hot dogsSnacks, Sweets, and CondimentsAll unless listedPepper, chili powder, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, rich desserts (eg, cakes and pastries), doughnuts, chocolateBeveragesWater, nonfat or low-fat milk, juice, caffeine-free soda, and herbal teaPeppermint or spearmint teas, decaffeinated or regular coffee and tea, caffeinated soda or energy drinks, chocolate milk, hot cocoa, alcoholic beveragesFats and OilsLess than 8 teaspoons per day
*These are foods, beverages, spices, and condiments that commonly irritate the stomach. However, there may be foods on this list that don’t bother you. Likewise, there may be foods not on this list that do bother you. (For example, some individuals with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) complain that high-acid fruits, such as oranges and tomatoes bother them). Therefore, it’s important to monitor the foods you consume and how well you tolerate them.

  • Eat small, frequent meals (eg, six small meals instead of three large meals).
  • Eat slowly; try putting utensils down between bites.
  • Avoid lying down for 3-4 hours after eating.
  • Keep a food log to try and pinpoint the foods that bother you.
  • Talk a registered dietitian about an individualized meal plan.

American Dietetic Association

American Gastroenterological Association

Dietitians of Canada

American Dietetic Association. Nutrition Care Manual. American Dietetic Association website. Available at: . Accessed December 20, 2009.

American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: . Accessed December 20, 2009.

Last Reviewed September 2013

Health Information Library content is provided by EBSCO Publishing, fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.


This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.


To send comments or feedback to EBSCO's Editorial Team regarding the content please e-mail