Why The Brat Diet Fell Out Of Favor
The BRAT diet has long been recommended by doctors, especially for parents with young children, because its foods are bland and low in fiber, which is supposed to make them easier than many other foods to digest following gastrointestinal upset. The diet also helps replace nutrients lost during vomiting and diarrhea, such as potassium, which is found in bananas.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other experts say the diet is not helpful. Their objections primarily apply to its use in children, for whom diarrhea and vomiting can be more serious than in adults. Many experts recommend adults recovering from stomach issues also choose from a range of foods and not be restricted by those in the BRAT diet.
Critics of the BRAT diet say it:
- Has not been proven to work
- Does not provide enough nutrition to help patientsespecially childrenrecover, and can result in severe malnutrition if prolonged.
- May prolong symptoms, make diarrhea worse, and delay recovery
- Does not emphasize what peopleespecially infants and childrenmost need during gastroenteritis recovery: fluids, which are critical to prevent dehydration, a potentially serious complication.
Completely Avoid Fatty Foods
Myth. Greasy, fried foods often make diarrhea worse because they’re hard to digest. But eating a little fat could help ease diarrhea. The slow digestion of fats may reduce diarrhea symptoms. As long as you don’t have a problem absorbing fat, add a teaspoon of mayo, a pat of butter, or a little lean meat to your next meal. It may help with your symptoms.
The #1 Snack To Eat When You Have Diarrhea According To A Dietitian
While it might not be the most glamorous of topics, the frequency and appearance of our poop can tell us a lot about our health. Since going number two is the last step in digestion, we at EatingWell are pretty tuned in to what can helpor hurtyour cause. While there are several foods that can help you stay regular, it can be a little easier said than done. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are also foods and strategies that can help when you can’t stop going to the bathroom.
There are actually specific foods that can help treat diarrhea and settle an upset stomach, and they make up what’s called the BRAT diet. This acronym stands for four foods: bananas, rice , applesauce and toast. Typically when we are healthy, we want to focus on including high-fiber foods to help keep your gut healthy. But when we have a stomach bug or are experiencing diarrhea, eating ample fiber can actually exacerbate the issue. The BRAT diet foods are lower-fiber, simple carbohydrates that are easier to digest and can help make stools more firm.
To try out the BRAT diet when you’re experiencing symptoms, start small with a snack rather than a full meal as to not overload your already-distressed digestive system. This is why we have deemed our Peanut-Butter Banana Cinnamon Toast the best snack to eat when you have diarrhea.
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What Are Some Tips For People On The Bland Diet
If youre experiencing nausea or a lack of appetite, try eating smaller meals more frequently instead of three large meals.
- Focus on mild flavors. Avoid strong flavors and odors.
- Avoid drinking during meals. This can help make sure that you get enough nutrition from your food rather than filling up on liquids.
- To give your digestion a jump start, be sure to chew well and select foods that require less chewing.
What Is The Brat Diet Exactly
BRAT is actually an acronym that stands for “Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast,” explains Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., a dietitian and health coach, and author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. Its a very bland diet thats designed to be gentle on your stomach, she says.
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People often reach for the BRAT diet when they have diarrhea, but its hard to say if its actually effective, says David Cutler, M.D., a family medicine physician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. The BRAT diet generates a lot of interest due to its simplicity, low cost, safety, and apparent effectiveness for a common conditiondiarrhea caused by an intestinal virus, he says. But the value of a BRAT diet is unproven, and most likely minimal. This is because almost all cases of diarrhea due to intestinal viruses will resolve in a few days regardless of the diet used.
He also notes that the most important initial treatment for diarrhea is fluid replacement, not diet.
Still, Dr. Cohen says, that doesnt mean a BRAT diet wont help. When you are ill and your ability to digest food may be limited, a BRAT diet or other easy to digest foods may help resolve diarrhea or other intestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain, he says.
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What Are The Benefits Of The Brat Diet For Diarrhea For Adults
The brat diet is a controversial diet that is said to be beneficial for diarrhea. Proponents of the diet claim that it is a healthy way to lose weight, while opponents claim that it is unhealthy and can be dangerous.
If you are looking for a diet that is low in calories and high in fiber, the brat diet may be a good option for you. The diet is made up of lean meats, such as pork, beef, and lamb, and limited amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This type of diet is thought to help you lose weight, since it is high in fiber and low in calories.
The brat diet is also thought to be beneficial for diarrhea. One reason is that the diet is high in fiber. Fiber is a type
Brat Diet For Toddlers And Adults
A single diet can have a different effect on the different age group. Pediatricians generally recommend brat diet for diarrhea, and studies also proved the efficacies of brat diet among children with diarrhea and stomach infections. Let us understand how the brat diet works differently for adults and toddlers.
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Replace The Electrolytes You’re Losing
Diarrhea and puking make you lose important electrolytes like sodium and potassium, so its smart to take in fluids that contain those minerals. Think broth, fruit juice, or a sports drink. If the thought of guzzling a big glass of liquid is enough to make you feel sicker, try small, frequent sips, Dr. Elder recommends.
Is There Anyone Who Shouldnt Follow The Brat Diet
You shouldnt rely on BRAT foods if you have an underlying gastrointestinal condition like Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis, Dr. Elder says. Same goes for anyone with a compromised immune system or those who have undergone bariatric procedures like gastric bypass or lap band surgery, he adds. All of these things can make you prone to dehydration when you have diarrhea, so its best to call your doctor ASAP instead of trying to treat the problem at home.
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The Best Ways To Deal With Diarrhea When Youre On A Brat Diet
When youre on a brat diet, diarrhea is always a possibility. But there are a few ways to deal with it that will ensure you stay on track and stay healthy.
- Make sure youre eating enough fiber. Fiber is essential for keeping your digestive system moving and helps to prevent diarrhea. Fiber can be found in things like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
- Make sure youre drinking enough water. Dehydration can lead to diarrhea. Make sure youre drinking enough water throughout the day and especially before and after meals.
- Try to avoid eating high-fat foods. high-fat foods are typically high in calories and can lead to diarrhea. Instead, focus on eating foods that are low in fat. This
How Long Should You Be On The Brat Diet
It depends on how youre feeling. After two days of BRAT, if diarrhea has improved, then it is safe to advance to a more balanced diet, Dr. Cohen says. But, he says, youll still want to avoid harder-to-digest foods and avoid foods that contain lactose , since they can be tough on your still-sensitive stomach.
But, if you’re still struggling with No.3 after a week, Dr. Cohen recommends reaching out to your doctor about next steps.
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Sugary Foods Make Diarrhea Worse
Fact. Some people reach for sports drinks or sodas to replenish lost fluids when they have diarrhea. But very sugary foods and drinks — even natural sugars found in fruit — may make diarrhea symptoms worse. During digestion, sugar draws fluid into the intestines, diluting the stools. Some sugar substitutes, like sorbitol, may have the same effect.
Foods To Eat During Diarrhea
Choosing the right food options during diarrhea is essential. Our body loses nutrition during this phase and is not capable enough to digest all the nutrient-dense foods. Apart from the brat diet for diarrhea, we need more nutrition to fight the ailment and recover soon. The following foods are easy to digest and provide energy, nutrition and boost immunity.
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What Are The Best Foods To Eat On The Brat Diet For Diarrhea For Adults
There are a few things you can eat on the brat diet that can help relieve diarrhea. One is bananas. Bananas are a good source of fiber, which can help to keep your intestines moving and help to prevent constipation. Another thing you can eat on the brat diet is prunes. Prunes are a good source of potassium, which can help to keep your blood pressure stable and help to reduce the severity of diarrhea. Additionally, prunes are a good source of vitamin C, which can help to fight off the inflammation that can accompany diarrhea. Finally, if you are feeling sick and your diarrhea is particularly severe, you may want to try drinking ginger ale or ginger tea. Ginger is a good source of gingerols, which can help to ease the symptoms of diarrhea and
When And How To Resume A Regular Diet
You can stop the BRAT diet after 24-48 hours have passed and gradually resume a normal or regular diet.
What to eat
Start by reintroducing these foods:
- Farina or cream of wheat
- Pretzels or saltine crackers
- Steamed, baked or grilled skinless chicken
- Canned tuna packed in water
What to avoid
Until you are full recovered, you should avoid:
- Fatty foods, which will be too heavy on your already weakened digestive system
- Dairy products , which have the potential to irritate your stomach
- Caffeinateddrinks, which can increase urination, thus worsening dehydration
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What You Can Eat
As mentioned, the BRAT diet food list calls for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. However, research suggests that there are a variety of foods and drinks that are also effective.
What else can you eat on the BRAT diet? The following nutrient-dense foods are easy on the digestive system and help with nutrient absorption, boosting your immune system and keeping you energized and hydrated.
1. Bone Broth
Bone broth is a BRAT diet alternative thats rich in vital nutrients that support your gut and immune system. It helps with the growth of probiotics in the gut and supports healthy inflammation levels in the digestive system.
Its also easily digested and soothes the digestive system, making it the perfect food for when you have diarrhea.
By using the healing power of bone broth, you ensure that you get the nutrients you need to get well. And because its in liquid form, its easy on the stomach and doesnt have to be broken down.
You can use protein powder made from bone broth to make preparing this nutrient-rich food as easy as possible.
2. Probiotic Foods
Probiotic foods and supplements have been extensively studied in the prevention and treatment of diarrheal diseases, especially for children. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, the vast majority of published trials show a statistically significant benefit of probiotic strains, mostly Lactobacillus GG and S. boulardii, in the treatment of diarrhea.
How To Avoid Diarrhea When Eating A Brat Diet
Eating a brat diet can lead to diarrhea. Why?
The main culprit is the high-fat content of the diet. When you eat a lot of high-fat foods, your body produces large amounts of fecal matter. This fecal matter contains bacteria that can cause diarrhea.
Another factor that can contribute to diarrhea is the type of bread you eat. A brat diet often includes lots of processed breads and other foods that are high in fiber. These foods can cause constipation, which can lead to diarrhea.
Finally, a brat diet can also cause other digestive problems, such as stomach cramps and bloating. All of these factors can contribute to diarrhea.
So, if youre thinking about trying a brat diet, be
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When To Worry About Diarrhea And Vomiting
While typically you just need to let the virus run its course, its important to keep an eye out for red flags like blood in the diarrhea, vomiting without diarrhea , vomiting that goes from diarrhea back to vomiting and signs of dehydration, like not peeing regularly . If the diarrhea doesnt seem to be going away or youre concerned your kid isnt acting like themselves, its a good idea to check in with your doctor. Loose stool that lasts more than five days or vomiting that lasts more than 48 hours warrants a doctors visit.
Never give your kid over-the-counter diarrhea medication like Imodium unless you speak to a doctor first. These meds can mask symptoms and potentially prevent the body from getting rid of the infection, says the CPS.
When Should You Go On The Brat Diet
You can start it when you develop diarrhea, Cording says.
Dr. Cohen just recommends looking out for symptoms like blood in your poop, severe stomach pain, a high fever, and constant vomitingyoull want to reach out to your doctor if you have those since they could be a sign of a more serious health condition than run-of-the-mill diarrhea.
But, if you dont have those symptoms and youre able to hydrate well, then it is generally prudent to proceed with a BRAT or similar easily digestible diet, Dr. Cohen says.
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How To Follow Brat Diet
Following the brat diet is simple and easy. People follow the brat diet for many years and enjoy their efficacies. Brat diet for diarrhea can be followed in many steps.
First, let us talk about the brat diet foods. We have already given you an idea about what it stands for. Now the question is how to follow the brat diet?
How Long Should You Wait To Eat After Diarrhea
When suffering from diarrhea, your body loses a huge amount of water and nutrients it needs. You may also be unable to digest certain foods, which can make diarrhea even worse. So what can you eat, and when, after having diarrhea?
During the first few days, your digestive system wont take well to foods you normally eat, like cooked meat, vegetables, fruits or dairy products. So its best to wait at least 24-48 hours before trying to reintroduce these foods to your stomach.
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How Can A Bland Diet Help Someone With Cancer
Bland diets are generally helpful for people with digestion problems. This includes those with nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or changes in taste. If left untreated, these symptoms can cause you to lose too much weight and prevent you from getting enough nutritious food. A bland diet can help make sure that you get enough to eat and that you maintain a healthy weight.
Is The Brat Diet Safe For Children
The BRAT diet was once a staple of most pediatricians’ recommendations for children with an upset stomach. The idea was that it gave the gut a chance to rest and reduced the amount of stool produced. Experts now say the BRAT diet may not be the best option for children who are ill.
Because BRAT diet foods are low in fiber, protein, and fat, the diet lacks enough nutrition to help a child’s gastrointestinal tract recover. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that kids resume eating a normal, well-balanced diet appropriate for their age within 24 hours of getting sick. That diet should include a mix of fruits, vegetables, meat, yogurt, and complex carbohydrates.
Both children and adults who are ill need to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Water is good, but adding broth, a sports drink, or a rehydration solution can help replace lost electrolytes.
- Diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
- A temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- No tears or sunken cheeks
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Flu Shots Prevent Stomach Flu
Myth. Seasonal flu — or influenza virus — can cause fever, body ache, and general misery, but it rarely causes diarrhea. Influenza is generally a disease of the airways and lungs. The sickness that some people call “stomach flu” can cause diarrhea, but that bug is different from influenza. “Stomach flu” is just a catch-all name for viral gastroenteritis, which is caused by many different germs.