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*
GrainsAny (eg, pasta, rice, bulgur) (Note: prepared without fat [eg, oil, butter])Grains prepared with fat
VegetablesAny (Note: prepared without fat)Vegetables prepared with fat (eg, French fries, mashed potatoes made with butter or cream), tomato juice, tomato sauce
FruitsAny (except citrus) (Note: prepared without fat) Citrus fruits and juices
MilkLow-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, sherbet Whole and 2% milk products, cream, regular cheese
Meats and BeansLean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, soy, dried beans, nuts, and nut butters (Note: prepared without added fat)Fried meats, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, salami, bologna, hot dogs
Snacks, Sweets, and CondimentsAll unless listedPepper, chili powder, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, rich desserts (eg, cakes and pastries), doughnuts, chocolate
BeveragesWater, nonfat or low-fat milk, juice, caffeine-free soda, and herbal tea Peppermint or spearmint teas, decaffeinated or regular coffee and tea, caffeinated soda or energy drinks, chocolate milk, hot cocoa, alcoholic beverages
Fats 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.