The word “BRAT” stands for 4 English words: Banana, Applesauce, Rice and Toast. In the past, pediatricians prescribed diet for you to treat stomach problems in children. This diet is based on consuming foods that are easy to digest and light. In this article, we review the research that has been done on you and how effective it is in treating stomach problems and diseases.
What you read in this article:
Consumption of these foods is thought to help improve these problems by improving the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems and diseases and reducing the amount of feces produced. Today, however, experts believe that diet is not the best option for treating stomach problems. Follow us to learn more about this diet.
What is your diet?
Your diet is a diet low in fiber and light, which is often prescribed to treat stomach problems, digestive problems and diarrhea. Pediatricians have long recommended this diet for the recovery of infants with diarrhea.
What do the foods in this diet have in common? The foods in this diet are light and easily digested in the stomach. Consumption of these foods after diarrhea, vomiting and nausea help to recover faster. While your diet is effective in the short term, it is not a good option in the long term due to its low fiber, protein and fat content and will have health risks.
Permitted and forbidden foods in your diet
Some doctors believe that a mild diet (Bland) is different from your diet. However, most of them agree that in your diet you can eat other foods besides bananas, apple puree, rice and toast. The most important thing in your diet is to eat light foods that do not put pressure on your stomach. In this diet, one should eat low-fiber foods to help stop diarrhea and hard stools.
Suitable foods for your diet include:
- light tea;
- Clear apple juice;
- Cooked or boiled potatoes;
- Cooked cereals (such as oats);
- Herbal teas, especially ginger and mint.
People should avoid eating heavy foods in your diet. Among the foods that are not suitable for this diet are:
- Milk and dairy products;
- Fried, fatty or spicy foods;
- Very hot or very cold drinks;
- Heavy proteins (such as steak, kebabs, fish);
- Sugar-containing foods and artificial sweeteners;
- Alcoholic beverages, coffee and other caffeinated beverages;
- Raw vegetables (such as salad vegetables, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower);
- Acidic fruits (such as berries, grapes, oranges and lemons).
How to follow your diet?
There is limited research and guidance on how to follow your diet. However, there are some tips for following a 3-day diet:
- You should refrain from eating any food for the first 6 hours after the onset of the disease. Rest your stomach and wait for it to eat until your nausea and diarrhea stop completely. During this time, you can have ice cream or some water or a sports drink. This helps replenish the water and electrolytes your body has lost.
- During the first 24 hours of illness, drink beverages that are easy to digest. These drinks include water, apple juice, vegetable juice and chicken broth.
- If your symptoms return, stop drinking these fluids and wait a few hours before taking them again.
- On the second day of illness, start your diet. This diet is very restrictive and is not considered a nutritious diet; So do not continue for more than the required time.
- From the third day of illness, if you feel well, you can start your normal diet slowly. You can start by eating foods like boiled eggs with honey yolks, cooked fruits and vegetables, and white meats like chicken and turkey.
When can you follow your diet?
A gentle diet is designed to help people with stomach problems recover faster. Also, people can benefit from this diet in other conditions such as after surgery that requires the consumption of light foods. In the past, dietitians have recommended you to treat acute gastroenteritis (an inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract) in infants. Of course, today the American Academy of Pediatrics does not support patients’ recommendations for this diet.
Your diet should not be used to lose weight, because its nutrients are too low for long-term use. If you have nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, ask your doctor if this diet is right for you.
Is diet effective for you?
Doctors have recommended your diet in the past; But for now, this regime is not the best option. Contrary to popular belief, little research has been done to support the effectiveness of your diet. The American Academy of Pediatrics, after years of supporting your diet, no longer recommends it for infants and children. This is because your diet is very restrictive and does not provide the proteins, macronutrients and micronutrients your body needs to heal.
There is no clinical trial on your diet. However, research has been done on the effect of foods in your diet on diarrhea; Bananas, for example, contain a starch called pectin, which is good for the digestive system. Bananas also contain potassium, which helps the body absorb water and electrolytes. A 2019 study found that eating raw bananas helps reduce diarrhea and constipation in children. According to a 2016 study, rice soup is very effective in treating acute diarrhea in children.
Your dietary restrictions
Dietary restrictions may have more disadvantages than benefits for your body. In a study, researchers found that having a diet for 2 weeks could lead to severe malnutrition and some other problems in children.
Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a balanced, healthy diet for children to improve their stomach problems. Also, continuous care and feeding infants with formula is beneficial. In adults and children, dieting is probably better for you than not eating anything. However, this diet is not a useful long-term solution to stomach problems. The goal of this diet is to get the person on a normal diet as soon as possible.
All in all, more research is needed to find out if diet is an effective solution for people with stomach problems. If you want to follow this diet to treat your stomach problems, consult your doctor first.
When should I see a doctor?
If after 24 hours your diet does not improve, it is better to see a doctor. Also, if you have persistent or severe diarrhea, it is best to see a doctor. Your symptoms may be due to a viral gastroenteritis that does not normally require medical treatment. However, there are other cases that can cause such symptoms in a person and require medical treatment; For example, your symptoms may be due to the following:
- Some drugs;
- Intolerance to some foods;
- Other problems that may require immediate medical attention.
Even if you feel that your stomach problem is not serious, see your doctor after 2 days of persistent diarrhea or if you feel dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- High thirst;
- Dry mouth;
- Reduce the frequency of urination;
- Fatigue, weakness and dizziness.
Also, see your doctor if you experience abdominal or intestinal pain or blood in your stools, black stools, or fever over 38.8 ° C (102 ° F). In young children and infants, even if diarrhea or vomiting persists for 1 day, you should see a doctor.
Other treatments for gastrointestinal problems
In addition to changing your diet, there are other ways that can help improve your stomach problems.
1. Water supply
Dehydration can be a serious complication of diarrhea. To prevent this, it is best to drink beverages such as water, broth, coconut water, sports drinks and apple juice. They help you improve by providing electrolytes.
۲. Avoid eating certain foods
Pay attention to the food you eat. Some foods may make it harder for your stomach to digest and cause diarrhea. While experts do not recommend following your diet as a long-term solution, you should still avoid fried and fatty foods and spicy foods for a few days. You should also avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and other caffeinated beverages during this period.
3. Taking antidiarrheal drugs
Ask your doctor about antidiarrheal drugs. Avoid taking them if they may make your condition worse or hide the cause of diarrhea. There are many over-the-counter medications available. These medications can help reduce the frequency of diarrhea. If the diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection, parasite, or other medical problem, these medications may not work. Also, these medications may not be suitable for children.
4. Probiotics and prebiotics
Consumption of probiotics helps to heal faster by increasing the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Suitable strains of probiotics recommended to improve diarrhea include Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Saccharomyces bulardii. According to a 2015 study, both of these strains can reduce illness time by up to a day. You can get probiotic supplements in the form of capsules or liquid from pharmacies. Probiotics are also present in fermented foods such as kefir.
Consumption of prebiotic fiber is also usually good for you, because prebiotics help feed the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These fibers can be found mostly in the following foods:
- an onion;
- the banana;
- Berries (such as raspberries, strawberries, etc.);
Diet is not recommended as the best treatment for stomach problems today; But it is usually a good temporary way to move to a time when you can return to your normal diet. After stomach problems, you may be worried about eating again. However, dehydration should be your biggest concern.
Dehydration can be life threatening if left untreated. As soon as you have the ability to consume something, start consuming fluids and try to eat again at the first opportunity. Although research does not recommend diet, bananas, potatoes, and cooked grains such as rice and oats help cure stomach problems faster. As soon as you can, use a variety of balanced foods in your diet to get your nutrients and energy levels back to normal.