What to Eat When You Have Diarrhea— bland diet for diarrhea

What to Eat When You Have Diarrhea— bland diet for diarrhea

What to Eat When You Have Diarrhea— bland diet for diarrhea

To “have diarrhea” means you’re having three or more watery stools per day. Your bowel movements aren’t solid when you use the bathroom, and that can happen for several reasons.


While it’s unpleasant and uncomfortable, diarrhea can usually be managed at home with rest, plenty of fluids, and easily digested foods.


This article looks at the specific foods that make up the diarrhea diet and how they can help you. It offers cooking and other tips for how to use the diet, and some side effects you may experience



If you have diarrhea and potentially related symptoms like nausea, stomach cramps, and bloating, a temporary switch to a limited diet may reduce stress on your digestive system. The diarrhea diet gives your bowels a chance to rest and helps to restore your body’s fluid and electrolyte balance.

Simple food choices decrease the amount of residue, or undigested waste, in your colon. The colon is the last part of your digestive tract before waste leaves the body, so less waste means fewer urgent bowel movements.

Foods that move slowly through your system give it more time to absorb nutrients you need to stay healthy, and they help to calm the diarrhea.


The diarrhea diet has a lot in common with the well-known BRAT diet, which is used for a variety of digestive concerns. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, and you’ll find these items and others on the list of approved diarrhea diet foods.

How It Works

The foods in the diarrhea diet are simple because the idea is to give your body the break it needs. The diet may seem hard to follow, but it helps to know that you only need to stick with it temporarily. On the other hand, adding foods back too quickly may make your symptoms worse and your diarrhea last longer.


You’ll likely be making changes in how much fiber you eat each day. It’s important to remember that fiber is still an important part of your diet. The task will be finding out how much fiber you can eat without making your symptoms worse.


What to Eat

Choose These Foods

White bread or toast




Coconut water


Plain pasta


White potato (peeled)




White rice


Canned pears






Eggs (soft-cooked)


Low-fat yogurt


Chicken breast (skinless)


Soda crackers


Decaffeinated tea (weakly brewed)




Avoid These Foods

Dairy (except yogurt)


Fried, fatty, or spicy meat


Whole grains


Nuts and seeds


Beans and legumes


Raw vegetables




Onion and garlic


Potato chips


Sugar-free candy or gum


Cabbage and broccoli


Dried fruit


Nut butters


Carbonated drinks




Citrus fruit and juice



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