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Brat Diet: Uses, Benefits, And Alternatives
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This topic has been medically reviewed by David Seres, MD, professor of internal medicine at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center.
Our articles are reviewed by medical experts to ensure that you receive accurate and useful information about your health and well-being. For more information, visit our medical review board.
If you or your child has ever had an upset stomach, you’ve probably heard of—and adopted—the BRAT diet. BRAT stands for banana, rice, applesauce and toast, which is supposed to be easy on the stomach and help relieve symptoms like nausea and diarrhea.
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However, they have become obsolete since they were first introduced and may no longer be the best choice. Here’s what you need to know.
The BRAT diet “has been around for nearly a century, and was originally designed for pediatricians to give to children to reduce the diarrhea they experience when they have a severe intestinal infection,” says David Cutler. , MD, family medicine doctor. Providence Saint John Medical Center.
Although the food is intended for sick children, adults with digestive problems can use it to reduce symptoms. But before you or your child starts the BRAT diet, it’s important to find out what’s causing the symptoms.
“[There are] many different causes of diarrhea and for some, the BRAT diet may not be such a good idea [as] if they have certain infections, if they have and some degree of inflammation in their intestines, or if they have had a food reaction, said Cutler.
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Important: Cutler warns that something more serious could happen if you have bloody stools, a high fever, or severe stomach pain. In that case, you should go to the doctor instead of starting the BRAT diet.
Let’s say you’ve ruled out other possible problems, and you’re dealing with a serious stomach ailment like your gastroenteritis — like an upset stomach — that should clear up in a few days.
To recover from an upset stomach, experts believe you need a variety of vitamins, nutrients, protein, and healthy fats. BRAT foods provide micronutrients such as vitamin C in apples and fiber and vitamin B-6 in bananas. But you’ll be missing out on other important nutrients including protein and healthy fats.
In fact, the BRAT diet isn’t as popular or doctor-approved as it once was. “It’s been found over the years that proper nutrition is sorely lacking in many things children need. So in general, it’s a long way to go,” says Cutler.
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Therefore, to get a wide range of nutrients, you need to incorporate a balanced diet regularly after a day or two of the BRAT diet to find your health.
Since prolonged diarrhea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration, the most important thing is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
“The best way to treat diarrhea is to replace fluids lost by diarrhea,” says Cutler.
Drink lots of water and consider a rehydration solution such as a low sugar option like G2 or Pedialyte with fluids and electrolytes. Avoid sugary drinks like regular Gatorade or Powerade because the sugar can make diarrhea worse. Clear soups or broths are also good choices for calming and rehydrating.
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“Many experts are now recommending that people avoid foods that can make diarrhea worse, and stick to a healthy diet that contains fiber and protein and monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats,” says Cutler.
In addition to sugary drinks, other foods that can upset your stomach and make your symptoms worse may include dairy products, fatty foods and foods high in unsaturated fiber such as beans, nuts and green vegetables.
The BRAT diet can help in the short term, but it’s even more important to stay hydrated and avoid foods that make you worse while you’re trying to get better.
In general, BRAT foods should not be used for more than a few days, for children or adults.
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Ashley Laderer is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in health and wellness. Follow him on Twitter @ashladere If you have diarrhea, your diet may be to blame. Learn what foods commonly cause diarrhea so you know what to avoid.
Some people can eat cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables without side effects like excess gas and diarrhea — and others can’t, especially those with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. . Dairy products such as milk and cheese cause diarrhea in some people, while others react badly to whole grains and high-fiber foods. A little detective work can help you find the cause of your diarrhea and identify any food intolerances you may have. Start by keeping a food diary and gradually eliminate triggers. Here are the main concerns that often cause diarrhea.
Wait – isn’t fiber good for digestive health? Yes, but if you eat too much fiber, you can get excess gas and diarrhea. Add fiber to your diet gradually so you don’t cause digestive problems, says Lawrence Schiller, MD, director of the gastroenterology fellowship program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. When diarrhea is a problem, you should eliminate high-fiber foods from your diet for a few weeks and see if that helps. Fruits to skip include pears, apples, berries, figs, prunes, dates and raisins. High-fiber vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, artichokes and peas. Watch out for beans and legumes (meaning all kinds of nuts and seeds like sunflower) and stock up on whole grains and seeds like barley, bran, brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, and whole wheat bread on your radar. .
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. People who are lactose intolerant can get diarrhea if they eat or drink dairy products such as milk, cheese and ice cream; however, some people find that they can tolerate dairy foods that contain less lactose, such as yogurt and hard cheeses (namely Swiss cheese and aged cheddar). Lactase enzyme tablets or drops taken before meals can also help prevent diarrhea problems. Another option is to try lactose-free products.
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Some people have a food intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley products. This condition is a common autoimmune disease known as celiac disease. People with celiac disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet every day. If you have celiac disease, always check food labels because it may not be clear whether a product contains wheat, rye, or barley. With increasing awareness of celiac disease and wheat allergies, many gluten-free products are now available on grocery and health food store shelves.
Some people may experience diarrhea and stomach pain when eating spicy foods such as buffalo wings, chili or curry. Spicy food can irritate the stomach lining, causing diarrhea, said Dr. said Schiller. Simple solution: If you can’t digest spicy food well, don’t buy it and don’t order anything labeled “very spicy.” Be careful when trying traditional spicy foods, such as Indian, Thai and Mexican.
Other possible causes of diarrhea are rich foods, including fatty meats, thick sauces and a large dollop of sour cream on nachos. Adding too much oil, butter or margarine to your food can also cause diarrhea. Some people have trouble absorbing fat, and unabsorbed fat can cause the small intestine and large intestine to secrete too much water, resulting in loose stools. If you eat rich and fatty foods, they can pass through your system quickly and cause diarrhea.
Artificial sweeteners and sugary drinks, especially mannitol and sorbitol, can cause diarrhea in some people. Mannitol and sorbitol stay in the stomach, says Schiller, which can cause bloating and diarrhea. This sweetener is found in hard and soft candies, jams and jellies, chewing gum, cough drops, and other sugar-free products. The best way to avoid foods that cause diarrhea is to read food labels. The FDA requires foods containing more than 50 grams of mannitol or sorbitol to list their potential laxative effect on the label.
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When you have diarrhea, drinks can make your condition worse. Alcohol can affect the ability of your cells to absorb water, leading to dehydration, which is a concern for someone with diarrhea. Caffeine, available
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