We tell you what the doctor means when he advises you to follow a soft diet, the permitted and prohibited foods, whether it is to stop the diarrhea of gastroenteritis or if you have problems swallowing, dental problems, etc.
The soft diet is the main recommendation that the doctor usually makes us in case of gastroenteritis. But it is not the only one, since there is not only one soft diet, although we always relate it to the diet that helps to stop diarrhea. We tell you what types of soft diet exist, what are the foods of the soft diet and how to follow it.
WHAT IS THE SOFT DIET
In this case, the “soft” diet is not literal, it can include “hard” foods. When this diet is recommended to help in cases of digestive problems, for example, due to gastric viruses.
WHY MAKE A SOFT DIET
The only reason to do it is that it is recommended by the doctor.
- The most common is that it does so when there is an intestinal disease such as gastroenteritis that causes disorders such as diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting. The goal is to give your stomach a little work and also stop too frequent bowel movements.
- It can also be followed when there are teeth or gum problems that indicate it. Or when there are problems swallowing due to inflammation of the esophagus or throat.
- Breastplate may also be necessary in case of surgery, to prepare to undergo it and/or after having undergone it. Also in other cases, such as when you have to undergo a colonoscopy for example.
Who can do a soft diet? Both adults and children, as long as it is by doctor’s order.
TYPES OF SOFT DIETS
- Astringent. It seeks to curb problems such as diarrhea, stomach pain due to gastritis, etc.
- Not astringent. It seeks to solve chewing or swallowing problems, in this case, we are talking about a diet for dysphagia, that is, for people who have an inflamed esophagus or throat and cannot swallow.
- Specific. For colonoscopy, for a surgical operation, etc.
SOFT ASTRINGENT DIET FOODS
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The foods allowed in the soft diet are the following:
- boiled white rice
- boiled wheat semolina
- Boiled or steamed potatoes
- Bread, better if it is toasted
- Cooked vegetables (carrot, pumpkin or zucchini preferably).
- Chicken and fish boiled, grilled or baked. (As long as you opt for meats, make sure they are the leanest parts of them)
- Apple grated and slightly darkened
- Apple compote, pear…
NON-ASTRINGENT SOFT DIET FOODS
- Vegetable, chicken, fish broths (unseasoned except with a little salt)
- Creams of highly digestible vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, zucchini and avoid other more acidic ones such as tomatoes, peppers, etc. They must be low in salt, without spicy.
- Puree of vegetables with legumes, chicken, fish… Finely crushed and clarified with broth for a slightly thick texture, so that they are very easy to swallow
- Apple compote, pear…
Why is it recommended to eat toasted bread on the soft diet? Toasted bread is usually recommended in the soft astringent diet because toasting also makes it more digestible.
Why is it better to grate the apple and let it darken? The oxidation (blackening) of its pulp causes tannins to appear, compounds that enhance its astringent action, that is, it helps to stop diarrhoea.
FOODS FORBIDDEN IN ANY SOFT DIET
- Those that are difficult to digest such as nuts, fried fruits, pastries, pre-cooked…
- Flatulent foods such as cabbage, legumes, etc.
- Acids such as tomato, citrus, etc.
- Arousals such as coffee, soft drinks, tea, etc.
RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN MAKING A SOFT DIET
- Ask the doctor for how long he recommends following this diet, which is usually no more than 2 or 3 days, after which a more varied diet can begin to be introduced little by little. If after these first 2 or 3 days you do not feel improvement, consult your doctor again.
- Thoroughly chew each bite to swallow it as crushed as possible and with saliva. Think that saliva contains enzymes that already start the digestion process.
- Eat small amounts so as not to fill the stomach and have more frequent meals.
- Eat warm food, neither hot nor cold, because with a temperature closer to that of the body, the stomach works better.
- The diet should be low in salt and if you use any seasoning, let it be herbs that help digestion, such as oregano.
- Staying well hydrated is essential, drinking water in small sips or infusions that promote digestion, such as chamomile, lemon verbena or pennyroyal and, as we said before, always lukewarm and in small sips.
AN EXAMPLE OF A SOFT ASTRINGENT DIET MENU
- Breakfast. White bread toast, slice of artisan turkey breast (without starches, preservatives…), yogurt and digestive infusion.
- Midmorning. Apple compote or cooked 5 min in the microwave.
- Food. White rice, boiled or grilled white fish and grated apple.
- Afternoon snack. Grated apple and digestive infusion.
- Dinner. Vegetable cream (carrot, pumpkin, zucchini) and French omelette, yogurt.
AN EXAMPLE OF A NON-ASTRINGENT SOFT DIET MENU EASY TO SWALLOW
- Breakfast. Rice or other cereal cooked in milk and crushed (with enough milk to make it very liquid. Infusion.
- Mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Homemade unsweetened applesauce or fruit smoothie. Infusion.
- Food and dinner. Clarita vegetable cream with minced chicken or fish inside. Liquid yogurt or kerfir.
- For the whole day. Vegetable or chicken broth.
WHAT WOULD THE SOFT DIET BE LIKE IF YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN
The only thing that changes is that neither meat nor fish would be taken. These foods can be replaced by cooked and mashed legumes or tofu. In this case, the tofu should be white, not smoked, spiced, or hot.
If the diet is lactoovo vegetarian, you can drink milk, yogurt and eggs. If not, cow’s milk and yogurts can be replaced by their vegetable versions (soy milk and yogurt, almonds, etc.).
DOES THE SOFT DIET helpful TO LOSE WEIGHT?
As we have seen, it facilitates digestion, helps to stop diarrhoea, ends intestinal discomfort or helps swallowing depending on the case, but it is not a weight loss diet.