A soft diet, also called gastric protection diet, is indicated for patients with digestive diseases such as ulcers, hiatus hernias, gastroesophageal reflux, gastritis or as a transition diet in the postoperative period of digestive surgery.
The soft diet is within the “tolerance diets” because it helps the body to progressively adapt to a normal diet after illness, fasting or surgery.
The main objective of the soft diet is that the foods are easy to digest and that the gastric secretion is not stimulated, favoring the digestion and the absorption of the nutrients.
How should the meals be?
Patients who must take a soft diet are recommended to follow a series of measures to make the effect of the diet better:
The first advice is that rations should be small. Fill the stomach until no longer the only thing that will bring more digestive problems. It is good to have at least 5 meals a day of small amounts to get used to the stomach.
It is also recommended that they chew food well, as well as eat slowly to facilitate digestion. After each meal, you should rest for about 20 minutes.
Other recommendations that should be adopted by people who must take a soft diet are:
- Use simple cooking: cooking on the grill, steamed or baked, for example.
- The temperature of the food should be lukewarm. It is not recommended to take food that is neither excessively cold nor excessively hot.
- Cook with a little salt and little fat.
Finally, comment that this type of diet is usually maintained for three or four days. Later, food will be introduced little by little towards a normal diet, always healthy and balanced.
Foods allowed in the soft diet
Many people think that a soft diet only relies on rice and turkey. However, there is another type of food that you can take if you need to carry out this type of feeding. Here are a series of foods allowed in the soft diet:
- Cereals and starches: both must be refined, that is, in the form of toasted white bread, pasta, white rice, etc.
- Meats and fish: meats can be chicken, veal or turkey always cooked, baked, boiled or grilled, as we discussed above. As for the fish, it must be white.
- Eggs: in principle eggs with water, French omelet or poached can be incorporated into the diet.
- Dairy: people who have a soft diet can drink skimmed milk, plain yogurt or fresh cheese.
- Vegetables: always have to be cooked, in the form of puree or broth.
- Legumes: only small quantities cooked and pureed, or previously sifted to remove the skin.
- Fruits: they can be taken as long as they are cooked in the oven or in the form of compote. Unless they are not acidic and well ripe fruits.
- Fats: they can only be taken in small quantities. It is recommended that butter and margarine be avoided. It is preferable to take olive oil.
- Drinks: water, skimmed milk, and some juices are allowed. You can also take some infusion of natural herbs that do not cause intestinal irritation.
Prohibited foods in the soft diet
In spite of all the permitted foods mentioned in the previous list, the reality is that there is another long list that includes those that are prohibited in the soft diet. Some of these foods are:
- Strong cheeses, fatty milk, whole milk, and cream.
- Raw vegetables and those that tend to produce gases like cauliflower or broccoli.
- Meat and fatty fish.
- Whole grains
- Drinks with gas and some citrus juices, although the peach can be taken. Nor are caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soft drinks or some teas recommended.
- Fried foods
- Spicy spices, popcorn or sauces.