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What is BRAT Diet? – Benefits, Food List, Side Effects, And More

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Diet plays a major role in our life journey. You can have as many supplements as you want or maybe work out as much as you like but without a proper diet, nothing will make sense. We are talking about your immune system as well. Now stomach issues are not very uncommon, especially in households with kids.

Oily food is portrayed to be the main culprit in this scenario. So mothers and doctors often insist they reduce their oil intake. But is it worth it? Can it really solve all the gastrointestinal troubles that one might face? This blog will make sure you know everything about the age-old remedy, the BRAT diet. In case you have been recommended to be on one, this blog could be of immense help.

What is BRAT Diet?

To break it down into simpler words, BRAT means Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. People who suffered from dysentery, stomach aches, or other digestive issues used to go on a BRAT diet instead of eating “normal” food.

This idea comes from the belief that our daily foods are too high in spices and other condiments that mess with our stomachs. If you are wondering if kids were the only ones known to be prescribed this diet then the answer would be no. Adults with IBS(Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and expectant mothers were also made to adopt this diet for them to ease nausea or diarrhea.

Additionally, this food combo is considered to be extremely therapeutic when you are completely out of your zone. However, it is not recommended these days very much. According to “Managing Acute Gastroenteritis among Children,” a study done by the Children’s Disease Centre, BRAT isn’t the best for stomach troubles. Why is that? Read on to know more about it.

What Includes in the BRAT Diet?

It includes the foods mentioned in the acronym and some others which are-

What includes in the BRAT diet
  1. Soups or broth chicken or vegetable(low on spices).
  2. Boil your food, including cream and oatmeal.
  3. Soft-boiled potatoes or other vegetables like peaches.
  4. Coffee or tea sans caffeine.
  5. Apple derivatives juice or sauce.
  6. Crackers that are salted but not spiced.
  7. Eggs not an omelet but boiled or poached.

What Are The Foods That Should Be Avoided?

BRAT also lists a list of foods to avoid. They are-

  1. Greasy oily food
  2. Milk and other dairy products including curd or cheese
  3. No proteins no meat or fish
  4. Fruits rich in Vitamin C or Citric Acid like oranges or lemons.
  5. Alcohol, any kind
  6. No caffeinated drinks including sodas.
  7. Sugar

What Are Its Benefits?

There are some benefits attributed to the diet that are-

  1. It can help mitigate the effects of nausea or vomiting
  2. Foods are rich in fiber that helps solidify the waste.
  3. Put minimal pressure on the digestive system.
  4. Are fluids and help restore the lost hydration.

What Are Its Side Effects?

We mentioned that it is not recommended these days which is listed below-

  1. No actual evidence that it helps cure gastric troubles.
  2. Often prevents the patients from eating important nutrients.
  3. Long-term use can be harmful to the health.
  4. Due to the disease and insufficient nutrients children end up low on energy.
  5. Causes malnutrition.

Note that you can’t totally avoid the BRAT diet. You can follow it for a short while, but not regularly.

What Can Be Eaten When You Have An Upset Stomach?

Now doctors all agree that there are foods and mixes that can replace BRAT diet foods. You should be eating-

  1. Ginger and other derivatives of ginger that are known to help ease stomach worries.
  2. Chamomile tea is known to cure gastric troubles like flatulence.
  3. Licorice to reduce the pain and blisters on the lining.
  4. Flaxseed to ease pressure on the intestines.
  5. Papaya, raw or ripped to help culture healthy bacteria.
  6. Probiotics-Contrary to popular belief, yogurt is good for your tummy.
  7. Peppermint in the form of oil to alleviate bowel pain.


The BRAT diet has therefore become obsolete these days thanks to its ineffectiveness. Evidence point to the idea that the diet can rob children and adults of taking in crucial nutrients. However, some of it can be still beneficial if used in complete moderation. It cannot be a way of life. While it may cause side effects in some patients, the best way is to talk to your doctor and follow their instructions properly. 

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