Gastric Protection Diet

Who hasn't been prescribed a soft diet at some point in time? Read on to find out exactly what it is. 
Gastric Protection Diet

Last update: 31 October, 2019

A gastric protection diet is commonly known as a soft diet. However, this term doesn’t refer to the consistency of food, since it’s not a “tender diet” or an “easy chewing diet”. In fact, this diet may include foods such as biscotti, which aren’t exactly soft.

Forewarning of a gastric protection diet

It’s a therapeutic diet and it’s indicated in situations where the digestive system needs to work as little as possible, due to either pathology or to recover.

Some of the pathologies for which it may be useful are patients with hiatus hernia, gastric or duodenal ulcer, and, sometimes, patients with chronic pancreatitis. It can also be ideal as part of the food progression, from the beginning of digestive tolerance until reaching a complete diet; once the acute phase of the disease comes to an end.

What foods does the gastric protection diet include?

This diet includes the intake of the following foods:

  • Cereals and starches: refined cereals will be consumed to limit the consumption of dietary fiber to a maximum. Boiled or steamed potatoes will also be included.
  • Meat and fish: it’s advisable to consume white meat and fish. This diet doesn’t include red meat, sausages, and bluefish.
  • Eggs: it’s important to consider individual tolerance in this matter. You can first eat the whites and later, the yolk.
Eggs are part of the gastric protection diet.

  • Dairy products: the ones that are fermented, such as natural yogurt, cottage cheese, and fresh cheeses are more tolerable than milk. The consumption of this will depend on the individual tolerance of each person. Avoid cured cheeses and dairy products such as custards. Although they’re usually included in the official lists, they can be dispensed due to their high sugar content.
  • Vegetables: you should avoid crucifers, such as cauliflower or broccoli, vegetables, and tomatoes. You can include the rest of the vegetables as long as you cook or crush them. Broths are also a  good option.
  • Fruits: ripe, compote or cooked non-citrus fruits and bananas are allowed.
  • Legumes: you can’t eat them as a whole, but you can crush and peel them to avoid eating the skin.
  • Fats: small amounts of olive oil, avocado, and butter are usually tolerable.
  • Others: you must avoid chocolate and candy, sauces, snacks, spicy peppers, relish, vinegar, sugary products, and tobacco.
  • Spices: it’s recommendable to use laurel, cinnamon, herbs, and parsley. On the other hand, the use of pepper, garlic, paprika, and tabasco is discouraged.

Example menu

For breakfast, you can opt for chamomile or tea, an apple, and white bread toast with compote. A good strategy to improve the quality of your breakfast is to substitute jam with compote.

Meanwhile, as the main meal for lunch, you can eat zucchini puree, grilled turkey with steamed potatoes, and plain yogurt. Subsequently, you can eat fresh cheese with quince as a snack.

Finally, a good alternative for dinner would be to consume pasta soup, a French omelet, bread, and cooked pear. You can add another natural yogurt to finish your day.

Pasta soup is a good dinner option.

Adapting gastric protection to a vegetarian diet

For people who follow a diet without meats, the best option for legumes is peas; either boiled or mashed. However, as with all other legumes, you must consume them in moderate quantities.

On the other hand, white tofu is usually a good alternative, as long as you don’t season it. Seitan is also a good option, while it’s best to choose vegetable drinks made of rice, almond, or oatmeal.

General dietary recommendations

In order to avoid reaching the point of needing to resort to a gastric protection diet, it’s best to follow these tips in your daily routine:

  • Avoid large meals. A good strategy is to divide the diet by making five to six small meals.
  • Eat slowly, chewing well, and in a calm environment.
  • Sit down to rest after the main meals for approximately thirty minutes.
  • Separate water intake from main meals and avoid orange juices and soft drinks.
  • Use simple culinary techniques: boil, cook with their juices, grill, steam, or bake. Avoid cooking with the addition of fats or oils and avoid fried or battered food.

Ultimately, it’s also important to use salt and seasonings moderately and to avoid stimulating foods, such as coffee or alcohol; as well as those that aren’t tolerated well individually. With these indications, the need to resort to a gastric protection diet will be less frequent.

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  • Salas-Salvadó J et al., eds. Nutrición y dietética clínica. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019