Sounding like a Hollywood fad, this diet was actually designed to help with various types of gastrointestinal problems like gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and dyspepsia. Prescribed in the past for patients with the above issues, this diet consists essentially of bland foods that are low in fiber – low-fiber foods are recommended as high-fiber foods can cause excess gas and aggravate gastrointestinal problems.
Remember that this diet was designed for specific stomach conditions and not as a weight loss program.
What does BRAT, BRATT or BRATTY mean?
BRAT is an acronym for Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. BRATT is for bananas, rice, applesauce toast and tea. BRATTY stands for banana, rice, apple sauce, toast, tea and yoghurt. These are the foods that are recommended to prevent an increase in gastrointestinal problems and, in some cases, to cure them.
Eat some bananas. Bananas are a boring fruit that can cause constipation, a good thing for diarrhea.
Eat some rice. Rice is mild and well tolerated and is not likely to cause nausea.
eat applesauce. The creamy consistency of applesauce goes down easily and contains pectin that helps stop diarrhea.
Eat some slices of toast. Almost everyone likes toast and with some apple jelly it adds the calories the patient needs.
Drink plenty of black tea to help stay hydrated.
Provides good cultures/bacteria lost in diarrhea and vomiting.
It is recommended that all patients with gastroenteritis or diarrhea who follow the above diet, regardless of age, increase their fluid intake. Oral rehydration solutions should be taken in conjunction with the supplemental fluids to prevent dehydration, as severe diarrhea depletes a person’s electrolytes, which can lead to severe salt imbalance, which can lead to confusion, weakness, coma, or even death. Avoid carbonated beverages, sugary or processed fruit drinks, and gelatin-based foods.
An important point to remember while on this diet is that it is not comprehensive and lacks in essential foods like proteins. So although the diet will help with your gut issues, the body still needs protein and it is recommended that you also eat some lean meat like turkey or indulge in some tofu. A good multivitamin tablet taken daily will also help during this time.
Nowadays, this diet is no longer recommended by pediatricians, they recommend that the child stick to their normal diet and give the BRAT diet in addition to their normal, well-tolerated food. Studies have shown that when you have diarrhea, a balanced diet should be maintained, and ingesting some of the BRAT foods such as applesauce (due to its pectin) can reduce severity.
Medical attention is needed if diarrhea is still severe after 3 or 4 days on the BRAT diet and if there is blood or mucus in the stool.
Thanks to Candice McInnes