Gastroparesis Diet: What to Eat & Avoid in Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a medical condition in which there is a delayed emptying of the stomach due to the slowing down of the normal movement of the stomach muscles. If Gastroparesis is mild then there are a few symptoms only, and if the severity is high , then Gastroparesis can lead to disability and even hospitalization.

Gastroparesis if gets complicated can lead to dehydration, malnutrition and irregular blood sugar levels.

A person suffering from gastroparesis presents the following symptoms:

These symptoms overlap with many other medical condition making it difficult for the health professional to diagnose it.

There are numerous underlying condition that can lead to gastroparesis such as diabetes, lupus and certain medical procedures like bariatric surgery. A study done in 2019 found that a person may experience gastroparesis even with no clear cause.(1)

The first treatment option used for a person suffering from gastroparesis is changes in diet. Foods that are a part of gastroparesis diet are easy to digest, which can help manage the digestive symptoms.

What to Eat and Drink if Suffering From Gastroparesis?

Working with a nutritionist may help a person with gastroparesis to follow a diet along with meeting the nutritional need of the body.

Following are the foods that are recommended to be best for a person suffering from gastroparesis.

Fruits and Vegetables

A person with gastroparesis should make sure to consume low fiber and low residue options as they slow down gastric emptying. Blending fruits and vegetables or thoroughly cooking them makes them easier to digest.

Further straining the blended fruits and consuming their juice further reduces the fiber intake.

There are certain fruits and vegetables that may be helpful for a person with gastroparesis, which include:

  • Banana
  • Honeydew melon
  • Canned fruits
  • Fruit purees
  • Vegetable juices
  • Well-cooked and peeled potatoes
  • Well-cooked spinach
  • Well-cooked broccoli with stems

Carbohydrate-Rich Diet

Carbohydrate foods have low fiber compared with the whole grain version. Those with delayed stomach emptying may find them easier to digest.

High carbohydrate foods include:

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Crackers
  • White pastas and noodles
  • Cream of wheat

Dairy Products, Eggs and Meat

Gastroparesis diet includes meat, eggs, and dairy with low fat and they include:

  • Skim milk
  • Low fat cheese
  • Skinless or well-cooked poultry
  • Low fat milk including rice milk and almond milk

Liquid Foods

Those who are not able to tolerate solid foods are recommended liquids.(2) These foods may include liquid meals or solid foods blended into a puree.

Excess of water and liquids that contain glucose and electrolytes are recommended. These include:

  • Sport drinks
  • Low-fiber fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat broth and clear soups
  • Oral rehydration solutions

What to Avoid in Gastroparesis?

  • Foods With Excess Fat: It is recommended to limit the intake of high fat foods which include anything that is greasy or fried.
  • High-Fiber Foods: Some fruits and vegetables are hard to digest and can end up in formation and causing blockage in the stomach.
  • Tough Foods: Anything with skin like meats and roast are not recommended to be eaten by those suffering from gastroparesis.
  • Alcohol and Smoking: These slow down the stomach emptying even more and are therefore not recommended.

Gastroparesis Diet Tips

There are a few other changes that can be made to ease the symptoms of gastroparesis that include:

  • Eating smaller meals: Decreasing the size of the meal alleviates bloating and empties the stomach quickly. A review shows consuming 4-6 meals a day is optimal.(3)
  • Chew food properly: It helps in improving digestion.

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