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Choose to eat from this list of low fiber foods:

  • Refined cereals like rice, bread, brown bread, refined wheat flour, semolina, noodles, macaroni, etc.
    Washed pulses
  • Eggs, chicken, fish
  • Vegetables like potato, bottle gourd, spinach
  • Fruit juices and fruits like banana, papaya

You may as well choose to eat from this list of low residue foods:

  • Banana
  • Biscuits
  • Rice
  • Sago
  • Arrowroot
  • Potato
  • Egg
  • Chicken and fish
  • Pureed vegetables and fruits
  • Refined cereals and their products
  • Curd 

Fruit juices that are helpful

  • Pomegranate
  • Bael fruit
Few simple precautions to avoid Diarrhoea 

Watch what goes into your mouth

Eat only very hot, freshly prepared food, specially when you are out 
Steer clear of uncooked foods or fruits and vegetables that can't be peeled
Be specially leery of raw or cold foods in roadside stalls.
Mawa and chutney are extremely bacteria prone. 
Although your idli's may be piping hot, be warned of its accompaniments
Salad bars are trouble spots
Paani puri and bhel puri stalls can be breeding grounds for bacteria and parasites as food is not hot enough to kill the germs


Be water conscious

Contaminated water is the primary source of diarrhea causing germs. Boiling is the best method for getting rid of both bacteria and viruses
Avoid milk products unless you know they have been pasteurized and properly refrigerated
Drink coffee or tea only if it is steaming hot

Don't eat and run

Eating followed by physical activity can bring on a case of diarrhea faster
Try eating a small snack about an hour before you exercise, then eat your meal when you finish


The affected individual may become weak and malnourished. His body's capacity to work as well as the resistance to disease is lowered considerably.

In children, the physical and mental growth may also be affected. Diarrhea if neglected, can lead to dehydration due to excessive loss of electrolytes from the body. This may prove fatal in infants and young children.

Diarrhea is not a disease in itself but a symptom. It does not spare any age or sex. Diarrhea is most common amongst population living in unhygienic condition due to the prevalence of infections and poor standards of hygiene. 


  • Acute Diarrhea
  • Chronic Diarrhea

Acute Diarrhea is characterized by sudden onset and frequent passage of watery and unformed stools. The patient may even pass several stools in an hour. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, cramps, weakness and sometimes vomiting and fever. Acute diarrhea lasts for 24 to 48 hours. Due to the danger of dehydration, replacement of water and electrolyte is of prime importance and meeting the nutritional requirements becomes secondary.

Chronic diarrhea Unlike the acute type, chronic diarrhea persists for a longer time, even several weeks and the patient may pass 4 to 5 unformed stools in a day. The rapid passage of food through the intestines does not allow sufficient time for the absorption of nutrients and thus nutritional deficiency symptoms may develop. Therefore, meeting the nutritional needs and providing extra allowance to compensate for the nutrient losses becomes the major objective for treatment. 


It leads to excessive loss of water and electrolytes resulting in dehydration, which if not controlled may prove fatal. This can be easily prevented if timely steps are taken to dehydrate the patient by giving oral rehydration therapy. 
Oral rehydration salt (ORS) and sugar solution should be given to the child as frequently as possible, the general rule being one glass for every stool passed. 
Other fluids which maybe given along with ORS are:

  • Coconut water
  • Barley water
  • Weak tea
  • Whey water
  • Albumin water
  • Butter milk
  • Carbonated beverages 
  • Cereal waters
  • Pulse waters

The main treatment of acute diarrhea, therefore, is to replenish the fluid and electrolyte loss

The dietary modifications in chronic diarrhea are 

  • Energy Energy requirements are increased by 10 to 20 % to meet the losses during diarrhea as well as overcome weakness and loss of weight 
  • Protein A high protein intake is essential to build up body tissue and replace the tissue breakdown which has occurred. It is advisable to increase the protein intake by as much as 50%
  • Carbohydrate The intake of carbohydrate should be increased to meet the high energy requirements. However, the fiber intake is kept to a minimum (1 to 2 grams per day) to give rest to the intestines. 
  • Fats Due to the increased motility of the intestines, fats are not completely digested and therefore there intake needs to be restricted. Emulsified fats like butter and whole milk are given as they are easy to digest.
  • Minerals The absorption of calcium and iron in the intestines is lowered as they form insoluble salts with free fatty acids. Therefore calcium and iron rich foods should be included in the diets.
  • Vitamins Greater amount of B group vitamin have to be provided to compensate for the losses that occur due to diarrhea. Fat soluble vitamin like vitamin A is impaired and therefore sufficient amount should be provided in the diet.
  • Residue Low residue foods should be given to the patients of diarrhea

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  • The diet should be easily digestible. A soft, blend diet, low in fiber, low in residue and low in fat is recommended
  • Well cooked, soft, semi solid foods may be included in the diet
  • The patient should drink plenty of fluids and eat food at frequent intervals. He may not be able to eat very large meals at one time, due to the loss of appetite and should therefore be given 6 to 8 meals in a day.


Do You Know ?
Causes of Diarrhea

Acute Diarrhea
Infection in the gastrointestinal tract
through contaminated food and water
Dietary factors - Faulty feeding practices, food sensitivity or allergy.
Malnutrition - Protein energy malnutrition, deficiency of vitamin A & B
Other infections - Cholera, typhoid, ear infections and tonsillitis
Drugs and chemicals - Arsenic, lead, mercury poisoning
Psychological factors - tension and anxiety

Chronic Diarrhea

  • Malabsorption syndrome - Celiac disease, lactose intolerance
  • Metabolic diseases - Diabetes mellitus  and uremia
  • Chronic Alcoholism 
  • Cancer of colon 
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Prolonged intake of laxatives

Foods to be Avoided

  • Whole cereals 
  • Whole pulses
  • Raw vegetables and fruits 
  • Fried foods 
  • Nuts and dried fruits
  • Milk and milk based beverages
  • Fibrous vegetables and fruits
  • Sweets and sweet meats
  • Condiments and spices
  • Papar, chutney and pickles
Foods Permitted
  • Washed pulses
  • Refined cereals
  • Well cooked low fibrous vegetables
  • Soft low fibrous fruits like banana, papaya
  • Milk products like curd and paneer
  • Egg 
  • Chicken 
  • Fish
  • Water liberally
Be Alert to Allergies

Food allergies or intolerances are sometimes a pre cursor to diarrhea
If you feel food allergies are causing you diarrhea, then exclude it from your diet and check if your symptoms disappear


Manu, 5 years old, is in kindergarten class of a public school. He is frequently absenting from school because of repeated episodes of diarrhea. He often passes 3 to 4 stools a day and complains of stomach ache. He is not gaining weight and appears pale and weak. A days sample diet is planned for him.


Age 5 years
Sex Male
Socio economic status MIG
Food habits Non vegetarian
Pathological condition Chronic diarrhoea


Energy 1860 kcal
Protein 45 grams
Vitamin A 400 g retinol
Fibre 1 to 2 grams


Meal  Menu 
Breakfast Semolina porridge
  Boiled Egg
  Bread and butter
Mid morning Apple or Orange juice
Lunch Spinach
Mid Afternoon Banana custard
Evening tea Paneer and tomato puree sandwich
Dinner Lentil and tomato soup
  Grilled fish and potatoes
Before bed Phirni
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