The name "Brat Diet" is indeed confusing. To provide better clarity about the diet, it should be known that it is not a diet meant for weight loss. It is a traditional diet for children with upset stomachs, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
The Brat Diet derives its name from the four foods that are allowed to children with problems related to digestion. These four allowed foods are - Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. The reason why these foods are allowed for people with a sensitive stomach is because these foods are considered to be ‘binders’. This means that they are constipating and help in restricting diarrhea. Additionally, these foods are generally liked by all and the simple flavors that they have are less prone to induce vomiting.
The Brat Diet has been in use for a very long time. However, some pediatricians have recently voiced some conflicting viewpoints on The Brat Diet. Their contention is that the diet does not provide the essential nutrients that are required by the body. There is also no scientific evidence to support the contention that The Brat Diet helps in recovery from diarrhea and other stomach ailments faster than a normal diet.
Stomach upsets and vomiting can prove to be a major problem, since one needs to guard against dehydration. The lack of nutrients resulting from the intake of only the four foods allowed in The Brat Diet may lead to other health issues. The Brat Diet should probably be used only when there is complete rejection of complex foods by the body.
If normal foods are being rejected by the body, there should be an attempt to move to a liquid diet for a few hours. During this phase, water, ginger ale, broth and a diluted sports drink can be ingested in small quantities. Once there is an acceptance of liquids and there is no rejection in the form of nausea or vomiting, a Brat food can be tried. The other Brat foods can be introduced slowly. If the body does not start accepting regular foods within two days, a physician should be contacted immediately to avoid dehydration and malnutrition.
The Brat diet can help children and adults alike. Along with addressing gastrointestinal problems, it can work as part of a natural weight loss plan since the Brat foods are simple in nature. It should be noted that the foods are deficient in nutrients and therefore, the diet should not be continued over protracted periods.
If you are on a Brat diet for weight loss and do intend to continue with it for some time, make sure that you take adequate measures and add certain healthy weight loss supplements and liquids fortified with vitamins during the duration of the diet to avoid health problems.