What is Gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis is a condition where the stomach doesn't empty properly, causing food to stay in the stomach for a longer period than it should. This can cause a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, bloating, and abdominal pain.
What Foods Should People with Gastroparesis Limit?
People with gastroparesis should limit their intake of high-fat foods, high-fiber foods, and foods that are difficult to digest.
Fried and fatty foods
Whole grains and whole grain breads
Raw vegetables and fruits with skins or seeds
Nuts and seeds
That doesn’t mean they need to give these foods up completely, however. Many of these foods are incredibly healthy and can be included with a few modifications.
Even though raw vegetables can be difficult to digest, people with this condition can still eat vegetables by choosing cooked or pureed options.
Here are some tips:
Steam, roast, or boil vegetables until they are soft and well-cooked.
Puree vegetables into a soup or smoothie.
Choose low-fiber vegetables like green beans, carrots, and potatoes.
Peel and remove seeds from fruits and vegetables before eating them.
Drink vegetable juice instead of eating whole vegetables (check sodium labels).
Choose low-fiber fruits such as canned or cooked fruits without skins, such as peaches, pears, or applesauce canned in their own juices (not syrup).
Peel and remove seeds from fruits before eating them if possible.
If not possible, limit fruits with seeds, such as figs, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Blend fruit into a smoothie or puree.
Choose fruits that are naturally low in fiber such as bananas or melons.
Nuts and Seeds Modifications
Choose low-fiber options like smooth nut butters or seed butters without added sugars or oils.
Grind nuts and seeds into a powder or use them as a garnish in small amounts.
Soak nuts and seeds in water overnight before eating them to soften them and make them easier to digest.
Cook grains until they are soft and well-cooked.
Try sprouted grains, quinoa, or millet, which may be easier to digest.
Eat small portions of grains with other low-fiber foods to aid digestion.
If you must choose refined grains instead of whole grains, such as white bread, white rice, and pasta, pay attention to portion size. 1 serving = 1 cup cooked or 2 slices bread
Other Considerations to Minimize Symptoms
Reduce fat intake – fat naturally slows stomach emptying
Eat nutritious foods first – start with your biggest and most nutritious meals earlier in the day and finish with liquids in the evening
Chew foods well – chew to a pudding consistency
Sit up while eating – gravity helps your stomach empty
Walk after meals – light movement has been shown to increase stomach emptying
Eat small but intentional meals – avoid grazing to give yourself time to fully digest
Remember to always consult with your healthcare provider if you have concerns. They can provide you with personalized recommendations that consider your individual needs and medical history.
Try these RENEW Recipes
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2020). Gastroparesis. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gastroparesis
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2020). Gastroparesis: Diet. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gastroparesis/eating-diet-nutrition
Quigley, E. M. (2013). Gastroparesis and dysmotility of the stomach. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, 29(6), 661-669. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0b013e3283655df2
Gastroparesis is a condition that affects the normal muscle movements of the stomach