Low-carb "bland" food suggestions for when ill?

Usually when I am sick (stomach illness or bad colds/flu), my appetite drops and I revert to a bland diet of rice, toast, and sometimes apples. Chicken broth goes down ok, but isn't very filling. Most other foods sound awful and/or won't stay down.

Obviously on a low-carb diet, these are out. What do you all do when sick? Anyone have any good low-carb bland food suggestions, or is it best to just eat xyz carb until feeling better again?


  • Citrislazer
    Citrislazer Posts: 316 Member
    I find if I have an upset stomach it's best to just not eat at all and drink water or broth for 12 to 24 hours. Also pepto and rest. Your stomach is telling you it needs a break. Seems like if I just give my stomach a break, i can go back to eating normal the next day. A bland or BRAT diet prolongs the issue for me. Sometimes if your stomach feels cruddy it can be from acid reflux, a small ulcer, gallbladder, or an incompetent sphincter. These will occur more frequently and a doctor will need to help.

    For flu or cold, my appetite is less, so I focus on eating what I am able to in superfoods: kale, berries, spinach, avocado, etc. All low carb approved and nutrition to help fight off a bug. It's more like I'm snacking on them, not a meal. If you're sick, it's okay not to eat meals. Snacking can help curb hunger pains and keep ill feelings from eating full meals away, so you are more comfortable.

    Hope my experiences help you!
  • GaleHawkins
    GaleHawkins Posts: 8,161 Member
    I thought the bland food thing was just an old wife's tale thing. :)

    Seriously keeping food down has not been an issue for the most part. I may eat less but I just stick with my same WOE most often. I expect most reading MFP have figured out what works for them by now and adjust when needed.

  • Shadioutwo
    Shadioutwo Posts: 36 Member
    edited January 2019
    I wanted a lot of bland foods when I was pregnant and had morning sickness, I ate lots of plain, raw almonds and other nuts as well as seeds (and crackers made from seeds).
    Also, low carb yoghurt with low carb granola.

    For colds and 'flus, I would recommend doing a low carb soup option.
  • tcunbeliever
    tcunbeliever Posts: 8,219 Member
    I usually just go with eggs...so far even when I feel terrible I have always been able to tolerate those even if it's only one or two instead of my usual four or six.
  • baconslave
    baconslave Posts: 6,879 Member
    I'll do chicken or beef broth (usually from bouillon) until my stomach will keep liquids down. And then....
    Egg drop soup.
    Salty broth (electrolytes). Egg.
    This one is ok, but if my tummy is being evil, I'll eliminate the spice (and the fat too if the evil is very strong.) I use a whole cube of bouillon though, but I like it super salty.

    You can dress it up with sour cream and/or cheese and peppers for a cold-day lunch when the stomach is not trying to kill you from the inside.
  • mmultanen
    mmultanen Posts: 1,029 Member
    I second egg drop soup. I make a version of this: https://tasty-lowcarb.com/low-carb-egg-drop-soup/ I also have focused on stock based soups. lots of options there.
    Cottage cheese also satisfies the need for bland for me. experiment a bit to see if you can find something that's comforting.

    there may be a bit of "reconditioning" you need to do with yourself. My mom used to give us buttered saltines when we were kids and sick. That's what I believed I needed/wanted when I was an adult and not feeling well. Took me a bit to retrain my brain on that one.
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    I tend to resort to more snack style foods, probably due to fatigue more than anything. Pepperoni sticks, left overs and such.

    Hope you feel better.
    I thought the bland food thing was just an old wife's tale thing. :)

    Seriously keeping food down has not been an issue for the most part. I may eat less but I just stick with my same WOE most often. I expect most reading MFP have figured out what works for them by now and adjust when needed.

    The only time bland food helped me was when I had morning sickness, and that was because my sense of smell went into hyper drive... I had to wash my face every couple of hours or the smell of my sweat on skin nauseated me. Lol. I never found that bland foods stayed down better though.
  • keezo1
    keezo1 Posts: 204 Member
    If I am sick I usually make a light soup or eat some berries or nuts
  • VictoryGarden
    VictoryGarden Posts: 194 Member
    edited January 2019
    Thanks all. I never considered nuts! I ended up just not eating, which was probably all for the better the whole way around. ;) I just ate a porkchop (it sounded good!) but seem to be feeling better today, so hopefully on the mend now. I'll know in a couple hours.
  • FlyingMolly
    FlyingMolly Posts: 490 Member
    My rule of thumb with an upset stomach is that I can eat anything I can vividly imagine eating without feeling nauseous. Think about the texture and the temperature and the feeling of swallowing it—imagine every detail—and if you’re still okay, that’s the food for you.

    Lately I’m a big fan of ricotta cheese with blueberries and slivered almonds. Bland and easy!
  • Running_and_Coffee
    Running_and_Coffee Posts: 811 Member
    I tend to go for saltier foods, like chicken broth and eggs.
  • KatieHall77
    KatieHall77 Posts: 128 Member
    I second what FlyingMolly said. If you can imagine it vividly without experiencing nausea, then you can probably eat it. I always check mentally firsthand if I've got a bad stomach flu.

    Lots of water, chicken broth, and ginger tea is good for when I'm ill.
    When I start solids again, scrambled eggs or I like to toast up a mini Joseph's flax pita and if I'm well enough, put some Simply Jiff peanut butter on it.
  • maureenkhilde
    maureenkhilde Posts: 850 Member
    Low carb yogurt, string cheese, and hot tea, lots of hot tea,
  • gcminton
    gcminton Posts: 170 Member
    Tea, broth, egg drop soup (which is a favorite breakfast anyway), plain chicken, maybe nibble on some cucumbers or carrot sticks.

    Eggs, other than in soup, on an empty stomach make me queasy on the best of days. I can't imagine they'd sit well if I was sick, but if you handle eggs well they're probably a good option.