The White Diet For Digestive Problems, Man Or Beast; With Recipe
Colors and Food
Someone recently wrote that beige foods are not good for human consumption or heath. Thinking this comment over, you may agree. I also agree, at least in part --
Some physicians have published works on the theory that wheat in America is GMO and should be called Frankenwheat. In their findings, these docs say that our wheat creates a cycle of wheat/baked goods craving that is keeping America fat. Maybe so.
Wheat Is Beige, GMO, and Possibly Unhealthy Today
Dr. William Davis is a cardiologist that appears on talk shows to alert the public to the genetically modified wheat grown in America and its effects on human health. Wheat Belly is his interesting book related to his presentations on television.
Dr. Davis developed an online program for tracking heart health that he calls Track Your Plaque at www.trackyourplaque.com. His advice is to eliminate all wheat from your diet, because the GMO wheat is completely different from the wheat America grew in the 1960s. In his experience, not even whole grain products made with modern wheat are any good for the human body.
When wheat was healthier in America, what became known as the White Diet or the Sippy Diet (named after Dr Sippy), could be used temporarily in cases of digestive and intestinal disorders like Irritable Bowl Syndrome and Peptic Ulcer. Today, breads made from wheat would need to be eliminated, unless wheat that has not been genetically modified could be found.
Chef Frank L. White
The man on the box is Chicago Chef Frank L. White in 1900. Born in Barbados in 1867, he came to America 1875 and became a citizen in 1890. His image is still used on the box.
The White Diet or Bland Diet
The white diet, made up of white foods, does not irritate the gastrointestinal tract. This diet is useful to humans temporarily, and can be modified for dogs.
One friend of mine has three dogs that suffer stomach problems from time to time. His veterinarian advised him to cook white rice and mix it in a proportion of equal amounts with cooked hamburger for his dogs when they suffer stomach upsets. It always works.
For humans, doctors can prescribe the white diet to ease the symptoms of peptic ulcer, colitis, gallbladder problems, IBS, diverticulitis, gastritis, GERD, some types of constipation and diarrhea, and other conditions. Because it is an non-irritant overall, the diet is also called the bland diet. However, it is not a license to eat all the white sugar you want, because sugar can be a stimulant.
Another version of the Sippy Diet, called "liberal bland", allows any food except those containing alcohol, caffeine, pepper, and spices.
While some of the medical profession finds no proof of a bland diet's usefulnes, the diet is still prescribed by other parts of the healthcare community. What is contained in the original white diet?
Yogurt Is Good In the White Diet
If you have a stomach upset and reach for mashed potatoes, it's more than comfort food for the spirit. The mashed potatoes are not irritating to the GI and can help you recover. Potato soup works well, too. The Michigan white or Idaho potato always comes to mind when I hear "white diet."
Dr. Bertram W. Sippy of 5615 S. Woodlawn Ave. in Chicago was a successful physician who studied in Europe and the USA - successful enough to have the well known architect Howard Van Doren Shaw build his large house.
Sippy professionally recommended his white diet in a paper presented to medical conferences and published in 1915 and called Gastric and Duodenal Ulcer.
The diet contained milk, cream, farina (similar to Cream of Wheat), and eggs. Between meals, patients received baking soda solutions to reduce stomach acid (see the baking soda link at the bottom of this Hub). The problem with the Sippy Diet is that patients stayed on it too long - up to a decade - resulting in unwanted effects on the kidneys.
Today, more foods are allowed in the white diet and it is recommended by Livestrong.com for relief of peptic ulcers, but the site caustions that the diet does not preven recurrence (reference link).
You can have a look at a variety of white foods in the images to the right.
If a stomach upset is severe or lasts longer than a few hours, or you have gastrointestinal pain, call you doctor before continuing a bland diet. Your condition may require other measures of treatment; feelings of indigestion can signal a heart attack and pain in the abdomen could be appendicitis or worse.
Another caution is to refrain from taking too many antacids like baking soda in water or Tums and the like. They can make the body overly alkaline, vitamin D increase can make the alkalinity worse, and it is thought that kidney stones may result, although very few such cases have been seen in the 21st c. The phenomenon is called Burnett's Syndrome of milk-akali syndrome.
For short term upset stomachs, I like mashed potatoes and white bean soup.
Baking Soda Is Good For Digestion
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- Prep time: 15 min
- Cook time: 10 min
- Ready in: 25 min
- Yields: Serves 4
Please rate this recipe.
Recipe: Mock Mashed Potatoes
A friend and I tried this one winter. It is good as is and you can add spices to suit your taste and stomach.
- 1 large cauliflower head
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- Salt, to taste
- 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Put a collapsible steamer basket in a 6-quart pot and our in water to come just above the bottom of the steamer.
- Cover and bring to the boil.
- Wash cauliflower and remove leaves.
- Break cauliflower into flowerets.
- Add half the cauliflower to the basket in the pot, add all the garlic at once, and add remaining cauliflower.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Drain and place in a blender or food processor; puree with the butter and oil. Add some milk of you like and the mixture is not too thin.
- Season to taste with pepper and salt.
- You can refrigerate this dish for up to 4 days.
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