According to information from the medical website Drugs.com, a soft diet is a diet which attempts to alleviate some of the strain of eating normal foods by restricting food consumption to those items which are soft--easy to chew and swallow 1. A soft diet is often recommended following surgery affecting the mouth or throat, along with seeing some use in combating cancers of the throat or esophagus. One challenge that often arises during a soft diet is meeting fiber needs, leading to the possible side effect of either constipation or diarrhea.
While on a soft diet you will have to take great pains to expressly limit your consumption of foods that are either chewy, hard, or otherwise difficult to swallow. These prohibited foods include nuts, dried fruits, dry whole-grain items like plain cereal, whole grain crackers, hard taco shells, raw fibrous vegetables such as:
- apples or pineapples
- chewy meats like beef jerky or steak,
- hard cheese
Instead of these items, a soft diet suggests consumption of juices, rice, white flour rolls and muffins, pasta, cooked fruit, soups, broth, tender meats, soft dairy such as
- or ice cream,
Increasing Fiber Content
Glycerine Vs. Glycol
Although you will be consuming a fairly restricted diet, you can still bolster your consumption of fiber by making some subtle adjustments to your eating plan. For one, always choose brown rice over white rice, as it contains more fiber. Another way to boost fiber intake is to prepare and soften vegetables by soaking them in soups or broth. Cooked fruits can also provide a fair amount of fiber without offending the other rules of the diet. Finally, select whole grain pastas instead of white flour versions as the whole grain type will remain easy to chew and swallow while still providing your body with plenty of fiber to keep you regular. (Whole-grain bread is not recommended for soft diets.) Aim to consume between 20 and 30 grams of fiber per day using these tricks.
- Although you will be consuming a fairly restricted diet, you can still bolster your consumption of fiber by making some subtle adjustments to your eating plan.
- Finally, select whole grain pastas instead of white flour versions as the whole grain type will remain easy to chew and swallow while still providing your body with plenty of fiber to keep you regular.
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- Soft Diet Information
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Eating Guide for Puréed and Soft Mechanical Diet. Updated April 2018.
- McCullough G, Pelletier C, Steele C National dysphagia diet: what to swallow? ASHA Leader. November 4:16, 27. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR3.08202003.16
- Steele C, Abdulrahman Alsanei W, Ayanikalath S, et al. The Influence of food texture and liquid consistency modification on swallowing physiology and function: A systematic review. Dysphagia. 2015;30(1):2-26. doi:10.1007/s00455-014-9578-x
- Vanhauwaert E, Matthys C, Verdonck L, et al. Low-residue and low-fiber diets in gastrointestinal disease management. Adv Nutr. 2015;6(6):820-7. doi:10.3945/an.115.009688
TS Jordan is an Ohio licensed attorney living and practicing out of the Cleveland area. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, he holds a Bachelors' Degree in Information Systems. He has been writing professionally for less than a year.