Gastroparesis Diet : Foods to Eat and Avoid

Gastroparesis is a condition in which the stomach takes longer than usual to empty its contents. This can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and bloating. While there is no cure for gastroparesis, making dietary changes can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. In this article, we will discuss the gastroparesis diet, including foods to eat and avoid, meal planning, and more.
Gastroparesis Diet

What is Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a condition in which the stomach takes longer than usual to empty its contents. This can occur due to damage to the vagus nerve, which controls the muscles of the stomach and intestines. Other causes of gastroparesis include viral infections, medications that slow down the digestive system, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

The symptoms of gastroparesis can vary from person to person but may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling full after eating only a small amount of food
  • Bloating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort

Foods to Eat on a Gastroparesis Diet

When following a gastroparesis diet, it is important to choose foods that are easy to digest and pass through the stomach quickly. Some examples of foods to eat on a gastroparesis diet include:

  • Low-fat, easily digestible proteins such as chicken, fish, and tofu
  • Cooked vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and spinach
  • Fruits that are soft and without skin or seeds such as bananas, melons, and applesauce
  • Grains such as oatmeal, white rice, and crackers
  • Liquid meals such as smoothies and protein shakes

Foods to Avoid on a Gastroparesis Diet

There are also certain foods that should be avoided on a gastroparesis diet as they are difficult to digest and can worsen symptoms. Some examples of foods to avoid include:

  • High-fat or fried foods
  • Raw vegetables and fruits with skin or seeds
  • Foods that are high in fiber such as whole grains and beans
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol

Meal Planning for Gastroparesis

Meal planning is an important part of managing gastroparesis. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help keep food moving through the digestive system and prevent symptoms. Some tips for meal planning on a gastroparesis diet include:

  • Eating 4-6 small meals per day instead of 3 large meals
  • Avoiding drinking liquids with meals as they can make you feel full faster
  • Chewing food thoroughly before swallowing
  • Avoiding lying down or going to bed immediately after eating

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dietary Gastroparesis

The advantages of the Gastroparesis Diet are that it can help manage gastroparesis symptoms and improve quality of life. However, the downside of the Gastroparesis Diet is that it requires careful meal planning and can limit food choices so that it can feel monotonous.


Q: Can gastroparesis be cured?

A: There is no cure for gastroparesis, but making dietary changes and taking medications can help manage symptoms.

Q: Is it safe to drink alcohol with gastroparesis?

A: It is not recommended to drink alcohol with gastroparesis as it can worsen symptoms.

Q: Can gastroparesis cause weight gain?

A: Gastroparesis can cause weight gain due to slow digestion and the accumulation of undigested food in the stomach. However, weight loss can also occur if the person is not able to eat enough due to nausea and vomiting.

Q: How long does it take for food to pass through the stomach with gastroparesis?

A: With gastroparesis, food can take several hours or even days to pass through the stomach.

In conclusion, the gastroparesis diet can be a helpful tool in managing symptoms and improving quality of life for those with gastroparesis. By making careful food choices and following meal planning guidelines, individuals with gastroparesis can better control their symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle.