step 1 DIET consists of liquids, which usually leave the stomach quickly by gravity alone. Liquids prevent dehydration and keep the body supplied with vital salts and minerals.
step 2 DIET provides additional calories by adding a small amount of dietary fat -- less than 40 gm each day. For patients with gastroparesis, fatty foods and oils should be restricted, because they delay stomach emptying. However, patients at the Step 2 level are usually able to tolerate this amount.
STEP 3 DIET is designed for long-term maintenance. Fat is limited to 50 gm per day, and fibrous foods are restricted, because many plant fibers cannot be digested.
~Diets must be tailored to the individual patient. This is because the degree of gastroparesis may range from severe and long-standing to mild and easily corrected. Patients may also have various medical conditions to be considered
~Fiber is mainly found in raw vegetables and fruits, legumes and whole grains. As the stomach will take extra time to digest fiber foods, the intake of these foods must be minimized. This is because fat slows down the process of digestion and fiber cannot be easily digested. The indigestible part of food forms bezoars in the stomach. Foods that can cause bezoars include berries, dried figs, coconut, apples, tomato peels, potato, brussels sprouts and corn.
~High fiber foods such as broccoli and orange contain nutrients that are simply difficult to digest. Indigestion is something that cannot be tolerated as the stomach is already weak in this condition. An important point to note is the food that cannot be digested remains in the stomach, and can cause further complications.
~Fried or greasy vegetables can aggravate the symptoms, hence it must not be consumed. To fulfill the requirement of calories and nutrients contained in high fat liquids, one can have small servings of rich drinks such as milkshakes. The diet for gastroparesis must contain adequate protein and calories. This can be easily achieved by taking nutritional supplements like Ensure, Boost or Glucerna.
~People with gastroparesis are comfortable eating pureed food and soups. The process of pureeing involves crushing fruits and vegetables to make a thick paste (sauce). Almost any type of food can be pureed. As gastroparesis patients are not allowed to eat high fat foods, deficiency in essential nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamin B-12 may occur. To compensate the loss, one can include mineral supplements in their diet.
~Doctors often recommend to have small frequent meals (6 to 8 meals daily) instead of having large meals twice a day. The stomach will require more effort to digest a super sized meal than a lighter snack. Pureed or a liquid diet will be better tolerated, as liquids can easily and quickly pass through the stomach