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The CRAM diet is an alternate diet to the traditional BRAT diet, which has long been recommended as one aspect of a complete treatment plan for children and adults with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia and other forms of gastrointestinal upset. BRAT is an acronym for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The BRAT diet foods are starchy, bland, and low in fiber, which are believed to be easily digested without causing further upset and help to minimize gas and abdominal discomfort. The pectin found in applesauce also has a soothing effect on the gastrointestinal system. Today, however, there is concern that limiting people with gastrointestinal distress to a BRAT diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies. These include a lack of sufficient fat, protein, fiber, energy and some vitamins. In contrast, CRAM is an acronym for cereal, rice, applesauce, and milk. It includes bland starchy foods and applesauce like the BRAT diet, but also includes milk, which adds some needed protein and fat to the diet. However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend that people with diarrhea maintain a well-balanced diet. In addition, current studies also report that including rice, bananas and/or applesauce into the well-balanced diet may be of benefit in help in to resolve diarrhea. Foods that are recommended to avoid during bouts of gastrointestinal distress include foods high in simple sugars, such as colas/sodas, undiluted apple juice, Jell-O, and sugary cereals. The body loses lots of fluids during bouts of diarrhea and/or vomiting, which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Untreated dehydration and electrolyte imbalance is a potentially serious, even fatal, complication of diarrhea and/or vomiting. It is important that people with diarrhea and/or vomiting drink plenty of fluids an oral rehydration fluids, such as Pedialyte, that help to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Hospitalization and intravenous fluid and electrolyte replacement may be necessary, especially with infants, young children, older adults, and people with debilitating or chronic conditions.
People with symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting should consult with their health care provider and receive a full evaluation and diagnosis to rule-out other potentially serious conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, or food poisoning. Any diet may have the potential to be harmful to some people, so consultation with a health care provider before starting any diet plan is recommended.
Other names for this diet (CRAM Diet) include:
Other diets similar to CRAM Diet include:
Conditions associated with CRAM Diet include:
The following foods may be restricted or excluded from CRAM Diet:
The following foods may be focused on as part of CRAM Diet:
The following are potential risks or complications of the diet (CRAM Diet):
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