Gastroparesis Diet: Meal Plan & Tips

Gastroparesis Diet: What to Eat, Drink, And What To Avoid

Gastroparesis Diet: Meal Plan & Tips

Table of Contents

Written By:
Julia Zakrzewski, RD

Key Takeaways

Gastroparesis is a chronic condition where food passes through your stomach and into your small intestine slower than normal. Medically this is referred to as delayed gastric emptying. It might not sound like a big deal, but slow-moving food can negatively affect your health. 

Someone suffering from gastroparesis will feel full quickly into a meal, even if they’ve only started eating. It can then take hours for the desire to eat to return. Many people feel nauseous and are turned off by the thought of eating. 

Getting enough food and nutrition in your diet can be hard while living with these symptoms. This article will teach you how to make small dietary changes that can improve the symptoms associated with gastroparesis.1 

What Is the Gastroparesis Diet? 

There are three phases of a gastroparesis diet. You should start at phase 1 to allow your digestive system to heal. Move on to the next step when your symptoms start to improve.2

  • Phase 1 - Liquid diet. Only consume liquids for 1-3 days; if symptoms persist, follow up with your doctor. 
  • Phase 2 - Soft foods. Consume soft and easy-to-break-down foods, such as cooked white pasta noodles. Slowly increase fiber, but keep fat intake below 40g daily. 
  • Phase 3 - Maintenance phase. Work towards your normal diet by slowly adding more fiber foods and variety. If your symptoms worsen, go back to phase 2. 

A Low-Fat, Low-Fiber Diet Can Help 

High-fiber and high-fat foods take longer to digest than other nutrients. Decreasing your intake of these foods can relieve symptoms and help keep things moving. Here are examples of foods to avoid during the first two phases: 

  • Raw fruits, including soft berries. 
  • Legumes and pulses include chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans. 
  • Nuts and seeds. 
  • Whole grains. 
  • Popcorn. 
  • Raw vegetables. 
  • Popcorn and high-fiber crackers or cereals. 
  • Fiber supplements including Metamucil or Benefiber. 
  • Fried foods, including savory chips or sweet baked goods. 
  • Meat with heavy marbling. 
  • High-fat dairy products. 

Gastroparesis Diet Plan 

Here are sample meal plans you can follow for each phase. Pay attention to how your body responds and track the severity of your symptoms. 

Phase 1 recommends liquids only. Liquids quickly pass through the stomach and digestive system, and nutrients can be easily absorbed. You will not meet all your nutrient requirements in this stage, and adherence should only be until any nausea and vomiting subside (1-3 days). 

Phase 1 - Liquids Only 

Food to include: 

  • Fruit Juices.
  • Fat-free soups.
  • Plain white crackers. 
  • Plain tea, water.  

Foods To Limit: 

  • Fresh whole fruits. 
  • Creamy soups, hearty soups with tough vegetables such as celery or cabbage. 
  • Whole grain crackers, fried crackers. 
  • Dairy beverages (lactose can be irritating, and the fat content can be too high). 
  • Baked goods, pastry items, chocolates. 
  • Meat products, nuts, seeds, nut butter. 
  • All vegetables. 

Phase 2 - Liquids and soft foods 

Phase 2 includes soft foods and small amounts of fiber. Slowly introduce more foods into the diet as long as your symptoms improve. If vomiting resumes, start back at phase 1 and consult your doctor. 

Day 1

  • Breakfast - 1-2 scrambled eggs, ½ cup canned apricots in water, 1 slice of white bread.
  • Snack - ½ meal replacement bottle. 
  • Lunch - 1-2 slices of white bread, 1 tbsp of smooth peanut butter, ½ cup canned peaches in water.
  • Snack - ½ cup zero-fat cottage cheese with ½ cup cooked fruit puree. 
  • Dinner - 1 cup elbow noodles, 1 tsp of margarine, ½ cup pureed cooked red peppers, 2 tbsp smooth tomato sauce. 

Day 2

  • Breakfast - Smoothie with ¼ cup unflavoured Greek yogurt, ½ banana, and ½ cup of fruit juice.
  • Snack - ½ meal replacement bottle. 
  • Lunch - ½ cup turkey soup with cooked vegetables. Combine ¾ cup zero-fat unflavored yogurt with ½ cup unsweetened applesauce. 
  • Snack - 1 slice of white bread with 1 tsp of light mayonnaise.
  • Dinner - ½ cup boiled cauliflower, ½ cup mashed carrot, 3 oz fish filet, 1 tsp of margarine.

Day 3

  • Breakfast - 4-6 saltine crackers, ½ cup zero fat cottage cheese, ½ cup mandarin oranges in water. 
  • Snack - ½ meal replacement bottle. 
  • Lunch - ½ chicken noodle soup, ½ cup zero fat unflavored yogurt, ½ cup canned peas in water. 
  • Snack - 1 slice of white bread with 1 tsp of honey. 
  • Dinner - ½ cup mashed sweet potato, 1 tsp fat-free sour cream, ½ cup boiled beets, 2 scrambled eggs, ½ cup of canned peaches in water. 

Phase 3 - Maintenance 

Many of the rules from Phase 2 still apply to Phase 3. You should gradually increase the fiber and fat intake; however, full-fat dairy products and fried foods should still be avoided. 

Day 1

  • Breakfast - 1-2 slices of white bread, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, ½ banana sliced. 
  • Snack - ½ meal replacement bottle. 
  • Lunch - ½ cup white rice, ½ cup extra lean ground beef, 1 tsp sour cream, 2 tsp clear tomato sauce, ½ cup pureed red pepper. 
  • Snack - ½ cup 2% Greek yogurt, 1 tsp of honey.
  • Dinner - 3 oz serving of chicken, 1 tsp of olive oil, ½ cup sweet potato, ½ cup baked eggplant, 2 tbsp smooth tomato sauce. 

Day 2

  • Breakfast - Smoothie with 2% Greek yogurt, 1 fresh skinless peach, ½ cup fruit juice.  
  • Snack - ½ cup 2% cottage cheese, ½ cup diced apple (peeled). 
  • Lunch - 4-6 saltine crackers, ½ can of tuna in water, 1 tsp low-fat mayonnaise, ½ cup boiled cauliflower with zero-fat dressing.
  • Snack - ½ meal replacement.
  • Dinner - 2 scrambled eggs, 1 slice of white bread, 1 tsp of margarine, ¾ cup vegetable soup. 

Day 3

  • Breakfast - 2 scrambled eggs, 1 slice of white bread, 1-2 slices of low-fat cheddar cheese.
  • Snack - ½ meal replacement bottle. 
  • Lunch - ¾ cup clear vegetable broth, ½ cup ramen noodles, 1 boiled egg, ½ cup diced mangoes. 
  • Snack - ½ cup 2% Greek yogurt, ½ cup diced watermelon. 
  • Dinner - 3 oz fish, 1 tsp of olive oil, ½ cup boiled squash, ½ cup zucchini and mushrooms, 2 tsp zero fat salad dressing. 

Is There A Gastroparesis Diet For Diabetics? 

Unfortunately, some of the recommendations for gastroparesis don’t align with a diabetes diet. Some trial and error will be required to find the right balance of foods that keep your digestive system happy and your blood sugars stable. A registered dietitian can help you navigate these challenges. 1,2

Simple Gastroparesis Diet Modifications 

Learning how to change your diet can be overwhelming. As you move through your journey, you will start to memorize the foods that make you feel best and which ones to avoid. Here are simple tips to help your symptoms:3 

  • Prioritize getting enough calories in your diet. You can do this by choosing high-calorie foods first at your meals. 
  • Opt for smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Liquids can be better tolerated than whole foods. Use a meal replacement to help you meet your caloric goals. 
  • Use a blender to liquify foods. 
  • Boiling, roasting, and cooking down high-fiber vegetables can make them easier to tolerate. Certain veggies in the cruciferous family (broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts) may never work for you because they are tough to break down.  
  • Chew foods well and take your time during eating. This ensures the food arriving in the stomach will be easier to digest. 

Work With A Registered Dietitian 

A registered dietitian specializing in gastroparesis can help you build a sustainable meal plan that helps you feel your best. 

Nourish has a team of highly trained registered dietitians that are available for remote appointments. They are all compassionate, thoughtful providers who are also covered by insurance. Click here to learn more and book an appointment! 


  1. Gastroparesis | NIDDK. (n.d.). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 
  2. Camilleri, M., Parkman, H. P., Shafi, M. A., Abell, T. L., Gerson, L., & American College of Gastroenterology (2013). Clinical guideline: management of gastroparesis. The American journal of gastroenterology, 108(1), 18–38. 
  3. Limketkai, B. N., LeBrett, W., Lin, L., & Shah, N. D. (2020). Nutritional approaches for gastroparesis. The lancet. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 5(11), 1017–1026. 


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