A therapeutic diets are a meal plan that controls the intake of certain foods or nutrients. It is part of the treatment of a medical condition and are normally prescribed by a physician and planned by a dietician. A therapeutic diet is usually a modification of a regular diet. It is modified or tailored to fit the nutrition needs of a particular person. Therapeutic diets are modified for (1) nutrients, (2) texture, and/or (3) food allergies or food intolerances.
Common therapeutic diets include:
- No concentrated sweets diet
- Diabetic diets
- No added salt diet
- Low sodium diet
- Low fat diet and/or low cholesterol diet
- High fiber diet
- Renal diet
- Texture modification
- Mechanical soft diet
- Puree diet
Food allergy or food intolerance modification
- Food allergy
- Food intolerance
- Liquid tube feedings in place of meals
- Liquid tube feedings in addition to meals
Additional feedings – In addition to meal, extra nutrition may be ordered as:
- Supplements – usually ordered as liquid nutritional shakes once, twice or three times per day; given either with meals or between meals
- Nourishments – ordered as a snack food or beverage items to be given between meals mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon
- HS snack – ordered as a snack food or beverage items to be given at the hour of sleep
Clear liquid diet
- Includes minimum residue fluids that can be seen through.
- Examples are juices without pulp, broth, and Jell-O.
- Is often used as the first step to restarting oral feeding after surgery or an abdominal procedure.
- Can also be used for fluid and electrolyte replacement in people with severe diarrhea.
- Should not be used for an extended period as it does not provide enough calories and nutrients.
Full liquid diet
- Includes fluids that are creamy.
- Some examples of food allowed are ice cream, pudding, thinned hot cereal, custard, strained cream soups, and juices with pulp.
- Used as the second step to restarting oral feeding once clear liquids are tolerated.
- Used for people who cannot tolerate a mechanical soft diet.
- Should not be used for extended periods.
No Concentrated Sweets (NCS) diet
- Is considered a liberalized diet for diabetics when their weight and blood sugar levels are under control.
- It includes regular foods without the addition of sugar.
- Calories are not counted as in ADA calorie controlled diets.
Diabetic or calorie controlled diet (ADA)
- These diets control calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat intake in balanced amounts to meet nutritional needs, control blood sugar levels, and control weight.
- Portion control is used at mealtimes as outlined in the ADA “Exchange List for Meal Planning.”
- Most commonly used calorie levels are: 1,200, 1,500, 1,800 and 2,000.
No Added Salt (NAS) diet
- Is a regular diet with no salt packet on the tray.
- Food is seasoned as regular food.
Low Sodium (LS) diet
- May also be called a 2 gram Sodium Diet.
- Limits salt and salty foods such as bacon, sausage, cured meats, canned soups, salty seasonings, pickled foods, salted crackers, etc.
- Is used for people who may be “holding water” (edema) or who have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, or first stages of kidney disease.
Low fat/low cholesterol diet
- Is used to reduce fat levels and/or treat medical conditions that interfere with how the body uses fat such as diseases of the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas.
- Limits fat to 50 grams or no more than 30% calories derived from fat.
- Is low in total fat and saturated fats and contains approximately 250-300 mg cholesterol.
High fiber diet
- Is prescribed in the prevention or treatment of a number of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.
- Increased fiber should come from a variety of sources including fruits, legumes, vegetables, whole breads, and cereals.