Please review article. Submit a 1 page summary on the different diets. Choose 3 and write a dialogue on how you would explain to a patient what diet they are on, why, what restrictions there are, etc.IHSS Training Academy 1

Types of Therapeutic Diets

A therapeutic diet is 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 reasons therapeutic diets may be ordered:
• To maintain nutritional status
• To restore nutritional status
• To correct nutritional status
• To decrease calories for weight control
• To provide extra calories for weight gain
• To balance amounts of carbohydrates, fat and protein for control of

diabetes
• To provide a greater amount of a nutrient such as protein
• To decrease the amount of a nutrient such as sodium
• To exclude foods due to allergies or food intolerance
• To provide texture modifications due to problems with chewing and/or

swallowing

Common therapeutic diets include:
1. Nutrient modifications

• 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

2. Texture modification

• Mechanical soft diet
• Puree diet

IHSS Training Academy 2

3. Food allergy or food intolerance modification
• Food allergy
• Food intolerance

4. Tube feedings

• Liquid tube feedings in place of meals
• Liquid tube feedings in addition to meals

5. 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

The following list includes brief descriptions of common therapeutic
diets:

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.

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