The regular diet composed of all types of foods, is well balanced and capable of maintaining a state of good nutrition. It is intended for convalescing patients who do not require a therapeutic diet.
These diets are modifications of the regular diet designed to meet specific patient needs. These include:
This diet is soft in texture and consists of liquids and semisolid foods. It is indicated in certain postoperative cases, for convalescents who cannot tolerate a regular diet, in acute illnesses, and in some gastrointestinal disorders. It is an intermediate step between the liquid and regular diets. It is low in connective tissue and indigestible dietary fiber. Little or no condiments are used in its preparation.
Soft diets include all liquids in addition to wellcooked cereals, pastas, white bread and crackers, eggs, cottage cheese, tender meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables, including baked, mashed, or scalloped potatoes. Foods not allowed include fried foods, raw vegetables, and nuts. Desserts permitted are custards, gelatin puddings, soft fruits, and simple cakes and cookies. Vegetables can be pureed and meats ground for dental patients.
This diet consists of foods that are in a liquid state at body temperature. It is indicated in some postoperative cases, in acute illnesses, and in inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It is important that feedings consisting of 6 to 8 ounces or more be given every 2 to 3 hours while the patient is awake. These diets are usually ordered as clear, full, or dental liquid. A clear liquid diet includes clear broths, black tea or coffee, plain gelatin, and clear fruit juices (apple, grape, and cranberry), popsicles, fruit drinks, and soft drinks. This diet is inadequate in all nutrients. A full liquid diet includes all the liquids served in a clear liquid diet, with the addition of strained soups and broths, milk and milk drinks, ice cream, sherbet, puddings, and custard. The all liquid diet is inadequate in iron, niacin, and possibly Vitamin A and thiamin. A dental liquid diet includes foods slenderized and strained in liquid form and all foods allowed on clear and full liquid diets. Vitamin and mineral supplements may be necessary with the dental liquid diet if the recommended amounts of food are not tolerated.
This diet is of a higher caloric value than the average patient normally requires. An increase in total calories is needed by patients who are malnourished, underweight, postsurgical, or convalescing from acute illnesses such as infections, burns, and fevers. The increase in calories is obtained by supplementing or modifying the regular diet with high calorie foods or commercial supplements, giving larger portions, or adding snacks. It is given to meet a need for energy caused by the more rapid metabolism that accompanies certain diseases, especially fever, hyperthyroidism, poliomyelitis, and tuberculosis. In the liquid or soft diet, the caloric value is increased by adding fats and carbohydrates. Proteins are added to prevent depletion of proteins in the plasma (hypoproteinemia). As the patient progresses, a more solid diet is given.
Good sources of high calorie foods are whole milk, cream, sweets, butter, margarine, fried foods, gravies, sauces, and ice cream. Betweenmeal feedings consisting of milk, milkshakes, cheese, cookies, or sandwiches are recommended, but they should not interfere with the patients appetite at mealtime.
As previously stated, protein is essential for tissue growth and regeneration. The high protein diet is indicated in almost all illnesses; for example, nephrosis, cirrhosis of the liver, infectious hepatitis, burns, radiation injury, fractures, some GI disorders, other conditions in which the protein blood level is low, and in preoperative and postoperative cases.
In some acute illnesses and disorders, such as infectious hepatitis, GI disorders, and postoperative conditions, patients may be unable