Generally accepted guidelines suggest that you eat
a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates and low in
protein and fat. Your diet should consist of at least five
combined servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Avoid fat when possible. Eat at regular intervals when
possible, and avoid snacking late at night. For detailed
information on nutrition, consult Navy Nutrition and
Weight Control Guide, NAVPERS 15602; and the Fat,
Cholesterol and Calorie List for General Messes,
appropriate diet for various medical
It is often necessary to cater to a patients appetite,
since many individuals become especially hard to
please when sick. In some disease states, such as
cancer, patients experience marked taste changes.
Because of the importance of the nutritional elements
in feeding the sick, try to carry out the patients wishes
whenever possible. A tactful and observant Hospital
Corpsman can be of great benefit to the physician and
dietitian in carrying out the dietary regimen. You must
be aware of what comprises a well-balanced diet and
should be able to recognize when dietary adjustments
need to be made in special situations. This is important
to meet the changing needs of the diseased bodys
ability to make use of foods.
The patient should be made to feel that the utmost
cleanliness and care have been observed in the
preparation and service of their food. The patients
face and hands should be cleaned before food is served,
and the lips and teeth cleaned before and after the meal.
If the mouth is dry, it should be moistened periodically.
When special or modified diets are ordered, check
the contents of the tray with the written orders. An
error in serving a special diet may cause discomfort,
serious illness, or even death.
OBJECTIVES OF DIET THERAPY
The objectives of diet therapy are as follows:
To increase or decrease body weight
To rest a particular organ
To adjust the diet to the bodys ability to use
To produce a specific effect as a remedy (e.g.,
regulation of blood sugar in diabetes)
To overcome deficiencies by the addition of food
rich in some necessary element (e.g.,
supplementing the diet with iron in treating
To provide ease of digestion by omitting
irritating substances, such as fiber, spices, or
TYPES OF DIETS
Diets used in the treatment of disease are often
spoken of by specific names that show a special
composition and often indicate the purpose for which
the diet is intended.
The regular diet is composed of all types of foods
and 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.
Modified or Therapeutic Diets
Modified or therapeutic diets are modifications of
the regular diet and are designed to meet specific
patient needs. These include
method of preparation (e.g., baking, boiling, or
consistency (e.g., ground or chopped),
total calories (e.g., high or low calorie),
nutrients (e.g., altering carbohydrate, protein,
fat, vitamins, and minerals), and
allowing only specific foods (e.g., diabetic diet).
SOFT DIET.The soft diet is soft in texture and
consists of liquids and semi-solid foods. It is indicated
in certain postoperative cases, for convalescents who
cannot tolerate a regular diet, in acute illnesses, and in
some gastrointestinal disorders.
A soft diet is an
intermediate step between a liquid and regular diet and
is low in connective tissue and indigestible dietary
fiber. Little or no spices are used in its preparation.
The soft diet includes all liquids other than
alcohol, and foods that may be incorporated into a soft