diet include well-cooked cereals, pastas, white bread
and crackers, eggs, cottage cheese, tender meat, fish,
poultry, and vegetables (including baked, mashed, and
scalloped potatoes). Vegetables can be puréed and
meats ground for dental patients. Permitted desserts
are custards, gelatin puddings, soft fruits, and simple
cakes and cookies. Foods prohibited in a soft diet
include fried foods, raw vegetables, and nuts.
LIQUID DIET.A liquid diet consists of foods
that are in a liquid state at body temperature. This type
of diet 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.
Liquid diets are usually ordered as clear, full, or
dental liquid. A clear liquid diet includes clear broth,
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 on a
clear liquid diet, with the addition of strained cream
soups, milk and milk drinks, ice cream, puddings, and
custard. The full liquid diet is inadequate in iron,
niacin, and possibly Vitamin A and thiamin. A dental
liquid diet includes regular foods blended 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.
HIGH-CALORIE DIET.The high-calorie diet
is of a higher caloric value than the average patient
normally requires. A high-calorie diet is indicated
when an increase of total calories is required by
malnourished, underweight, postsurgical, or
convalescing patients, especially those recovering
from acute illnesses such as infections, burns, and
The increase in calories is obtained by
supplementing or modifying the regular diet with
high-calorie foods or commercial supplements, by
giving larger portions, or by 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, adding fats and
carbohydrates increases the caloric value.
high-calorie diet is often ordered along with high
protein. Proteins are added to prevent depletion of
proteins in the plasma (a condition known as
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,
gravy, sauces, and ice cream. Between-meal feedings
consisting of milk, milkshakes, cheese, cookies, or
sandwiches are recommended, but these feedings
should not interfere with the patients appetite at
HIGH-PROTEIN DIET.As previously stated,
protein is essential for tissue growth and regeneration.
A high-protein diet is indicated in almost all illnesses
(e.g., nephrosis, cirrhosis of the liver, infectious
hepatitis, burns, radiation injury, fractures, some GI
disorders, 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 to consume solid
foods or the daily requirement of protein and calories
because of pain or nausea. In these cases, intravenous
fluids with nutrient additives are required for the
patient to receive the required amount of protein.
Protein-calorie deficiency is a definite factor in
postoperative wound disruption. This disruption can
best be prevented by preemptive nutritional measures
before surgery. Antibody production will be decreased
if the patient receives inadequate protein. Remember,
the daily recommended intake of proteins for adults is
at least 0.8 g/kg of body weight (approximately 56 g).
A high-protein diet should provide a minimum of 1.5 g
of protein per kg of body weight (approximately
105 g). The seriously burned and radiation injury
patients should receive at least 3.0 g/kg daily.
Supplement the regular diet with high-quality
protein foods, such as meat, fish, cheese, milk, and
LOW-CALORIE DIET.The low-calorie diet
is useful in the treatment of obesity, but it may also be
used to control weight in medical conditions such as
arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease, or
hypothyroidism. A loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is the
medically acceptable limit for weight reduction. A
low-calorie diet consists of 1,000 to 1,800 calories per
day. Calorie levels are determined by physicians and
dietitians to help meet specific individual patient
weight-loss goals. The daily intake of proteins should
be at least 0.8 g/kg of standard body weight.
Supplemental vitamins may be ordered if the
prescribed diet is less than 1,200 calories.
Patients on low-calorie diets should be instructed
by the dietitian (if available) or other medical