Types of diets:
1. Full diet:
For the patients who are well, a well-balanced full diet should be served, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian as desired. Patients with tuberculosis should be encouraged to take a full diet to gain weight.
2. Liquid diet:
This is needed for patients with high fever, and those who are unable to take solid food. When no solid food is taken, a total of at least 2000 ml per day of liquids will be needed for an adult patient. If the patient can swallow only a little at a time, liquids should be given every few minutes.
Milk is the basis of a good liquid diet, and it may be enriched by adding egg, ragi, skimmed milk powder, or cream. Different flavours may be added to milk such as cocoa, coffee or fruit also sugar or glucose.
Well-cooked and strained cereal conjee may be allowed, and ghee or vegetable oil any be added for more calories. Strained dhal water, or soups made with meat or vegetables may be given. Fruit juices, coconut water and barley water are other liquids that may be given.
3. Soft, semi-solid and light diets:
These are between liquid and full diet. The reason may be that the patient is unable to masticate, or has difficulty in swallowing. A patient with moderate fever and one, who is recovering from an illness or surgery, should be given light diet. The diet should be equally nutritious and balanced as a full diet, but more easily digested and with less roughage. Avoid oily, fried foods and greasy sweets. Cook well by a simple method using little or no spices and condiments.
Foods may be minced or mashed to make them soft. Make sure that highly nutritious foods are included, such as green leafy vegetables, dhal, curds, eggs, meat and fish for non-vegetarian light diet.
4. Bland diet:
This is a soft and easily digestible diet without spices, condiments, coffee or any other stimulant. It is often ordered in gastro intestinal disorders.
5. High protein diet:
This is ordered for patients with burns, protein deficiency disease, preeclampsia, anemia and in chronic kidney disease. About one litre of milk should be taken each day, and extra protein can be supplied by adding skimmed milk powder or egg to the milk. Mixed protein-rich foods like groundnuts, grams and dhal may be ground and cooked with the stable cereal. Non-vegetarians may have fish and meat.
6. Low protein diet:
This is ordered for patients with acute nephritis. It is continued as long as there is too much urea in the blood. Easily digested carbohydrate foods with a little ghee or butter may be allowed, and boiled sweets. At first the diet may be only fruit juice with glucose. A little milk may be allowed later.
7. Salt- free diet or low salt diet:
This is given to control edema, because sodium is closely connected with fluid retention in the body. Edema occurs in the following conditions.
Acute nephritis and subacute nephritis, anemia, congestive cardiac failure, preeclampsia (in pregnancy). For a salt-free diet no salt is allowed in the preparation of foods. Sugar or limejuice may be added for giving taste. Dried fish should be avoided as it contains more salt.
8. Low-fat diet:
Fats are digested with the help of bile. In diseases affecting the liver, bile is not produced in sufficient quantity. Also in gall bladder disease the bile may not reach the duodenum.
Therefore in liver and gall bladder diseases a low-fat or fat-free diet may be ordered.
Skimmed milk is allowed. Glucose, sugar or jaggery, rice, bread, dhal, greens and vegetables and fruits are allowed provided that no fat is used in cooking.
9. Low residual diet:
This is a diet without roughage or anything that stimulates the bowel. This is ordered in cases such as colitis, colostomy, and may be ordered for a few days after perineal suturing.
Arrowroot, milk and eggs, tea, toast, strained fruit juice is allowed. Vegetables and fruits are softened and filtered through a sieve. Avoid rough cereals, green vegetables, dhal, peas, beans etc.
10. Low calorie diet:
This is ordered for patients with obesity or heart conditions in which it is necessary to reduce the body weight. When calories are reduced in the diet, the body takes and uses the stored fat.
A low calorie diet may also be ordered for a patient with diabetes.
a. Sugar and jaggery are not allowed. A substitute sweetener can be used in coffee and tea etc.
b. Only a little fat or oil may be used in cooking.
c. Cereals are allowed only in very small quantities.
d. Potatoes and yams are not allowed, but other vegetables and greens may be eaten in greater quantities.
e. Fruits are allowed but not more than one 100 gm a day.
Protein foods including milk, curds, eggs, cheese, fish, chicken, meat (without fat), dhal etc may be given liberally.