Common Therapeutic Diets

A therapeutic diet is a planned menu that restricts the intake of certain types of foods, which is normally prescribed by a physician and designed by a licensed dietician. Assisted living homes will also provide therapeutic services to seniors when ordered by a licensed seniors physician.  

A therapeutic diet is usually modified from the seniors existing diet and is tailored fit to meet all the nutrients that are needed in a balanced diet.

Therapeutic diets are can be modified for many different reasons, such as nutrients, texture, and food allergies or food intolerance.

Therapeutic diets can be ordered:

  • To re-establish nutritional position
  • To reduce calories for the purpose of controlling weight
  • To increase calories for the purpose of weight gain
  • To balance carbohydrates, fat, and protein for the purpose of diabetes
  • To decrease the amount of sodium
  • To offer texture modifications due to problems with chewing or Swallowing

Common therapeutic diets:

Clear liquid senior diet –

  • Includes the smallest amount of fluids.
  • There are many examples such as Juices without pulp, broth soup, and different kinds of Jell-O’s.
  • Usually is the first step to restarting oral feeding after surgical procedures.
  • Can also be used for fluid and the replacement of electrolyte in individuals with diarrhea problems.
  • Should not be used for an extensive period of time and it does not supply the proper amount of calories and nutrients.

Full liquid Senior diet –

  • Includes fluids that are soft
  • Includes ice cream, flavored puddings, hot cereals, custard, strained creamy soups, and different juices with pulp.
  • Usually is the second step to restarting oral feeding once clear liquids are tolerated.
  • Used for seniors who cannot endure a mechanical soft diet.
  • Should not be used for extended periods of times.

No Concentrated Sweets (NCS) senior diet –

  • Is considered a loose diet for diabetics when their weight and blood sugar levels are under control.
  • It includes normal foods without the adding of any additional sugar.
  • Calories are not counted as in ADA calorie restricted diets.

Diabetic or calorie controlled Senior diet (ADA) –

  • These diets restricted calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat intake in balanced amounts to meet dietary needs, control blood sugar levels, and control weight.
  • The Most frequently used calorie levels are: 1,200, 1,500, 1,800 and 2,000.

No Added Salt (NAS) Senior diet –

  • Is a frequently used diet with no salt shakers on the tables.
  • Food is lightly seasoned as standard food.

Low Sodium (LS) senior diet –

  • Can also be named a 2 gram Sodium Diet.
  • restricts salt and salty foods such as bacon, sausage, cured meats, canned soups, salty seasonings, pickled foods and saltine crackers, just to name a few.
  • Is used for people who may be “retaining water” or who have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, or beginning stages of kidney disease.

Low fat/low cholesterol senior diet –

  • Is frequently used to decrease fat levels and treat health conditions that Interfere with how the body uses fat such as diseases of the liver, gallbladder, or and pancreas.
  • Is used to restrict fat to 50 grams or no more than 30% calories resulting from fat.
  • Is lower in total fat and saturated fats and contains just about 250-300 mg cholesterol.

High fiber Senior diet –

  • Is usually prescribed for the prevention of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.
  • Increased fiber can from many different sources including fruits, vegetables, whole bread and cereals.

Renal senior diet –

  • Is for renal/kidney individuals.
  • The diet plan is personalize depending on if the senior is on dialysis.
  • It restricts sodium, potassium, fluid, and protein specified levels.
  • The Lab work is followed closely.

Mechanically altered or soft senior diet –

  • Are usually used when there are issues with chewing and swallowing.
    Changes the consistency of the regular diet to a softer texture.
  • Includes sliced or ground meats as well as sliced or ground raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Are usually used for seniors with poor dental conditions, missing teeth, no teeth, or a condition known as dysphasia.

Pureed senior diet –

  • Changes the usual diet by pureeing it to a soft liquid constancy.
  • Are for those with wired jaws extremely poor dentition in which chewing is inadequate.
  • Often thinned down so it can pass through a straw.
  • Is for people with chewing or swallowing and
    Foods must be pureed separately.dysphasia conditions
  • Avoid all types of nuts, seeds, raw vegetables, and raw fruits.
  • Is nutritionally sufficient when offering all food groups.

Food allergy modification for seniors –

  • Foods continuing allergies are solely eliminated from the diet.
  • Suitable replacements are made to ensure that the meal is adequate.
  • The most general food allergens are milk, egg, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.
  • Most gluten free diets eliminate all kinds wheat, rye, and barley and it is replaced with potato, corn, and rice products.

Food intolerance modification for seniors –

  • Intolerance to lactose (milk sugar), because of the reduced amount of an
    enzyme in the body.
  • Other types of food intolerances include poor reactions to certain products added to food to improve taste, color, or protect against bacterial growth.
  • Some of the most frequent symptoms involving food intolerances are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headaches.
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