6.1.4 Diet Requirements for Specific Diagnoses

A healthy diet for the majority of the population may not be the best nutritional or functional choice of meals for persons with a specific diagnosis or nutritional need.  The physician will order the diet required, with input from the dietitian, based on a client’s specific medical needs.

A woman holds an apple in her hand.
A woman holding an apple in her hand

You will be notified of all dietary restrictions of clients prior to assisting them with their meals. In all diets, the required calories, carbohydrates and fats will be included to provide for optimal nutritional status.

Here are some common diets that you may encounter:

  • Regular Diet (also called a general diet or a full diet). This is a balanced diet with grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein elements included, and is usually between 1200-1800 calories per day (extra calories will be given to certain circumstances such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, and to recover from surgeries).
  • Diabetic Diet. This diet is prescribed for clients that are diagnosed with diabetes or are showing signs and symptoms which may soon lead to diabetes. The diet consists of the required nutrients for the age and build of the client, reduced calories, only natural sugar in the foods eaten, and requires appropriate snacks to maintain the blood sugar needed.
  • Gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein that comes from wheat and related grain products. In Canada, 1% of the population is believed to be gluten intolerant. These issues may cause abdominal discomfort. In this diet, gluten is removed from the menu offerings.
  • Sodium-controlled diet. This diet reduces the amount of sodium (salt) offered to clients and does not use salt in the cooking process. The sodium amount allowed can be 500 mg (strict), 1000mg (moderate), or 2000-3000mg (low salt). Many issues may cause a need for this diet, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, fluid retention, and some kidney diseases.
  • Bland diet. This diet reduces roughage and has no spices added. This diet is prescribed for clients that may have abdominal issues, ulcers, or gallbladder disorders.
  • High calorie. This diet is used for to promote weight gain and treat thyroid imbalances, and will usually have a calorie count between 3000 and 4000 per day.
  • Calorie controlled. This diet is used for weight reduction, and will usually be set at 800 – 1200 calories per day dependent on the height, weight, and health of the client.
  • High iron diet. This diet is used to increase the iron intake, and is prescribed after a blood loss and for some women during pregnancy and post birth. It will include a larger quantity of meats, fish, mussels, poultry, legumes, and spinach.
  • Fat controlled / low cholesterol diet. This diet contains food low in fat and prepared without fat added. It is prescribed for heart disease, liver disease, gallbladder disease, and diseases of the pancreas.
  • High protein diet. This diet increases protein intake from sources like meats, dairy and fish. It is prescribed for burn care clients, high fevers, infections and some liver diseases

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