Special and Modified Diets

Textures For Your Situation

Some patients need a special texture of food for better chewing, swallowing or digestion.

Liquid diets: These can be clear liquids such as apple or cranberry juice, tea and gelatins. Less commonly used is full liquid, which adds other foods including orange juice, hot cereal, milk, cream soup and pudding.

Solid food diets: These have foods altered to make them easier to chew and/or swallow. A mechanical soft diet usually will have the meat ground with gravy added, soft cooked vegetables and soft fruits. A pureed diet has all foods of a very smooth or blenderized texture similar to mashed potatoes or applesauce.

Thickened liquids: Some patients, especially after a stroke, may have difficulty swallowing thin liquids. In this case liquids are sent of the thickness of apricot nectar, honey or pudding, depending on the patient.

Modified Diets

Diabetic: Most diabetics need to restrict the amount and type of carbohydrates they eat. Generally high-sugar foods are limited but do not necessarily need to be totally eliminated. Calories may also be limited to help control weight.

Low sodium: Sodium (salt) may be restricted to prevent fluid retention or for other reasons. You will receive an herb seasoning packet instead of salt. Foods will be cooked with little or no salt, and high-salt foods are avoided. Fruits, fresh vegetables and other foods low in sodium can be substituted.

Cardiac: The cardiac diet often is ordered for patients who have had heart disease or to prevent it. Salt, fat, caffeine and cholesterol are controlled. The diet emphasizes lean meats, low fat dairy (1 percent or skim milk), limited eggs, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and cooking without frying.