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Written by Bhavani Swaminathan @aakanksha_dfw

Food is an integral part of patient care and is a major contributor in his/her recovery. Therefore, careful selection of foods, their preparation and ensuring that these are consumed by the patient is an important part of the therapy. The medical personnel are responsible for diagnosis and indicating the kind of modifications to be made in the normal diet in view of the condition of the patient. The dietician uses this information to plan the patient’s diet.

There are three aspects prescribed in patient's diet:

1. Composition

2. Consistency

3. Manner and route

The first refers to the composition of the diet. This indicates the modification in the components of the diet. For example, low calorie diet, indicates that the energy content of the diet is reduced. However it is important to include a specific amount intended to guide the user (such as 1200 to 1500 calorie diet).

Second aspect refers to the consistency of the diet. Thus, if you have a normal diet, liquid diet (further classified into clear-liquid, full-liquid diet), soft diet, soft fiber-restricted diet, pureed diet, etc.

Third, it is important to indicate the manner and route of feeding the diet, such as by mouth, by nasogastric tube, gastronomy tube etc., depending on the condition of the patient.

All of these are essential factors to ensure a healthy recovery.

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