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A Guide through the Different types of Medical Diet

Updated on February 4, 2014

Diet is the total amount of food eaten by a person. Personal Habits and Cultural preferences prevent a person from consuming different cuisines such as pork, beef, chicken and so on and so forth. Similarly, as you undergo surgery, there are certain restrictions regarding said condition. For instance, a person who just went on a major surgery cannot simply eat a McDonald's happy meal. There are restrictions and indications as to why these diets are made.

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1. Clear Liquid Diet

Its purpose is to rest the gastrointestinal tract and maintain fluid balance.


  • difficulty swallowing
  • certain diagnostic tests to reduce fecal matter
  • immediate postoperative period

Foods allowed: "SEE THROUGH FOODS" such as water, broth, jelly, apple juice, clear carbonated beverages, and ice pops

Note: This diet is not nutritionally adequate

2. Full Liquid Diet

Used as a transition diet between clear liquid and soft diet; Short term

Foods allowed: Clear liquids, milk and milk products, all fruit juices, cooked and strained cereals

Note: Can be Nutritionally Adequate

3. Soft Diet

Used as a transition between full liquid and regular diet


  • Postoperatively
  • Mild GI disturbances
  • Chewing difficulties from lack of teeth or oral surgery

Foods allowed: Low fiber foods, Pureed vegetables, Cooked eggs (not fried), tender meat, potatoes, cooked fruit

Note: Nutritionally Adequate

4. Bland Diet

Promotes healing of gastric mucosa and is chemically and mechanically non-stimualting

Foods allowed: Soft diet without spices

5. Low-residue Diet

Residue is the indigestible substance left in the digestive tract after food has been digested.


  • Colon, Rectal, or Perineal surgery
  • Diagnostic exams
  • Bowel Inflammatory Disease

Note: Teach the client to AVOID foods high in fiber, foods having skins and seeds, and milk and milk products

6. Gluten-Free Diet

Purpose is to eliminate gluten (protein) from the diet.


  • Malabsorption syndromes

Foods to ELIMINATE: Barley, Rye, Oat, Wheat, Cream sauces, Breaded foods, Cakes, Muffins, and Breads

Foods Allowed: Corn, Rice, and Soy flour

7. PKU (Phenyketonuria) Diet

Purpose is to control the intake of phenylalanine, an amino acid that cannot be metabolized.

It will be prescribed until at least age 6 to prevent brain damage and mental retardation.

Foods to AVOID: bread, meat, fish, poultry, cheese, legumes, nuts, and eggs

GIVE Lofenalac Formula

Teach family to use low-protein flour for baking

Sugar substitutes such as Nutrasweet contain phenylalanine and must NOT be used.

8. Low-Purine Diet

Indicated for gout, uric acid kidney stones and uric acid retention.

Foods to AVOID: organ meats, fish, lobster, dried peas, beans, nuts, oatmeal, and whole wheat

9. Low Protein Diet

Purpose is to limit Ammonium production.

Indicated for patients with Renal and/or Liver Failure

Limit meat, eggs, and milk product and encourage CARBOHYDRATE SUPPLEMENTS WITH ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID.

10. High Protein Diet

Purpose is to support protein synthesis


  • Undernutrition
  • Burns
  • Nephrotic syndrome

Encourage meat, fish, and dairy products

11. Low Cholesterol Diet

Purpose is to decrase risk for CAD (Coronary Artery Diseases). This diet is indicated for patients with Cardiovascular disease as well as patients with Diabetes Mellitus.

Limit fried foods, eggyolk, Shellfish, liver, pork

Encourage to eat more on broild or steamed food, fruits, vegetables, chicken meat, vegetable oils

12. Diabetic Diet

Indicated for diabetes mellitus patients. Its main prupose is to control plasma glucose levels.


  • Each meat should contain carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
  • Avoid skipping or delaying meals.
  • Frequent small meals.
  • Unplanned Activity

13. Low-Sodium Diet

Its purpose is to decrease sodium/fluid load and is idicated for patients with Hypertention and Edema due to CHF, Liver Cirhosis, PIH, Nephrotic syndrome.

Limit canned foods, salted food, smoked meat, ham, bacon, sauce and encourage more on salt substitutes.

14. High potassium Diet

This is to avoidpotassium depletion.


  • Thiazide Diuretics
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • Chronic vomitting

Encourage; Bananas, Prunes, Avocado, Soy beans


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    • seigfried23 profile image

      seigfried23 2 years ago

      Nice information, succinctly displayed for consumption. My current diet consists of fage yogurt for breakfast and a salad with meat for lunch. I might have a snack for dinner some days.

    • profile image

      drasifm 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing. What would RCCSF diet stand for?

    • Jennuhlee profile image

      Jennuhlee 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great useful hub, think I'll come back to this whenever I have questions, I think this is a topic in which many people are ill informed. Thank you for sharing!