Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition 3(2+1)
Lesson 18:Importance and modification of normal diet to therapeutic diets


Diet therapy is concerned with the modification of the normal diet to meet the requirements of the sick individual. The main purposes are

  • To maintain good nutritional status;
  • To correct deficiencies which may be present;
  • To provide rest to the whole body;
  • To improve the body’s ability to metabolise the nutrients; and
  • To bring about changes in body weight whenever necessary.

Diet therapy in most instances is not a remedy by itself but a measure which supplements or makes the medical or surgical treatment more effective.

Therapeutic nutrition begins with the normal diet. Advantages of using normal diet as a basis for therapeutic diets are

  • It emphasizes the similarity of psychological and social needs of those who are ill and those who are well, even though there is quantitative and qualitative difference in requirements.
  • Food preparation is simplified when the modified diet is based upon the family meal pattern and the number of items required for special preparation is reduced to minimum.
  • The calculated values for the basic plan are useful in finding out the effects of addition or omission of certain foods, for example, if vegetables are restricted vitamin A and C deficiency can occur.
Last modified: Monday, 24 October 2011, 10:58 AM