Dietetics has yet to find its rightful place in Indian therapeutics. A majority of even our teaching hospitals do not have qualified dietitians. An important factor which has probably contributed to the rather unsatisfactory position accorded to dietetics in India today, is the lack of authoritative information useful to physicians and nurses in the prescription of suitable therapeutic diets.
The present booklet should be considered as a brief outline of the major approaches towards the prescription of therapeutic diets in certain important clinical conditions.
The feasibility of better clinical management of several diseases through appropriate dietary control has always rendered dietotherapy as a subject of great importance to medical practioners and the general public alike. As such, this book on therapeutic diets has been one of the most popular publications of National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) ever since it was brought out first in 1969.
In recent years, the importance of metabolic disorders associated with trace elements has been well established. In the Fifth Edition of this book, an attempt has been made to present information on low copper diet, the importance of which is well recognised in disorders of copper metabolism such as Wilson's disease.
We hope that clinicians, dietitians and the general public will continue to find this publication useful for better dietary management of diseases.
It is true that each patient requires individual attention about his diet. His food preferences and his nutrient requirements have to be carefully considered. A set of standard therapeutic diets can be used as a guide for prescribing or formulating a diet. This brochure contains a few such diets.
The Nutrition Expert Group has recommended balanced diets suitable for normal adult males weighing about 55 kg. The therapeutic diets described here are appropriate modifications of this balanced diet. Only the quantities of foodstuffs to be used are given here. The menus may be planned according to the usual dietary pattern of the individual patient to ensure maximum acceptability of the modified diet.
Peptic ulcer and diabetic patients require a specific pattern of distribution of the nutrients and hence the menus for such diets are also included in this brochure.
The foodstuffs can be cooked according to the method the patient is used to. The amount of oil or ghee mentioned in the diets, is to be used for cooking purposes.
In the appendix, an exchange list is given. It can be used to ensure variety in the diet and to formulate new diets.
The foods which must be strictly avoided by different patients are given along with each modified diet.
The nutritive value of all the foodstuffs except the sodium content of skimmed milk powder has been calculated using values given in the book "Nutritive Value of Indian Foods' (1985) brought out by this Institute. The sodium content of skimmed milk powder was calculated according to the values given by Bills et al., in the Journal of American Dietetic Association (25: 304, 1949).
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