5 Diseases-Classified Diets Nurses Could Teach Patients


As nurses, we are responsible for the well-being of our patients. That means that we should mind what they feel, how they look, what they eat, and how they are doing. Holistic care is a forte of nurses that no other care provider could imitate. We are used to focusing on disease prevention practices and treatments at hospitals, but what can we do for patients who are about to be discharged? Other than the common hospital diets you could teach, here are five disease-classified meals that would surely keep the patient out of the grasp of certain lifestyle diseases that affect the humanity today.

1. Fire Up Your Diet Tactics for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Particulars of the Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition wherein inflammatory and ulcerative lesions line the small intestine or colon. This disease of the gastrointestinal system is chronic and has two types: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammatory bowel diseases cause nutrient deficiencies and fluid imbalances, giving the patient a hard time in determining what kind of food he or she could eat to make up for the loss of nutrients that severe diarrhea, a common manifestation in both of the types, can cause.

Nutrition Matters

The most common concern for patients with IBD is malnutrition. The abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea discourage the patient from eating. Teach your patient to:

  • Consume a diet high in protein and calories to aid healing and promote weight gain.
  • Serve a low residue diet to restrict more fiber and residue. They reduce the frequency and volume of the stool.
  • For breakfast, you could teach your patient to consume a glass of apple juice, cream of rice, scrambled eggs, toast with butter and jelly, and ½ cup of milk.
  • For lunch, the patient could have tomato juice, turkey sandwich on white bread, canned peach halves, gelatin, and ½ cup of milk.
  • For dinner, a diet of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, French bread with butter, rice pudding, cranberry juice and ½ cup of milk would be sufficient to aid in weight gain but minimize diarrhea associated with this disease.
  • For snacks, the patient could opt for Melba toast and ½ cup of milk.
  • The patient could include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk, fruit and vegetables juices without the pulp, bread, cereals, and ice cream.

2. Hover Down From the High with a Hypertension Exclusive Diet

Particulars of the Disease

Most often called the silent killer; hypertension is a consistent blood pressure that never goes below 140/90 mmHg, only higher. Inability to control or maintain a normal blood pressure risks the patient to increase chances of heart failure and MI.

Nutrition Matters

One of the factors that increase the risk of developing hypertension is a high sodium diet. For people who had already existing hypertension, here are tips to reduce the sodium you consume:

  • Read the labels on your food containers.
  • Only use products with reduced sodium or no salt added.
  • To enhance the flavors when cooking, use spices, herbs, oils, and lemon to add food flavor.
  • Rinse canned foods to remove more sodium.
  • Eat fresh foods because processed foods contain a high amount of sodium.
  • Adhere to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. DASH recommends to have a daily 2, 000 calorie diet of:
    • 7 to 8 servings of grains and grain products
    • 4 to 5 servings of vegetables
    • 4 to 5 servings of fruit
    • 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy food
    • 2 or fewer servings of meat, fish, and poultry
    • 4 to 5 servings per week of nuts and seeds
    • 5 servings of sweets per week
    • 2 to 3 servings of fat and oils

3. Cut to the Chase with a Chronic Renal Failure Diet

Particulars of the Disease

Chronic renal failure is an irreversible and progressive condition which is the result of the loss of kidney function. This is a sudden onset of the destruction of the nephrons that leads to irreversible kidney damage.

Nutrition Matters

The daily protein requirements are 0.8-1g/kg. These should be foods like beef, fish milk, poultry, pork and egg whites. This is to prevent weight loss and protein catabolism. Here are some considerations for the diet of the patient:

  • Limit sodium intake to 3 to 4g/day.
  • Consume potassium according to the level of serum potassium in the body.
  • To add flavor to the patients food, use spices instead of salt.
  • Avoid processed foods. It is much better to bake, broil and grill the patient’s food.
  • When dining out, avoid meats with gravies and sauces.
  • Avoid salads with dressings; opt for a serving of cooked vegetables without sauce.
  • Ensure appropriate calcium intake of 800 to 1, 500 mg daily.

4. Diet Deals for Diabetes Mellitus

Particulars of the Disease

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects the insulin status of the body. It could be either insulin deficiency or resistance which disturbs protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism, leading to hyperglycemia. Almost 16 million people and counting are affected by this disease.

Nutrition Matters

The diet plan must meet the needs of the patient’s nutrition by controlling the blood glucose level and maintaining an appropriate weight. Proper diet is the cornerstone of treatment. Here are guidelines to follow for type 1 and 2 diabetes patients:

  • Sugar can be used, but use it cautiously.
  • Eat lean protein foods. A patient needs 85g of protein daily or one meat serving that’s about the size of a deck of playing cards.
  • Eat 20 to 35g of fiber daily.
  • Limit cholesterol intake to 300mg/day.
  • Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • For breakfast, the patient can have 2 slices of whole wheat toast,  a tsp of olive oil, ¼ cup egg white omelet, ½ cup cooked oatmeal, and ½ cup apple juice.
  • For lunch, serve turkey sandwich (whole wheat bread and low-fat cheese), 1 apple, 28g bag of baked chips, I glass of water
  • For an afternoon snack, a bunch of carrot sticks would do, and for a bedtime snack, ¼ cup low-fat cottage cheese and ½ cup canned fruits in its juice.
  • For dinner, 2 cups cooked spaghetti, 1 cup spaghetti sauce, 57g lean ground beef, 1 cup salad with 1 tomato, 1 slice garlic bread, and 8oz of water.
  • Small, frequent, and nutritious meals are a must for diabetic patients.

5. Essential Diet for Epilepsy

Particulars of the Disease

Epilepsy or most commonly known as seizure disorder is a brain condition characterized by recurrent seizures. These are associated with abnormal electrical charges of neurons that trigger convulsive movements.

Nutrition Matters

Some patients with seizure disorders could not attain control with the use of medications. They are prescribed with a ketogenic diet together with their medications. This intervention is most effective among children. A study conducted revealed that increased blood ketone levels reduce the incident of seizure activity. Here is an example of a ketogenic diet for the patient.

  • For breakfast, scrambled eggs with butter diluted cream, and orange juice.
  • For lunch, spaghetti squash with butter and parmesan cheese, lettuce leaf with mayonnaise, and orange diet soda mixed with whipped cream.
  • For dinner, hotdog slices with sugar-free ketchup, asparagus with butter, and chopped lettuce with mayonnaise.
  • For snacks, the patient can have sugar free vanilla ice cream
  • Servings for the food could be calculated by a dietitian, so it would be best for the family to work out the diet with a dietitian.
  • The diet should be supplemented with calcium, a sugar-free and lactose-free multivitamin, and fluoride.
  • The key to success would be the family’s understanding of the dietary teachings.

These meal plans were made to fit the requirements of every disease. It is essential that the patient and the family would adhere to the regimen, not only the diets but also with the medications, to achieve a fully recovered or a stable health condition.

Want to learn more about nursing? 
Subscribe To Our Newsletter! 

Receive updates on our new posts which includes study guides, quizzes, and more!

Invalid email address

Add something to the discussion. Leave a comment!