Go Medical nutrition (diet therapy)

Health food

Medical nutrition (synonym diet therapy) is a method of treatment with the help of diets consisting of specially selected and prepared food.

The effect of food on the human body consists of local action on the digestive organs and the general effect of food digestion products on the functional state of various organs and systems, as well as on metabolism.

Sour or salty foods cause increased separation of digestive juices, accelerate the movement of food through the intestines. Fried and uncrushed foods are harder to digest, cause a greater secretion of gastric juice, linger longer in the stomach than the same products in shabby form, steam cooking or boiled in water. The use of pureed, steamed food, the exclusion of salty and acidic foods reduces irritation of the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, reduces the secretion of the digestive glands, reduces the intestinal motor activity. All this creates conditions of rest for the digestive organs and helps to eliminate their irritation caused by one or another disease. In other cases, the inclusion in the diet of an increased amount of raw vegetables and fruits increases the mechanical irritation of the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in increased bile secretion and motor function of the intestine.


Changes in the quality of food substances, the total amount of food, different ratios between food substances have a significant impact on the nature of metabolic processes, chemical regulation of the processes of digestion, and consequently, on the functions of all human organs and systems. This is the general effect of food. For example, with the restriction in food of table salt , water retention in tissues is reduced and its excretion from the body is enhanced. The increase in the protein content in food provides the body with a large amount of material to repair damaged tissues, etc.

Replacing water-soluble carbohydrates ( sugar , honey) in food diabetic patients with foods containing starch ( bread , cereals, vegetables), is provided by slow digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. However, after a meal, there is no significant increase in the sugar content in the blood, which reduces the body's need for insulin, which is produced in the body of a patient with diabetes mellitus in insufficient quantities.

Along with the therapeutic effect of diets, an important factor is to provide the body with nutrients, the need for which in most diseases, especially chronic, is no less than in healthy people, and often even more. Therefore, the vast majority of diets prescribed for a long term, contains the physiological norm of all nutrients, with the exception of special cases of drastic changes in metabolism (for example, limiting carbohydrates for obesity or restricting protein for uremia ).

Brief description of the main diets recommended by the Institute of Nutrition of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR for medical institutions:

  • Diet number 1
  • Diet number 2
  • Diet number 4
  • Diet number 5
  • Diet number 8
  • Diet number 9
  • Diet number 10
  • Diet number 11
  • Method of applying diets