Therapeutic Diets

During your stay at Brandywine Hospital, your physician may prescribe a diet based on your medical condition. This prescription will determine your menu offerings. During the course of your stay, your diet may change. Your doctor may also want you to follow special dietary restrictions after discharge. If so, it will be noted in your discharge instructions. Several different diets are offered during your stay through Room Service. If you have any questions and/or wish to learn how to enhance the flavor of your diet, please call Dietary Services at 610-383-8080.. A hostess will be in contact with you daily to obtain your meal choices. If you have any questions and/or need additional information about your diet, please call Dietary Services at (610) 383-8080.

  • Regular: There are no restrictions on this diet. It is based on healthy eating from all of the food groups.
  • Cardiac: This may be ordered for patients with a heart condition. It is low fat, low cholesterol, sodium (salt) controlled, and limited in caffeine.
  • Low Fat/Low Cholesterol: This diet is designed to assist in reducing the buildup of plaque in the arteries and improve digestion. Patients with heart disease, pancreatitis and gallbladder disease are often on a low fat/low cholesterol diet.
  • Diabetic Consistent Carbohydrates: This is used for patients with Diabetes or uncontrolled blood sugars. This diet is based on Carbohydrate Counting to assist in maintaining normal blood sugar levels. The amount of carbohydrates (simple and complex sugars) given per meal and snack are controlled.
  • Diabetic Cardiac: Patients with diabetes may have heart disease as a result of the diabetes. This is a combination diet that controls the amount of fat, cholesterol, salt, caffeine and carbohydrates.
  • Sodium Restricted: Sodium (salt) restrictions are typically ordered for patients with high blood pressure or a buildup of fluid in the body. The degree to which the sodium is restricted depends on the severity of the complications resulting from excess sodium. Canned soups, luncheon meats, microwave products and processed foods are high in sodium.
  • Coumadin Guidelines: Avoid a sudden increase of foods rich in Vitamin K (deep green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, scallions). A daily multi-vitamin with no more than 25 micrograms of Vitamin K is okay. Avoid alcohol and large quantities of cranberry products. Check with your pharmacist before buying any drug, supplement or herbal.
  • Soft/Low Fiber: A soft or low fiber diet may be ordered due to gastrointestinal reasons. It is limited in fiber and fried and highly seasoned foods.
  • High Fiber: This diet provides bran or whole grain cereals at breakfast, and whole wheat bread and whole fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
  • Chopped/Ground: This is ordered for patients who have difficulty chewing and swallowing. Foods are moist, soft and in small pieces which are thoroughly cooked and not dry or crumbly.
  • Puree: This is ordered for patients who have difficulty chewing and swallowing. All foods are broken down to a pudding consistency.
  • Renal: This is for patients with reduced or no kidney function. It is one of the more complicated diets due to the restrictions in sodium and potassium. The diet may be restricted in phosphorus as well. If you are on dialysis, please continue to follow the guidelines provided by the dialysis dietitian unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
  • Fluid Restriction: Patients are placed on a fluid restriction to eliminate a buildup of fluid in the body. These patients usually have kidney, heart (congestive heart failure) or liver disease.
  • Clear Liquid: A clear liquid diet is usually a temporary diet and may be ordered before and after a test, before and after surgery or for acute gastrointestinal upset.
  • Full Liquid: A full liquid diet is usually a temporary diet and may be ordered as a step from clear liquids to regular foods. It includes milk/milk products.
  • NPO: This term means “nothing by mouth.” You will not receive a meal. This diet is usually ordered before and after certain tests and/or surgery.
  • Potassium Restricted: This diet may be ordered to assist in decreasing the amount of potassium in the blood to normal levels. Potassium is used in regulating heart function. Excess potassium can result in heart failure. Common foods high in potassium are potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, bananas and milk.
  • Lactose Restricted: Lactose restricted diets are for patients who are not able to adequately digest milk sugar or lactose. Lactaid is typically sent. The diet usually eliminates milk and dairy products. It does not eliminate all the foods in which lactose may be hidden. This is because the patient can usually tolerate lactose in small amounts.
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