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Home / Healthy Eating

Therapeutic diets: What you need to know

 Diet plays a significant role in controlling, managing and even treating various diseases (Shutterstock)

If you’re battling with diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease, alongside the conventional treatments available out there, you might want to also consider a therapeutic diet.

Diet plays a significant role in controlling, managing and even treating various diseases especially those brought about by one’s lifestyle.

So, in that regard, food can be used as medicine and can literally turn your life around.

Usually recommended by a doctor or a certified nutritionist, a therapeutic diet, also known as a healing diet, protocol is used for treatment, prevention or repair to help your body bounce back to health.

A therapeutic diet focuses on nutrients found in food. Tailor made to suit every individual depending on their health needs, it is based on genetics, metabolism, illness and lifestyle.

To see whether you are a fit candidate for this type of diet, here are the different types available. This, however, is not a medical recommendation or treatment and you are advised to consult your health care provider first.

i.Diabetic diet

This plan promotes healthy food choices consumed at consistent times throughout the day.

It seeks to keep the blood sugar levels at a safe range through controlled portions, avoidance of saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol while eating fiber rich fruits, vegetables, fish and healthy carbs.

ii.Paleo diet

Helping improve satiety by releasing hormones that make you full, this diet is effective for lowering inflammation, controlling blood sugar and reducing the risk of cardiovascular related diseases.

A diet rich in fiber too, which is essential for eliminating waste and good digestive health, the paleo diet borrows from what our ancestors would have been eating from what they hunted and gathered before farming methods emerged.

A paleo diet includes meat, fish, eggs, spices, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Processed sugars and fats are avoided at all costs.

 A therapeutic diet focuses on nutrients found in food (Shutterstock)

iii.Gluten free diet

Designed for individuals who are sensitive, intolerant or allergic to wheat due to their genetics or from the change in farming practices such as use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and infiltration of GMO’s, this diet eliminates wheat due to gluten.

A byproduct of glutenin and gliadin found in wheat, barley and rye, gluten is formed when those two proteins come into contact with water.

When ingested it may cause bloating, trigger celiac disease which is an autoimmune disease, rashes, headaches among others.

Gluten in this case is replaced with other healthier carbs such as rice, oats, potatoes and quinoa.

iv.Autoimmune protocol diet

AIP is a stricter variation of the paleo diet. it is a nutrient dense diet created for those with autoimmune diseases by removing foods that worsen intestinal permeability or leaky gut and those that stimulate the immune system.

The protocol removes dairy, grains, eggs, certain vegetables, nuts, seeds, alcohol, food additives and even natural sweeteners until the body stabilizes and starts to heal then the foods can be added one at a time.

v.Ketogenic diet

Mainly used in the treatment for children and adults with seizure disorders, it has also been found to be effective in treating heart diseases, brain diseases and diabetes.

It involves reducing carbs and replacing them with healthy fats. This in turn forces the body to use body fat as a source of energy.

While following this diet you must eliminate or limit refined sugars and fats, grains, legumes and starchy fruits and vegetables like potatoes.

Instead, it encourages the patient to eat meat, dairy, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, non-starchy fruits and vegetables and oils such as olive and coconut.

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