Clinical nutrition focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of nutritional changes in patients linked to chronic diseases and conditions. 

Clinical in this sense refers to the management of patients, including not only outpatients at clinics and in private practice, but also inpatients in hospitals.

 It incorporates primarily the scientific fields of nutrition and dietetics. Furthermore, clinical nutrition aims to maintain a healthy energy balance, while also providing sufficient amounts of nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals to patients.

Types of Therapeutic / Clinical Diet:

A therapeutic diet, also known as a clinical diet, refers to a special diet plan that manages the intake of certain nutrients or foods. It is usually an alteration of one’s regular diet. Some common clinical diet examples include-

  • Gluten-free diet – includes legumes, lentils and beans; grains like milletquinoa; carrots; berries, and apricots
  • Clear liquid diet – includes plain, flavoured, or carbonated water; fruit juices excluding the pulp (apple juice or grape juice); fruit-flavoured beverages like lemonade
  • Full liquid diet – fruit juices; butter, custard and pudding; ice cream and frozen yoghurt, sherbet; soup, broth, and syrups
  • Diabetic diet – healthy fats that come from fish oils, olive oil, nuts, flaxseeds, and avocados; high-fibre cereals made from whole grains; fresh fruits and veggies
  • Low-fat diet – whole grains, vegetables and fruits; dairy and meat products; legumes and beans; sweet potatoes, egg whites, and mushrooms
  • Renal Diet– Low electrolytes, low protein diet,

Benefits of Clinical Nutrition :

 Clinical diets are prepared to optimize the nutritional requirements of an individual in order to treat a range of ailments or to improve one’s ability to eat. A diet prescribed by a physician is a part of the treatment plan for a clinical condition or a disease to eliminate, increase, or decrease specific nutritional needs in the diet and minimize the risk of injuries.

Dieticians recommend therapeutic diets either to improve the patient’s overall health or to maintain a healthful lifestyle. For example, many patients undergoing dialysis are on diets that are therapeutic to their cure so that they observe maximum improvement in condition from the dialysis.

Purpose of Clinical Diet:

The following are the main purposes of a therapeutic diet-

  1. To maintain good nutrition
  2. To rectify any deficiencies that may have occurred
  3. To boost the metabolism
  4. To help you maintain a healthy weight