There’s a saying that ‘we are what we eat’. It is believed that whatever food we consume has an impact on our body and mind, and it plays a major role in our overall health and well-being. ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’ – this quote by Hippocrates, the father of medicine only proves the fact that the various food items we eat have varied impacts on our body. He fully utilised the power of diet therapy in his treatments even in 400 B.C. We can define diet therapy as a personalised eating programme designed to address a particular medical issue or to help you lose weight for health reasons or foe general well-being.
Diet therapy is a concept that has been prevalent since ages. The Chinese monarchs were said to have a set of dedicated dieticians, who cooked food for the royal family. These dieticians chose and cooked food to cater to individual needs taking into account the healing properties of the ingredients. Diet therapy was and is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine.
Diet therapy is particularly effective in treating the following ailments
- Lactose intolerance
- High cholesterol levels
- Various mental illnesses and conditions
- Hyperactivity and other behavioural disorders
- Various allergies
Diet therapy can help:
- To bring about changes in body weight, making it ideal and healthy
- To provide rest to a particular organ
- To provide adequate nutrition and overcome certain deficiencies
- To adsorb the required nutrients from certain foods
- To regulate the consumption of certain foods and substances that trigger an allergy or worsen a condition
- To utilise the medicinal properties of various food items in healing and curing diseases
Diet therapy has become extremely popular, and today, hospitals are hiring dietitians to provide their patients with a healthy diet that helps in fast recovery.
There are various types of diets that have either a cultural or regional connection or are devised by expert dietitians to cure various ailments. Listed below are a few popular diet therapy plans for patients wanting to reduce weight, control diabetes, get rid of allergies, etc.
- Low calorie diet – It improves glycaemic control and helps in weight loss.
- Gluten-free diet – It is beneficial in the cure of coeliac disease.
- Vegetarian diet – Does not include meat, poultry and sea food. Very helpful in weight loss.
- Detox diet – Helps flush out toxins from the body and restore health.
- Diabetic diet – Helps in controlling diabetes.
- High-fibre diet – Very helpful in patients suffering from constipation
- Ketogenic diet – This is a high fat low carbohydrate diet. This diet helps to convert body fat into energy. It is used as a treatment for refractory epilepsy.