What are Medical Foods?
The term “Medical Food” is defined by federal law. In order to be a medical food, the product must meet certain criteria defined by the law. Generally speaking, Medical Foods are products that are used under the supervision of a physician and that are designed and intended for the dietary management of specific diseases or conditions that cannot be managed simply with the modification of a normal diet.
Medical Foods are specially formulated products, some of which may be designed to help manage very specific diseases or conditions, when the distinctive nutritional needs of the patient cannot be met with regular foods alone. For example, certain products may be specifically formulated to address the nutritional needs of patients with renal disease or a specific gastrointestinal impairment. To be a medical food, the product must address the dietary requirements created by certain diseases or conditions, in order to allow patients to receive the nutrients they need to help manage their conditions. As should be clear, the term “Medical Foods” does not include all foods fed to sick patients or all foods that may be recommended by a physician.
Medical foods may be consumed orally or via a feeding tube, also known as enteral nutrition. As you review the products on this website, please be careful to note whether oral consumption is recommended or whether it is primarily used for tube feeding.
Importantly, Medical Foods should be used under the supervision or direction of a physician. Medical Foods are not intended to treat, cure, prevent, mitigate or have a direct impact on disease in a manner similar to drugs or other medical treatments. Ask your physician whether a Medical Food is recommended for the dietary management of a disease or condition you have.
Check out the Nutritional Recipes.
Diabetes Care and Information
Nutrition is an important part of managing diabetes. Make meal planning easier by following these simple tips.
What can I eat when I have diabetes?
Healthy eating with diabetes means choosing a variety of foods in proper portions.
There are three types of major nutrients:
Carbohydrates provide energy and vital nutrients, and raise blood glucose. When carbohydrates are broken down, they turn into sugar – usually the best form of energy for your body. This is why:
Carbohydrates will also raise your blood sugar levels.
- Whole grains, starchy vegetables, legumes
- Low fat dairy
Protein builds new cells and tissues.
- Fish, poultry, lean meat
- Reduced fat cheese
- Egg whites
Fat carries vitamins and provides fuel.
- Olive, canola, or peanut oil
- Nuts, seeds, nutbutters
How can I make my meals healthier?
- Keep carbohydrate intake consistent from day to day.
- Reduce calories if appropriate by cutting portions. Try using smaller plates and bowls.
- Include a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits.
- Fill half your plate with nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, green beans or zucchini at every lunch and dinner. Add lean protein such as fish or chicken, about the size of a deck of cards and a small fist-size portion of carbohydrate such as brown rice to create a balanced plate.
- Limit sweets and avoid drinking extra calories from juice, regular soda and sweet coffee drinks.
- Consult a Registered Dietitian for a meal plan customized for you.
To see if your meal plan is working for you, use Bayer’s CONTOUR® meter. With its pre and post meal markers, you can label your readings before and after your meals and adjust your insulin if needed. Check with your physician if insulin (or any medication) needs to be adjusted.
Where can I get more information?
To find nutrition information for almost any food you can think of, go to the nutrition guide. It’s an easy way to stay informed about the food choices you make.
“Try making healthy foods tastier by seasoning your food with herbs and spices. My favorites are garlic, basil, celery, and lime juice.” -- Martha Weintraub, MPH, MSW, RD
Knowing how to make good food choices - now that’s a Simple Win!
Article written by: MARTHA WEINTRAUB, MPH, MSW, RD, FIT4D NUTRITION COACH
Reference: American Diabetes Association