Updated: Apr 16
What are Therapeutic Diet Plans?
Therapeutic diet plans are intended for the practitioner to help the client successfully maintain health goals. . These plans are designed to serve as a primary resource for health practitioners. . As well, it serves to help them select the best dietary approach for a specific individual’s physiologic needs and personal preferences. .
While every person's plan will be different, the intent remains the same, "How will we use this plan to help you?" In choosing how to use the therapeutic diet plan, the elimination method seems to be the best technique. As any practitioner can eliminate a number of different things and still tailor to someone's bio-individual lifestyle.
Practitioner Guide for Personalizing
A tool to use is the Practitioner Guide for Personalizing the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). . Since the guide outlines the clinical applications of the institutes' food plans by feature and therapeutic intent, it is easy to choose the right therapeutic foods. . The program also outlines how to use these foods, and it helps when practitioners need to select the correct client education tools. .
The Elimination Diet
When discussing elimination, the primary goal of the elimination diet is not to restrict calories but to identify food triggers such as dairy and gluten. This same theory goes along with a focus on other food types that the individual may react towards, as well. The elimination diet gears to provide the individual with a sense of awareness of the foods they are eating. Also, part of the primary goal of this diet is to support a healthy microbiome, focus on frequency and calorie features, and reduce cravings and food addictions.
Additionally, the diet is a modified Mediterranean Approach that aims to center around whole foods while promoting clean and organic eating habits. Thus, the practitioner and client will focus on balancing macronutrients, ensuring the client receives adequate quality protein and balanced quality fats. Lastly, during this approach to healthy eating, the practitioner will increase fiber, reduce simple sugars, ensure the individual gets a wide variety of phytonutrients, and aim to eliminate processed foods from the diet completely.
Many people can benefit from the elimination diet. While it could be sugar-free, grain-free, or allowed to promote calorie restriction, it is tailored to fit each person according to their bio-individual status. Since it is usually used to identify the culprits in adverse food reactions, the people that would benefit the most from this diet are those that report true allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities.
Those that hide or select which foods they choose to support will not gain from being deceptive. This same example goes along with those who have failed at other conventional medical therapies and are trying holistic approaches. For conditions to improve or weight to be lost, a person has to adhere precisely to the nutrition prescription that is given to them. Otherwise, these people will not see results and give up.
Improvement from Nutritional Prescriptions
When adhering to nutritional prescriptions, conditions usually improve within a couple of weeks to months. Those that are clinical can improve in months to years. The risk in choosing to use therapeutic diets for healing instead of pharmaceuticals and surgeries is that a person has to put forth the effort. It is more difficult, and it will take firm self-discipline. However, it is wise not to forget that part of the therapeutic diet plan is to educate and develop the student how to live a lifestyle that will allow for longer life, less risk of disease and reduction of current condition or status.
With the elimination of specific food items or lifestyle concerns, a person can change everything they know to be current. Knowledge really is power in the essence of longevity. Thus, diseases such as thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, GERD, Crohn's disease, obesity, depression, gout, and more can be remitted by exercising the power of using therapeutic diet plans and using nutritional prescriptions. [1;2;4].
Abbott, R. D., Sadowski, A., & Alt, A. G. (2019). Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet as Part of a Multi-disciplinary, Supported Lifestyle Intervention for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Cureus, 11(4), e4556. doi:10.7759/cureus.4556
Nigg, J. T., & Holton, K. (2014). Restriction and elimination diets in ADHD treatment. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 23(4), 937–953. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2014.05.010
Personalizing the IFM therapeutic food plans: Practitioner guide, Version 7. (2016). Institute for Functional Medicine. Personalizing the IFM Therapeutic Food Plans - Practitioner Guide_v7.pdf
Reed, C. C., Fan, C., Koutlas, N. T., Shaheen, N. J., & Dellon, E. S. (2017). Food elimination diets are effective for long-term treatment of adults with eosinophilic oesophagitis. Alimentary Pharmacology & ?Therapeutics, 46(9), 836–844. doi:10.1111/apt.14290