Dysphagia is a condition that is characterized by difficulties swallowing, which can lead to problems with maintaining a healthy weight as the patient struggles to get enough nutrients in their diet. Problems with swallowing are often a sign of underlying conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, GERD, esophageal cancer and even dementia. Along with being dangerous due to the choking risk, it can also lead to multiple deficiencies and rapid weight loss. With dysphagia patients, it’s important to consider how to ensure that the right nutrients are included in the diet without increasing the choking risk. Some options to consider include:
Coconut milks, creams and oils are an ideal choice for somebody with dysphagia, as this is one of the few foods that contain medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs, which are known for assisting cells in the body with converting calories to energy. Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats, with one tablespoon containing around 60% of the recommended amount to consume daily. It can be a great choice for people with dysphagia who may be struggling to get the right amount of healthy fat in their diet as a result of their condition. You can thicken these products up to make them easier to consume using a thickening gel from Simply Thick LLC.
Getting enough healthy fat in the diet is crucial for people with dysphagia. Nut butters such as almond butter, peanut butter, hazelnut butter and cashew butter are some good options, and they are becoming more popular and easier to buy. These butters are available in smooth consistencies and are packed with essential minerals and vitamins such as fiber, protein, and calcium along with being a healthy source of fat.
With a thicker and creamier consistency, Greek yogurt is a good choice to add to the diet of somebody with dysphagia as it is easier to eat and swallow. It is very high in a lot of essential nutrients making it a great addition to your diet. It’s rich in gut-health boosting probiotics along with healthy fats and protein. Look for products that include three to five active cultures and no to little added sugar for the best nutritional benefits.
A cup of cubed avocado is a very nutrient-dense choice, containing over 20g of healthy fats along with potassium, fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Since avocados are quite bland on their own, they are very versatile making them an ideal choice for adding to combinations of other foods and blending together to make a meal that is nutrient-dense and easy to eat.
When a condition such as dysphagia makes it difficult to swallow food and liquid, it’s important to ensure that the person affected is getting all the nutrients that they need. Since trouble with swallowing can make it hard for somebody to eat a range of nutritious foods, it might be necessary to get creative when it comes to what is added to their diet to avoid sickness and health risks.