Meals and Snacks When You Need a Special Diet

Many health problems—physical and emotional— that arise with aging require major changes in what and how people eat. Discuss that with your doctor during your regular checkups—annually or more often as your doctor advises. Never self-diagnose an ongoing disease, or prescribe your own special diet or dietary supplement to treat it. And be careful of so-called miracle cures. See "Miracles? Dream On!" earlier in this chapter.

For any health condition, there's no one recommended diet. Each person needs individual nutrition advice because needs differ so much. And sometimes more than one health problem needs to be treated at the same time. If a special (therapeutic) diet is prescribed for you, consult your doctor or a registered dietitian for guidance. Have your progress monitored, as advised. For more tips, see "If Your Doctor Prescribes a Special Eating Plan... " in chapter 22.

To manage your health, your food choices may need as much of your attention as following directions for medications. It's all for your good health! To find a registered dietitian, ask your doctor. See "How to Find Nutrition Help" in chapter 24.

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