Medically-tailored meals provide the right nutrition for those managing chronic conditions. Studies show that food is medicine for the prevention, management, and treatment of disease.
Approximately six in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic condition, and four in ten adults have two or more. With more older adults managing chronic conditions, caregivers have lots of things to juggle.Proper nutrition is vital to help your loved ones treat and slow their chronic condition progression. Research shows those with a chronic illness receiving nutritional meals have lower average monthly health care costs (31% lower), fewer admissions (50% reduction), and shorter length of stay (37% shorter) when admitted.
One way to ensure adults are getting the right meal for the condition is to provide access to medically-tailored meals. Here are some examples:
Diabetes – A doctor or Registered Dietitian may have set a goal of how many carbohydrate servings to be consumed at each meal. Eating a consistent number of carbohydrate foods will help manage blood glucose.
Meals for Weight Reduction – These meals generally have less than 650 calories, more than 20 grams of protein, and less than 35% of calories from fat, with minimized refined sugar and at least 7 grams of fiber.
Chronic Kidney Disease – Meals created by Registered Dietitians will meet the guidelines for individuals with chronic kidney disease receiving dialysis (National Kidney Foundation Stage 5D).
Congestive Heart Failure – Those with CHF need to restrict sodium and fluid intake. These meals should have less than 500 milligrams of sodium and fewer than 150 milliliters of fluid.
Dysphagia (Swallowing Disorders) – These individuals need flavorful and nutritious meals in the required consistency.
HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Wounds, or Malnutrition – These individuals need to have increased calories and protein. Nutrient-dense meals that provide more than 700 calories and 35 grams of protein are recommended.
Many Medicare Advantage health plans provide medically-tailored meals to their members, so contact your plan to see if you, or your loved one, are eligible. To download our Food is Medicine infographic, click here.