Dysphagia is a condition that may lead to issues with swallowing and chewing food and liquid. As you might be able to imagine, it can be difficult to live with at times. People with this condition, or those who are providing care for them, may find it difficult to determine which foods they should eat and the foods that they should avoid to stay safe while eating. Reducing the risk of complications with this condition is crucial. If you have this condition or are caring for somebody who has been diagnosed with it, then chances are that they have been recommended a dysphagia diet to make it easier for them to eat their meals. Some foods are riskier than others with this condition and are best avoided.
Sticking to a diet of foods that are easy to swallow is key when it comes to managing the symptoms and reducing the risks of complications when it comes to dysphagia. With this condition, it’s important to stick to feeding foods that are easy to swallow. Along with this, hard foods and foods that are difficult to eat such as seeds and nuts should be avoided at all costs. Anything that can pose a safety risk, like hard-boiled sweets, can be especially problematic.
Foods with Different Consistencies
Food items with a mixed consistency or texture are best avoided when it comes to dysphagia. This is because mixed consistencies can often be more challenging to eat and swallow with this condition. Food with mixed consistencies might include things such as minced meat with gravies, bread with soup, or cereals with milk that don’t go well with it, for example. When preparing these foods for somebody with dysphagia, you may want to consider adding a thickening gel such as this one from the SimplyThick company to make it easier to eat.
Foods with Husks
Husks are a dry outer covering that is found on some foods, especially foods that have seeds. These are best avoided when it comes to preparing meals for somebody with this condition. They can be harder to swallow and may increase the risk of choking. Sweetcorn, for example, has husks, as do many seeds.
Certain Fruits and Vegetables
While blended fruits and vegetables are an ideal addition to a dysphagia diet to ensure that the person is getting enough healthy nutrients from their diet, there are some fruit and vegetable items that might not be suitable. Fruits and vegetables with thick skins, such as peaches, for example, are usually best avoided as the skin can be difficult to chew and there is a high risk of it becoming lodged in the throat and increasing the risk of choking. Any fruits and vegetables that contain pips and seeds should also be avoided.
Crumbly or Crunchy Food
Food with a crunchy or crumbly texture can be especially difficult to chew for those with dysphagia, and hard to swallow too. These are best completely avoided from the diet altogether. This includes items like toast, crackers, chips, and pastry crusts.
Dysphagia is a condition that makes it hard to chew and swallow food. With this condition, it is important to make sure that the right foods are prepared and eaten to avoid risk.
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