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Healing Tool Series: Matching the Right Diet to the Right Patient

A therapeutic diet guide for patients with various chronic conditions or diseases.

“Healing Tools” summaries are a collection of evidence-based resources to help providers and patients use integrative health approaches to improve health and wellbeing.

This tool is for: Providers

This tool was created by: Medscape


What is this tool for?

Conflicting nutrition studies and inadequate nutrition education at medical schools make it difficult for providers to counsel patients about diet.

The Medscape diet guide, described in 19 slides, provides an overview of therapeutic diets that providers can recommend to patients with various chronic conditions or diseases.

Information about each diet includes:

  • Description
  • Evidence
  • Links to reputable sources for more information, including patient guides

Diets by Conditions and Diseases


  • Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet– #1 U.S. News ranking in Best Diets Overall


  • Mediterranean diet
  • DASH diet
  • Carb-counting diet

Cardiovascular Disease

  • Mediterranean diet
  • Honorable mentions: Ornish diet and Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes

Kidney Disease

  • DASH diet
  • Renal diet tailored to the patient by a renal dietitian

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Low-FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) diet

Celiac Disease

  • Gluten-free diet


  • DASH diet
  • Plant-based diet
  • Potential diet under investigation: Modified ketogenic diet

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Mediterranean diet
  • MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet

How does this contribute to an integrative approach?

Combining conventional medicine, self-care, and complementary and alternative medicine can help patients achieve optimal healing and wellbeing. Following a healthy diet that’s appropriate for the condition or disease gives patients a key role in self-care and can help slow progression of the condition or disease and reduce symptoms.

What does the evidence say about this tool?

Experts have recommended these diets and studies have shown the effectiveness of many of the diets for specific diseases and conditions. For example:


  • DASH is effective in lowering blood pressure.


  • Since DASH encourages reducing sugar intake, it is an appropriate diet for patients with diabetes.
  • Evidence on the best diet for patients with diabetes is lacking. Patients should choose whichever of these diets works with their preferences and lifestyle:
    • Mediterranean
    • DASH diet
    • Carb-counting  

Studies have shown that lifestyle interventions in people with diabetes that include nutritional counseling and a healthy low-calorie, healthy-fat diet can produce medium to large changes toward better health.

Cardiovascular Disease

  • The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the incidence of and mortality from cardiovascular disease.

Who created this tool?

Medscape offers the latest medical news and expert perspectives; essential point-of-care drug and disease information; and relevant professional education and CME for physicians and healthcare professionals worldwide. Anya Romanowski, MS, RD, is editorial director at Medscape.

Link available to Medscape members


At Healing Works Foundation, we believe that achieving optimal health and wellbeing requires an integrative health approach—one that combines and coordinates conventional medicine, self-care, and complementary and alternative medicine.

Translating Evidence into Action

The goal of these summaries is to help providers and patients learn about and access evidence-based integrative health tools.


Healing Works Foundation is a nonprofit organization and does not profit from any of the tools featured in these summaries.

Patients: Contact your provider before starting any new health program.  Show him/her these resources.

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