Eating Right When You Have More Than One Health Problem


Eating right may seem hard to do if you have more than one health problem. You may be given diet guidelines for each condition. But eating right may not be as hard as you think. Here are some ideas that can help.

  • Get help.

    If your diet guidelines are confusing or hard to follow, talk to your doctor. Or you may work with a registered dietitian. This nutrition expert will consider things like your age, your health concerns, and the medicines you take. A dietitian can design an eating plan just for you and can teach you how to follow it.

  • Find out which diet guidelines are most important.

    In a few cases, the diet for one health condition may be more important than the diet for another condition. For example, if you have kidney disease and diabetes, you might focus more on the diet guidelines for kidney disease. Your doctor or dietitian can help you decide what's most important for your health.

  • Make one diet change at a time.
    • Start with the change that's most important. For example, if you have diabetes and heart disease, you might start by keeping track of carbohydrates. After that change becomes a habit, you might focus on reducing saturated fat for your heart.
    • Get comfortable with each change before you add a new one.
  • Keep healthy eating in mind.

    Even with special diet guidelines, it's important to remember basic healthy eating. Nearly everyone needs to:

    • Eat a variety of foods.
    • Get plenty of fruits and vegetables.
    • Choose whole grains.
    • Limit salt, fat, and added sugar.
    • Avoid alcohol, or drink only in moderation.


Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine

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