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January 25, 2022  
RESEARCH CENTER: Nutrition Guide

Adequate nutrition is an important part of wound management. When the body undergoes the healing process it requires extra calories, particularly in the form of protein. Any nutrient deficiencies can aggravate the wound condition and contribute to delayed wound healing. People with wounds, or people caring for wound patients, should keep in mind the benefits of providing an ample, healthy diet. For diabetics, or patients suffering from vascular disease, consult your doctor to assess your nutrition and develop a program that addresses any insufficiencies and adds support to your diet without compromising your other health concerns.

Maintaining an adequate amount of protein is important for the healing process. Protein helps build new cells, and is a source of fuel for the body. The following tips may help you to add protein to your diet:

(Please consult your health care practitioner before making any dietary changes. Other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol need to be considered before changing your diet.)

  • Add meat to soups, casseroles, and pasta dishes.
  • Add cheese to sauces, pasta, vegetables, soups or casseroles.
  • Use whole milk or cream instead of skim or low fat milk, and substitute milk for water when making soup, cocoa, oatmeal, or pudding.
  • Add milk powder to anything—eggs, cereal, soup, chopped meat, casseroles, baking dishes, cocoa, rice, pasta, cream sauces, or yogurt.
  • For snacks, spread peanut butter or cream cheese on crackers, bread, fruit, or vegetables.

In addition to adding protein to your diet, it is important to add overall calories. An easy way to add calories is to add high calorie ingredients to foods. Mayonnaise, butter, honey, peanut butter, sour cream and whipped cream can all add calories to dishes.
  • Butter can be added to almost anything—pasta, soups, eggs, vegetable dishes, and casseroles.
  • Butter, margarine, peanut butter, honey, or mayonnaise to sandwiches, toast, bread or fruit.
  • Add whipped cream, marshmallows, raisins, or dates to dessert foods.
  • Keep snacks on hand.
  • Coat chicken and vegetables in batter or bread crumbs before cooking.
  • Drink high protein milkshakes.

Nutritional supplements are available for patients to boost their vitamin and mineral intake. Supplements are available in both pill and liquid form, and should be taken daily.
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