The three essential points to observe in regard to food are-the quality of it, the quantity, and the times at which it is taken.
In general a substantial breakfast at eight, a light lunch at one, and a substantial dinner at seven, and nothing between these, is the best possible arrangement for the daily meals. The quality should be light and digestible, the quantity enough to satisfy hunger, and the drink non-medicinal, and in quantity enough to allay thirst.
In sickness the diet will be regulated according to the disorder. In acute illness it must be of the lightest and simplest kind. Pure water may be given as much as is desired in these cases; it may be sweetened with pure fruit syrup, if desired. Toast-water, barely-water, rice-water, gum-arabic-water, thin oatmeal gruel, milk whey; also arrowroot, sago tapioca, semolina, all made with milk only. Ripe juicy fruit, as grapes, peaches, oranges, raspberries, but nothing at all acid, and no fruit at all when there is diarrhoea, as in cases of typhoid fever.
In convalescence or chronic illnesses a more liberal dietary may be allowed. Bread not too fresh, and not containing alum or other impurities, biscuits, milk puddings, soup with barley or rice boiled in it, beef-tea, chicken broth, mutton broth.
Meats.-Beef, mutton, tongue game, pigeons, chickens, sweetbread, tripe, the lean of ham, and for breakfast, bacon. These should not be partaken of cold, nor done up a second time. The only exception is in the cases of ham and bacon; these may be taken cold. The fat of bacon is the most digestible of all fats. The finest bacon boiled, and eaten cold with toast or state bread is an excellent breakfast diet.
Fish.-Cod, haddock, whiting, sole, turbot, herring, and salt fish after it has been well soaked in water; also oysters, either raw, roasted in the shell, or boiled in soup.
Vegetables.-Potatoes, spinach, cabbage cauliflower, green peas of beans, asparagus, haricots.
Milk.-Uncooked or boiled, butter-milk, whey. When milk disagrees the addition of a little salt often makes it digestible. Boiled milk has less food value than uncooked milk. Boiling destroys much of its vitality. Boiling destroys much of its vitality. The researches of Metchnikoff have introduced into modern dietary many forms of curdled-milk prepared with the Bulgarian lactic acid bacillus. These are of very great value both for the healthy and for some forms of sickness, especially in neurasthenia and some forms of indigestion.
DRINKS.-Pure chocolate or cocoa, weak China tea, scalded milk (fresh milk with boiling water poured into it in about equal proportions). The best of all drink is pure spring water.
Other Articles.-Butter, milk, cheese, cream, custard.
Salt and sugar must be taken only in moderation. Of course, in prescribing a diet individual peculiarities must be studied.
Forbidden Articles in Homoeopathic Dietary.-When under Homoeopathic treatment, there are certain articles which patients must avoid, unless expressly allowed by the physician:
The flesh of young animals; liver, and internal organs generally; geese, ducks; fat pork, roast pig, eels, crabs, smoked or salt meat, sausages, mince-pies.
All highly seasoned soups and sauces.
Rich cake, pastry, honey; confectionery except barely-sugar; nuts of all kinds; all fruit, except grapes, oranges, peaches, sweet apples, pears, raspberries when properly ripe, and of dried fruits, raisins, prunes, dates, figs. Vinegar and all things made with it; pickles, aromatic herbs, parsley, garlic, onions; pepper, ginger, nutmeg and flavouring. Distilled or fermented liquors; coffee, green tea; lemonade and acid drinks; mineral waters.