Chinese diet therapy (CDT) is another modality of Chinese Medicine to improve the health, wellness and quality of life of a person. CDT uses the same ideas as Chinese Herbal medicine, but related to the foods we eat.
Here in the west, nutrition is based on various factors; servings of food types based on the food pyramid, as well as the nutritional content of the food itself; how much fat included types of fats does it contain, sugars, calories, iron, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins etc. We know vegetables should make up the majority of the foods we eat each day based on the pyramid, and if you need magnesium, then consume green leafy vegetables, or if you are lacking in zinc, unprocessed meat, oysters, and nuts and seeds are the way to go. And we know to limit certain fats and sugars from our diets.
In CDT, food is broken down into how it can affects the body based on Chinese Medicine. Walnuts for example is classified as being warm and sweet in nature, and can tonify the Kidney, moisten the Lung and Intestines, and relieve cough and wheezing. They may be 'prescribed' to someone with a Chinese Medicine diagnosis of asthma due to Kidney unable to grasp Lung Qi. However, for someone diagnosed with Phlegm or Dampness, they may be advised to avoid or limit their consumption of nuts and seeds due to their oil content which can aggravated the Phlegm/Dampness.
Like Western nutrition, CDT is about maintaining balance in the diet, increasing foods when required, limiting those that may be causing and imbalance, and may be used as part of your overall health plan in conjunction with acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage and exercise/meditation,