Mon - Fri: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Monday – Friday8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday Open for MRI
Sunday Closed
Migraine treatment same day as your first appointment.
Visit our Healow Portal
Visit our Healow Portal Call 214-619-1910
CALL 214-619-1910

Dysphagia Diets: Our Recommendations

Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Chaitanya Bonda
Book appointment
Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Chaitanya Bonda

People with dysphagia have a very high chance of experiencing aspiration. Aspiration is the accidental ingestion of food or liquid into the bronchi and lungs. It can cause pneumonia and mediastinitis with an increased risk of death. So, to avoid such problems, doctors prescribe dysphagia diets for patients. Here are some common recommendations for this:

  • Divide meals into smaller portions and eat slowly. It helps reduce the load on the swallowing muscles;
  • Change the consistency of some foods to make them easier to swallow. For example, smash or blend products to a puree;
  • Avoid foods that are dry or rough. It includes cookies, nuts, or bread. They cause aspiration very quickly. So, eat soft foods for dysphagia.

A diet for dysphagia may be necessary for a short time. But in some cases, people need it for a long time. Generally, it depends on what is causing this condition and how severe it is.

Understanding Dysphagia and the Importance of Modified Diets

Have you experienced an inability to swallow food properly? Do you find yourself choking while eating? These are all warning signs that point to dysphagia. It is a medical condition describing significant difficulty swallowing food or water. 

Dysphagia can have different causes and can affect people of all ages. Most often, it occurs with neurological diseases. How does it appear? During swallowing, more than 30 nerves and muscles must work together smoothly. It is to move food from the mouth to the stomach. If these finely coordinated processes are disrupted, swallowing disorders can occur. It is precisely dysphagia, which has many dangerous consequences.

There are several levels of dysphagia diets to avoid bad consequences of this illness. It is a so-called modified diet that examines the patient’s medical and physical limitations. It may include various degrees of textural modification. Among them are purees, liquid purees, and easily chewable foods.

Following such a dysphagia diet is the most important rule for a person with dysphagia. After all, if you follow it, the risk of aspiration and pneumonia disappears. So, the proper dysphagia food consistencies are a way to alleviate the symptoms of the disease and make food easier to eat.

Level 1 Dysphagia Diet: Pureed Consistency

The level 1 dysphagia diet is based on a puree-like consistency of food. It is one of the most critical aspects of facilitating the swallowing process. After all, the puree is very easy to chew and does not require straining the muscles of the chewing mouth.

During this type of therapy, you can include foods such as:

  • Mashed vegetables. It can be potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, or broccoli. 
  • Fruit puree. It can be mashed apples, bananas, peaches, or pears.
  • Mashed meat or fish. It can be chicken, beef, salmon, or tuna. 
  • Liquid or semi-liquid dishes. It can be soups, puddings, yogurts, or cereals with a smooth consistency.

Besides, during this dysphagia diet, you should pay attention to the consistency of drinks. Our research has shown that consuming liquids with a nectar-like consistency is better. These can be fruit juices without pulp, milkshakes, or fatty soups. But remember that it’s essential to avoid too-liquid drinks. Because they can increase the risk of aspiration.

So, at this level of the disease, you should consume purees of the right consistency. Their light texture makes chewing and swallowing easier.

fruit puree in a bowl

Level 2 Dysphagia Diet: Mechanically Altered Consistency

At this level, the diet is even more limited. After all, swallowing at this stage has more complications than at the first stage. Thus, it requires a more careful approach to the dysphagia food consistencies.

Foods in the level 2 dysphagia should have a smooth, homogeneous consistency. It should be free of pieces. Such food helps prevent food from stopping in the esophagus and makes it easier to swallow. Also, dysphagia food consistencies should be thick, not spilling, and hold together well. It makes it easier to reduce the risk of aspiration. So, here are the lists of foods that are best to consume in this level of dysphagia:

  • Homogenized foods. Try to eat foods that have been homogenized. It ensures a good food consistency. These can include special meat or vegetable purees.
  • Gel-like food. Certain foods, such as fruit or vegetable jellies, can be helpful. They have a soft and smooth consistency, which makes it easier to pass through the food tract.

And remember one important rule: avoid sticky or slippery foods. At this level of dysphagia diet, such food is dangerous. Avoid honey, souffles, and rubber candies in your diet.

soufflé in a bowl

Level 3 Dysphagia Diet: Soft and Bite-Sized Consistency

The third level is the most severe. At this level of dysphagia, the swallowing function is severely impaired. So, the main idea of the diet is to avoid foods with a rough texture. Such products can get stuck or create obstructions in the esophagus. Thus, instead, the diet should include homogeneous and soft foods for dysphagia:

  • Boiled or steamed vegetables. You should puree all vegetables to a smooth texture. It can be carrots, potatoes, beets, and pumpkins. When they are in the form of puree, they help ensure easy swallowing and digestion.
  • Meat products. Eat lean meats such as chicken, turkey, or beef. It should be tender and smashed to a puree-like consistency. It is for easy chewing.
  • Soft fruits. Eat mashed pears, bananas, or peaches. They should have a smooth texture without large pieces.

Soft foods for dysphagia are essential at the third level of the disease. Smashing the food well to a puree or cutting it into small particles is necessary. Our tests have shown that this helps to make swallowing much more effortless.

set of diet food

Food Preparation and Texture Modifications for Better Swallowing 

Preparing the right dysphagia food consistencies involves thoroughly crushing and modifying the texture of meals. Doctors consider texture-modified food for each person individually. Thus, the approach to preparing is different for everyone. But all doctors have the same goal. It is to achieve a consistency that allows patients to swallow food safely. So, how to prepare food during a dysphagia diet? Follow these steps:

  • Make the food soft   

Smash the food to a smooth texture. You can use a food processor and a mixer for this. After cooking, ensure the dish does not contain pieces that may interfere with swallowing.

  • Divide the portion

To make swallowing more manageable, divide your food into smaller portions. It will reduce the strain on your swallowing muscles. It will also make it easier for food to pass through the esophagus.

  • Enrich the food

If the consistency is puree-like, you can add nutritious ingredients to improve nutrition. For example, add melted butter or sauce. It can make the food smoother and enrich the flavor.

And before following specific soft foods for dysphagia, consult a specialist. Only through their research can you create the proper diet.

A Word From Lone Star Neurology

So, if you are faced with dysphagia, it is extremely important to follow a proper diet. And neurologists can help you with this.

First, they identify the cause of dysphagia. Then, they detect neurological diseases that can provoke this illness. Only on the basis of their research, can you get a suitable diet from a nutritionist. So, contact Lone Star Neurologists to be healthy!


What types of diets are the best for dysphagia?

A soft diet. It is the best for dysphagia because it consists of easy-to-chew and swallow foods. 

What is a Level 1 diet for dysphagia?

A Level 1 diet for dysphagia is a pureed diet. It includes smooth, pureed foods with a pudding-like consistency.

What are the easiest foods to swallow?

The easiest foods to swallow are typically soft that require minimal chewing. It includes mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables, yogurt, pudding, and smoothies.

What are the 5 main types of dysphagia?

There are 5 main types of dysphagia:

  • oropharyngeal;
  • esophageal;
  • neurogenic;
  • functional;
  • aspiration.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Be the first to write a review
Lone Star Neurology
Based on 905 reviews
powered by Google
Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
More reviews

Please, leave your review


Write a comment:

Book appointment