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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ's

Q. Why would someone need a pureed diet?

A. A pureed diet can be helpful if someone has difficulty chewing or swallowing regular foods.  When someone has trouble swallowing regular foods, a pureed diet is sometimes easier to swallow. This can help to make sure they get good nutrition with less risk of choking.

Q.  Why would someone need to drink thickened liquids?

A. When someone has difficulty swallowing thin liquids (water, juice etc.) they are at risk for choking and dehydration.  Thicker liquids may be safer in this situation. The Speech Language Pathologist and your Dietitian can help to figure out how thick the liquids need to be so that they are safer to swallow. The most common consistencies of thick liquids are nectar and honey.

Q. What are honey-thick liquids?

A. Honey-thick liquids are liquids that have a thick consistency similar to honey or molasses.

Q. What are nectar-thick liquids?

A. Nectar-thick liquids are liquids that have a consistency similar to nectar. This consistency is thicker than fruit juices, but thinner than honey or molasses. 

Q.  How can I make my bowel movements more regular?

A.  Eat more high fibre foods, drink lots of fluids and be more active. Foods that are high in fibre include whole grain products (breads, cereals, whole wheat pasta and rice), fruits and vegetables with skins (fresh, frozen or dried), peas, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds.

Q. Is aspartame safe to use?

A.  Aspartame is a low calorie artificial sweetener that does not increase blood sugar. It is added to a number of foods including soft drinks, desserts, breakfast cereals and chewing gum. It is also available as a table top sweetener.

Aspartame has been well tested in both animals and humans. There has been no evidence to suggest that moderate use of aspartame would pose a health hazard to consumers, including during pregnancy. People with a rare genetic disease called "Penylketonuria" (PKU) should NOT use aspartame.

The following groups have reviewed the available safety studies and have found aspartame to be safe:

An acceptable daily intake of aspartame (ADI) of 40 milligrams/kilogram of body weight/day has been established by scientists in the Food Directorate of Health Canada.

A person weighing 140 lbs or 63 kg would have an ADI of 63kg X 40 milligrams aspartame = 2540 milligrams aspartame/day. A 355 ml can of diet pop contains about 200 mg of aspartame. A person weighing 63 kg would have to drink 13 cans of diet pop daily to meet the ADI for aspartame. Therefore, it is unlikely that consumers will achieve or go beyond the ADI for aspartame. Studies that monitor actual consumption of aspartame, confirm this.

Location and contact

Clinical Nutrition

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue,
E-wing, ground floor,
room EG 49  (off EG 38)
Toronto, ON  M4N 3M5

Current Patients *

Phone: 416-480-4222   
Fax: 416-480-6743

* Please note that due to regulations, reception may not be able to provide information directly, but can hopefully put post-discharge patients in touch with the Registered Dietitian that provided care.

SUNDEC appointments

Phone: 416-480-4805

Patient Food Services

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 2390