Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2011 ; Partial revision Jul 2019

Energy diet - high

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a diet containing more energy than can be achieved on the full diet alone.


Full diet plus extra foods and supplements. Often combined with a high-protein diet.

Typical default mid-meals:

  • AM: Half sandwich + flavoured milk + extras as desired
  • PM: Cheese and biscuits + flavoured milk + extras as desired
  • Supper: Flavoured milk + extras as desired


  • unintentional weight loss or decreased food intake
  • anorexia nervosa
  • in combination with other therapeutic diets that may result in reduced energy intake (e.g. low protein).

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


Dietitians may need to consider ordering high-energy supplements. An additional protein source (e.g. a boiled egg) may be offered at a main meal for people with high protein requirements or large body weight. For anorexia nervosa patients, care may be required to limit low-energy vegetable intake.

Not to be combined with diets that restrict fat or sugar.


Not suitable for use in paediatrics.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishesAll-
Sauces, graviesAll-
Starchy vegetables / pasta / riceAll

High-energy mashed potato
VegetablesAll, with added margarine-
SoupsAll othersClear and low-fat soups
Salads, dressingsSalads offered once a day only-
Breads, cereals

All bread

Cereals served with cream

Hot breakfast choicesAll-
FruitCanned fruit + glucose / dextrose polymer available at all meals-
YoghurtFull-fat yoghurtsLow-fat and diet yoghurts


Serve thin cream with cakes

Milk and cheeseAll, preferably full fat-

All others, including soft drinks

Juice with glucose / dextrose polymer at all meals when juice is available

Low-joule cordial

Glucose / dextrose polymer (e.g. Polycose®) added to foods and beverages

Nutritional supplements


Sugar substitutes


  1. Dietitians Association of Australia. Nutrition manual. 8th ed. Canberra: DAA; 2009..
  2. American Dietetic Association. Nutrition care manual. Chicago: ADA; 2009. [accessed 26 April 2010].

Change log

July 2019

Section updatedChange
Specific menu planning guidelines - Miscellaneous In Not Allowed, deleted Low-fat dressings
Specific menu planning guidelines - Desserts In Allowed, deleted others (i.e. will be just All)
In Not Allowed, deleted Fruit or jelly served without milk dessert, ice-cream or cream
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