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Is it difficult to swallow food? You may have Dysphagia; a condition which results from changes to the structure of your esophagus, or esophageal motility issues that may lead to choking. You are also at risk for aspiration. Aspiration is when food particles or liquid enter the lungs by accident. It can cause pneumonia and other medical problems.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created the National Dysphagia Diet. People on this diet should eat only pureed “pudding-like” foods. They should avoid foods with coarse textures. The National Dysphagia Diet also suggests it may be helpful to sit upright at a 90-degree angle while eating and try to reduce distractions. Changing between solids and liquids may also help while liquids may be thickened by adding a thickening agent. A member of your health care team can also tell you how to modify other foods, such as pureeing them.