a diet designed for patients with renal failure; it provides small amounts of protein, primarily as essential amino acids, along with α-keto derivatives of amino acids; breakdown of protein in skeletal muscle is retarded and, because transaminase reactions are reversible, a small proportion of the ammonia released by urea breakdown is used for synthesis of nonessential amino acids.
Synonym(s): Giovannetti diet
a low-protein, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet with controlled potassium and sodium intake, used in chronic renal insufficiency and liver failure. Protein is given only in the form of essential amino acids so that the body will use excess blood urea nitrogen to synthesize the nonessential amino acids for the production of tissue protein. The foods included are eggs, small amounts of milk, low-protein bread, and some fruits and vegetables low in potassium, such as green beans, summer squash, cabbage, pears, grapefruit, and fresh or frozen blackberries, blueberries, and boysenberries. There are many modified forms of this diet, depending on patient requirements and tolerance and usually varying in the amount and origin of the protein. Also called Giovannetti diet. See also renal diet.