Q. My husband is on a special diet because of a medical condition. Can we deduct his food as a medical expense? S.V., Sherman Oaks, Calif.
A. It depends. Generally, medical expenses are deductible if you incur the cost for the prevention or alleviation of a physical or mental defect or illness. But medical expenses that are beneficial to your general health can't be deducted.
Thus, special foods and beverages may qualify for a deduction only if the items have been prescribed by a physician for the alleviation or treatment of a specific illness.