LIVING WITH AIDS: HOW TO EAT RIGHT

stephany By On 07/08/2020 at 17:47 comment 0

Diet and HIV: What You Need to Know?

There’s no specific eating plan for people with HIV, but an overall healthy diet can help your health a lot. The virus weakens your immune system. Because your body uses nutrients to keep up its defenses against germs, eating well can help you fight off infections. It can also boost your energy, keep you strong, help you avoid health complications, and ease issues brought on by HIV/AIDS and its treatments. It is important to eat right!!

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What are the basic principles of a healthy diet for HIV?

There are no major differences in the principles of healthy eating between HIV-positive and HIV-negative people.

Choose lean pork or beef, chicken breast, fish, whole grains, and legumes. Consume fermented milk products or alternative milk (such as soy milk) fortified with calcium. Choose foods without added sugar and limit your intake of simple carbohydrates. At least 30% of the daily calorie intake should come from fats, including monounsaturated ones: nuts, avocados, fish, olive oil.

Drink plenty of clean water (8-10 glasses a day). This will not only help you stay hydrated, but it will also reduce the side effects of your medications.

What vitamins should you take for HIV infection?

  • Vitamin A and beta-carotene (skin and lung health): green, yellow, orange, or red vegetables and fruits; liver; eggs; milk. Remember that vitamin A is fat-soluble, which means that vegetable salads are best seasoned with olive oil.

  • B vitamins (immune and nervous system support): Meat, fish, chicken, nuts, beans, avocados, broccoli and green leafy vegetables.

  • Vitamin C (protects against infections, which is especially important against the background of HIV): citrus fruits.

  • Vitamin D (in HIV-positive people, critical for preventing osteoporosis): fish oil or injection.

  • Vitamin E (protects cells and helps fight infections): Green leafy vegetables, peanuts, and vegetable oils.

  • Iron (fighting anemia): Green leafy vegetables, whole-grain bread, liver, fish, eggs.

  • Selenium and zinc (important for the immune system): Nuts, poultry, fish, eggs and peanuts, beans, milk, and other dairy products.

If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet, talk to your doctor about taking a multivitamin.

Foods and HIV: What to Eat

What should not be eaten with HIV infection?

While taking Efavirenz (Stokrin), it is not recommended to eat grapefruit and pomelo, drink grapefruit juice, and take ginkgo- based drugs. Lopinavir (Kaletra) is not combined with St. John's wort.

In addition, while taking ARV therapy, you should be more careful about the drugs: calcium, iron, magnesium, aluminum or zinc. Their reception with ART should be separated by several hours. On this issue, it is better to consult with your doctor.

Can diet correct ARV problems?

Only a doctor can give the correct recommendation. But here are some tips that definitely won't make it worse.

If HIV infection and taking ARV drugs are accompanied by:

  • Nausea and vomiting

Eat small meals every 1 to 2 hours. Avoid fatty and spicy foods. Drink ginger tea. Make sure your food is not too hot.

  • Diarrhea

Drink more fluids than usual. Limit dairy products, fresh vegetables, and fruits, sugary drinks, or caffeinated drinks. Eat slowly. Avoid greasy.

  • Lack of appetite

Try exercise (or yoga) to help increase your appetite. Don't drink too much right before meals. Tune in to your meal, eat with family or friends. Try new dishes, take your presentation with imagination.

  • Too much weight loss

Increase portions. Eat dried fruits, nuts, and ice cream. Ask your doctor about taking protein supplements. Too much weight loss should be taken seriously - it can be associated with the addition of opportunistic infections.

  • Swallowing problems

Eat soft foods like yogurt or mashed potatoes. Don't eat raw vegetables, prefer soft fruits like bananas or pears. Limit sour foods (oranges, lemons, and tomatoes). Check with your doctor: trouble swallowing can be a sign of opportunistic infections.

  • Lipodystrophy (A pathological condition characterized by atrophy or hypertrophy of adipose tissue. More common in patients who take older drugs)

Limit fat, especially saturated and trans fats. Choose “healthy” unsaturated fats and sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to consume less alcohol and refined sugar. Eat more fiber-rich foods.

Does HIV go well with vegetarianism and veganism?

There is no conclusive evidence to the contrary yet. But it can be noted that this topic is still poorly understood.

If you are considering becoming a vegan or avoiding animal foods prior to diagnosis, be aware that weight loss often accompanies HIV infection, which means you need to be extra careful with your diet and supplementation.

When you go to discuss the diet with your doctor, arm yourself. For example, read him an article about an HIV-positive vegan being a finalist in PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door competition.

What about alcohol?

Better to avoid. The fact is that today people with HIV live about the same as HIV-negative people. But alcohol consumption can affect long-term quality of life. In addition, alcohol can affect a person's ability to take medications, and adherence problems lead to consequences, up to the development of drug resistance.

It is also worth remembering that alcohol affects the liver, which is especially true for those who have HIV infection combined with hepatitis B or C. In addition, recent studies show that HIV-positive people may have a lower threshold for “safe” consumption of ethanol.

READ ALSO: GARLIC AND HIV/AIDS: HOLISTIC TREATMENT

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