HIV Patient Diet: Nutrition, Foods, Fruits, Vegetables, Do’s and Don’ts

Recommended HIV Patient Diet, Nutrition, Fruits, Vegetables and Foods

What to do and What to Eat if you diagnose with HIV?

The first question that comes to mind when you find out that you have HIV is that what to eat and what not to eat? So in this article we have try to answered all your HIV diet related questions in a simple language so that you can easily understand about HIV patient diet plan, nutrition, foods,fruits or vegetables to eat or foods that should be avoided by a person diagnose with HIV/AIDS.

To know the status whether you are an HIV positive or not, you have to go through a laboratory test such as HIV RNA Test and after diagnosed you must follow the doctor’s advice and prescribed diet plan.

HIV/AIDS: About The Disease

HIV/AIDS is a chronic condition that can last for years, even decades. For anyone with the virus, proper diet is essential in preventing deficiencies of some important nutrients.

A well balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy weight, keep inflammation at bay, increase energy levels and strengthen your immune system. The following are some of the food items that you need to incorporate into your diet.
Since HIV/AIDS is caused by a virus, it attacks our immune system. It is essential for every infected person to include high amounts of fruits, vegetables and antioxidants in his/her diet that can help fight the infection and maintain good health.

Read More: Confuse About Probiotics and Prebiotics? Know More

Foods to Avoid for HIV Patient

Since HIV affects the immune system, which is responsible for fighting infections, it is important that patients with HIV avoid foods that can put the immune system in trouble.
Avoid fried foods and spices that contain high amounts of trans-fats such as fat and oil. High quantities of these trans-fats can make your immune system weaker, so it is important to keep them out of your diet.

Foods that are high in saturated fats can promote inflammation, which is why you should avoid them. There are a few fresh fruits and vegetables that contain no or close to no saturated fats at all. These include, but are not limited to avocados, coconut oil (although you might want to watch the fat content because it does contain some), olives, olive oil and olive oil-based salad dressings.

Meat and fish also contain omega 3 fatty acids. However, these foods also contain saturated fats and cholesterol. Therefore, you should limit yourself with fish and meat consumption as much as possible. As an alternative, you can try out margarine spread instead of real butter that is high in saturated fats.

Read More: How Protein is Helpful to Your Overall Health? Know More

Adherence to Your HIV Diet

The major problem related to dieting with HIV is not following the diet. The patients tend to avoid the foods that they are supposed to eat and overindulge on the ones that they are supposed to avoid. They will then avoid eating them for a few days and follow the diet for a few days. In other words, it is not one of their priorities.

There are many reasons why patients do not eat the diet that is prescribed to them by their doctors. Some of these reasons include:

Meal Preparation: For patients with HIV/AIDS, they should have separate kitchens, they find it difficult to prepare meals in their kitchens due to lack of cooking supplies and appliances.

They get tired of having the same meals over and over again, so they start eating outside. The cost of proper diet is expensive. The cost of vegetables, fruits and lean meat are much higher than the regular groceries, not to mention the cost of maintaining a separate kitchen. Therefore, most people choose to eat outside.

Health Concerns: Most HIV people have already been prescribed with drugs for AIDS, which may cause them some health risks.

To avoid these health risks, patients will start taking pills without instructions from their doctors in order to gain weight or lose weight. They start eating processed foods that contain sugars and other additives.

Recommended Fruits for HIV/AIDS Patient

Apples, bananas, berries, cherries, citrus fruits (lemon, orange and grapefruit), collard greens, cucumbers and potatoes.

Recommended Vegetables for HIV/AIDS Patient

Alfalfa sprouts (sprouted alfalfa), artichokes, asparagus and beets.

Avoided Foods for HIV Diagnosed Person

These foods are typically high in fat and cholesterol, which can put your immune system in trouble. Examples of these include avocados, eggs (which contain cholesterol), dairy products and meats.

Potatoes are a rich source of carbohydrates that your body can use to produce energy and repair damaged cells. However, when you have HIV, you must take caution that they also contain a substance called solanine. Solanine is a poisonous substance that can cause unpredictable nausea, or even death.

Therefore, you must avoid eating potatoes. If you have diabetes and cannot take insulin, you should avoid eating tubers such as yams. Tubers are good sources of both carbohydrates and carbohydrates, which your body breaks down into sugar. The sugars from tubers can turn into a lot of glucose that can make your blood sugar too high and raise the risk of diabetic complications.

Right Calories for a Men & Women with HIV

You must follow your doctor’s advice as to how many calories you need. According to the FDA, an American diet of 2,000 calories contains about 1 gram of fat and ~2,200 sodium. These figures are based on a 2000-calorie diet consisting of approximately 30% foods from plant sources (mostly grains), 30% from animal sources (including fish and poultry), and 40% from other dietary sources (fats and sweets).

Read More: Common Mistakes in Your Diet While Weight Loss

Foods to Be Consumed by an HIV Patient

Add more fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich foods in your diet as mentioned above. As a general rule, try to eat more than one fruit and vegetable daily. When you eat too much of the same fruit or vegetable, it will cause the immune system to become less sensitive and slower in working. Decrease the amount of meats and dairy products you consume.
Increase your protein intake by consuming beans, nuts, seeds, eggs and fish.
Increase fiber-rich foods by eating more whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa and walnuts.

How Much Fats Consumption Needed?

Reduced fat consumption can be a problem for people with HIV. Replace all processed food with natural and unprocessed foods as much as possible.

It’s important to remember that reducing fat in the diet does not mean the elimination of fat from your diet completely. One gram of fat in the form of saturated fats come in at 8 calories.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About HIV Patient Diet Plan

Question: What food should HIV patient eat?
Answer: You need to eat enough of protein, vegetables, fruit and fiber in your daily diet. That way, the body can use these foods to produce energy and repair damaged cells.

Question: What are the foods to be avoided by a patient?
Answer: Avoiding these foods is not necessary because they contain saturated fats and cholesterol. However, it is still important that you maintain a healthy diet by avoiding foods that are high in sodium and fats.

Question: What foods can I eat if I have HIV?
Answer: Most fruits except grapes.

Question: Is milk good for HIV patients?
Answer: Yes. Milk has a lot of calcium that is needed for strong bones, and it also contains vitamin D that aids in the absorption of calcium.

Question: Is Ice cream good for HIV patient?
Answer: Ice cream some times have a lot of fat in it, so you have to make sure that there is not much fat included in the ice cream

Question: Is fat good for HIV patient?
Answer: Whenever you eat more food than your system can use, this could cause weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease.

Question: Is tea good for HIV patients?
Answer: Tea is healthy but to make sure that it will not contain too much sugar, the amount of tea you drink will be based on how many calories you need.

Question: Is soda good for HIV?
Answer: Most sodas contain high amounts of sugar and caffeine. These two ingredients lead to a sudden increase in blood glucose and as a result, it can cause irritability due to lack of energy.

Question: Is beer good for HIV person?
Answer: Beer contains alcohol. Alcohol is not good for people with HIV .

Question: Is coffee good for HIV person?
Answer: Coffee contains caffeine and can lead to headaches. Caffeine can also make it hard for you to sleep. To avoid these problems, you should drink other healthy drinks such as tea and cola

Question:  Can HIV patients drink milk?
Answer: Yes, milk is good for HIV patient.

Question: can HIV patients eat butter?
Answer: Yes, you can eat butter if it is unsalted.

Question: What is right Breakfast for HIV Patient?
Answer: Eggs, toast and juice

Question: Is cheese good for HIV patient?
Answer: Yes, cheese is good for you if it is low in fat.

Question: What is right Dinner for HIV Patient?
Answer: Fish and rice.

Question: Foods to increase cd4 count?
Answer: Foods to increase cd4 count:
* Low-sugar fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (peas, beans, lentils), all of which are high in fiber and vitamins.

Question: Foods to avoid cd4 count?
Answer: Saturated fat (found in poultry skin and meat), processed foods and unhealthy fats. They may cause inflammation of the pancreas and liver (glands in the body needed to digest food) and raise the risk of certain cancers by damaging cells.

Question: HIV foods to avoid?
Answer: The only foods to avoid are those that you know are contaminated with HIV such as:
* Foods prepared by people who are infected with HIV.
* Non-pasteurized (uncured) milk and cheese.
* Shellfish (such as shrimp, scallops and oysters). You can eat them in small quantities, however.
* Raw meat and meat that is not thoroughly cooked (e.g., hamburgers).
* Eggs from hens infected with an infection that can infect humans such as the Leucosis virus or the Avian influenza virus. However, cooking eggs to hard-boil will kill any bacteria. The egg remains then safe to eat.

Question: how to increase appetite in HIV patients?

Answer: – drink water on regular intervals
– eat small frequent meals, such as five or six times a day
– eat healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruit; soups and cereals; and whole grain breads and pasta
– drink strong soup broth to make you feel full
– eat high calorie foods like cream cheese (to boost the calcium content) and peanut butter (to keep hunger at bay), fat free milk, nuts, oils; mashed potato, egg yolk.

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