Hepatitis C and eating healthy for your conditionAnyone who has been diagnosed with hepatitis C is encouraged to eat right and make good food choices for their body. Although eating healthy is always important, if your liver is not operating properly it becomes even more so. For instance, healthy eating not only decreases some of the symptoms of your condition, but it may also help improve or repair some of the damage from the disease.
Additionally, eating a healthy diet can also help you stay within your target weight, which is critical for avoiding a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer or liver failure.
What does your liver do?
You may not have given much thought about the function of your liver before your were diagnosed with hepatitis C, but after your diagnosis you may realize how critical your liver is as it converts energy and nutrients from your food and removes toxins from your body.
Eating the right foods with hepatitis C
So what should you eat if you have hepatitis C? The good news is eating right can be as simple as following the United States dietary guidelines that everyone should follow to stay healthy. This means you should eat a balanced diet of protein, grains, vegetables and fruits. You should also avoid fatty or processes foods.
There are also some very simple steps you can take to ensure you get the right nutrients.
- Choose non-fat or low-fat dairy products to reduce not only fat but calories.
- Eat primarily vegetables and fresh fruits.
- Avoid simple carbohydrates and eat multi-grains.
- Eat small portions.
- Eat lean meats including chicken and fish.
- Eat beans which are high in fiber and protein.
- Reduce your daily intake of sugar, salt and greasy or fatty foods.
- Avoid processed foods such as cakes, cookies, ice cream, pizza, cheese, sausage, and hot dogs.
In addition to taking the steps identified above, you will also want to avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is toxic to your liver, and it can make your medications less effective. You will also need to drink plenty of water, which will ensure your liver remains hydrated.
Talk to doctor if medication has side-effects
Although there are good medications to control your condition, some hepatitis C medications will have severe side-effects. Experts suggest documenting everything you eat if you are suffering from side-effects such as vomiting, nausea or diarrhea. You should also report any changes in your condition to your doctor and avoid any foods that make you sick.
Nutritionist also report that hepatitis C sufferers may benefit from eating more frequently rather than consuming only three large meals per day. A doctor can help you determine if there are certain foods you may need to avoid. For instance, some sufferers may feel better if they eat less protein or salt. Hepatitis C is a severe condition, but with smart food choices you should be able to improve your condition.