Nutrition Guide

A Nutrition Guide for People with HIV/AIDS

If you have had HIV in your body for some time now, you might know how to handle the hard situations. It would be quite paradoxical now to state the fact that not many people are well aware of what to do in order to tackle such challenges. People with HIV have to go through various stages as the virus keeps acting on their body. While some of them are ostracized from the community, many others remain to survive in their normal environment by having to face a lot of persecution. The mental health of these people is, therefore, important to be kept sound and controlled since mood swings and depression are likely to occur frequently. When the medications to be taken for the physical and mental health are essential, people tend to overlook the role of a good diet in staying healthy.

Nutrition and HIV

These two factors are linked to each other, with nutrition influencing the level of growth of the virus in a body. Having good nutrition will have several benefits such as proper management of HIV complications and symptoms, strengthening of the immune system to fight the disease, and improvement of overall quality of life. Sticking to a diet that has vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits will help in staying healthy even when you are HIV positive. You must also make sure to add low-fat, lean proteins to your diet, limit sweets and soft drinks, and include fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in all your meals. Since calories are the energy provided by food to your body, you need to consume enough calories. Check with a dietician to find out how much calories you need to consume in order to maintain your weight.


Essential Nutrients

Proteins are important in building muscles and a strong immune system, making it an essential component in the diet of people with HIV. HIV positive men have to take about 100-150 grams per day, and women with HIV have to take at least 80 grams of protein every day. Carbohydrates are the nutrients that supply you with energy; so, you need to take a certain amount of food containing carbohydrates as well. It would be best to eat six servings of vegetables and fruits every day and avoid the consumption of simple sugars, cookies, cakes, and ice cream. You need to have fats in your body to receive extra energy. Around 30% of your daily calories should come from fat, and your diet must include items such as fish, avocado, seeds, nuts, olive oils, flaxseed, soybean, butter, fatty meat, poultry with skin, and whole-milk dairy foods.


Methods to Control Certain Conditions

  • When you need to deal with frequent nausea and vomiting, try taking low-fat food such as plain broth, canned fruit, or plain pasta. Also, make sure that you eat small meals every two hours.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and limit the intake of milk and sugar to control the effects of diarrhea.
  • Following a particular regimen of exercises, eating with your family and friends, and having frequent meals will help in stimulating your appetite.
  • Add more carbohydrates, fats, and protein into your diet to fight excessive weight loss.
  • Avoid taking raw vegetables and acidic foods; instead go for softer foods like bananas, pears, mashed potatoes, and yoghurt when you are facing problems with swallowing food.
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