HEPATITIS AND YOUR DIET
It is therefore extremely important for Hepatitis patients to watch their diet by eating the right types of food. The diet should include foods that are easy on the liver and exclude foods that cause the liver to work harder as this can delay a patient’s recovery from the disease
RECOMMENDED FOODS TO EAT
For a patient with Hepatitis food choices are not limited to a few bland dishes. There are plenty of healthy, tasty food options which are both beneficial for the liver and for the recovery process.
- WHOLE GRAINS: These can be in the form of bran, whole wheat bread or cereal, brown rice, whole grain pasta, porridge or corn.
- FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: Fruits and vegetables should be a significant part of any diet to help in liver disease. They are full of essential nutrients and are easy to digest. As a bonus, they also contain antioxidants, which can protect the liver cells from damage. However, it is recommended that one go easy on starchy vegetables such as potatoes when on a Hepatitis recovery diet. While canned or frozen fruits are fine it is always a good idea to try and eat fresh and seasonal produce when possible.
- FATS: Olive oil, canola oil and flaxseed oil are all healthy fats that are recommended as part of a diet for patients with Hepatitis
- HEALTHY PROTEINS: Healthy proteins in the form of low-fat milk and dairy products along with lean meats, beans, eggs and soy products can also be a part of a healthy liver diet
FOODS TO AVOID
It is equally important to avoid certain foods during Hepatitis as they can be harmful to the liver. Excessive consumption of these can aggravate the disease and even lead to permanent liver damage.
- PROCESSED FOODS: These includes processed breads, cheese. Almost all fast -food items are also best avoided during Hepatitis, as they can worsen recovery times.
- HYDROGENATED OILS: Avoid consuming foods high in saturated fats or trans-fats.
- SUGAR: Sugar intake should be limited for a healthy liver. This includes all artificial sweeteners as well as fruits juices. Juices have high concentrations of sugar in them, which can be difficult for the liver to digest when the body is under attack from the Hepatitis virus
- SALT: Hepatitis patients should also severely limit their salt intake. Also refrain from eating high-sodium foods. This means no canned soups or store-bought sauces.
- MEATS: When on a Hepatitis diet, avoid eating meat especially red meats due to their high sodium content. If you must, stick to lean cuts and eat only once or twice a week.
- Avoid alcohol and cigarettes for a healthy liver.
- Avoid taking vitamin supplements or over-the-counter drugs without consulting your doctor.
- Don’t skip meals when recovering from Hepatitis.
- Eat small meals.
- Drink lots of water.
- Get enough sleep