Hepatitis C Diet
Hepatitis C Diet and AlcoholAlcohol is a strong toxin to the liver, even in people without hepatitis C. Drinking too much can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, advanced liver disease, or even liver cancer.
The risk of these problems is much higher for people with hepatitis C. Hepatitis C damages the liver, weakening the liver's natural function of breaking down alcohol and removing its toxins.
At present, there is no evidence for a safe level of alcohol for people with hepatitis C. The best advice for a good hepatitis C diet is to avoid alcohol completely.
Combination Therapy and a Hepatitis C DietThe hepatitis C medications currently available can cause you to lose your appetite. This can cause poor nutrition (not eating right), which can contribute to weakness and not feeling well.
It's important to eat a good, healthy diet while you are on treatment for hepatitis C and afterwards -- even if you want to lose a few pounds. Your body needs good nutrition and healthy foods to fight the hepatitis C infection and repair the damage it has caused over time.
Some suggestions for a healthy hepatitis C diet during treatment include the following:
- Take a walk or do stretches before a meal. This may increase your appetite.
- Try eating 4 to 7 smaller meals throughout the day instead of having 1 or 2 big meals.
- Consider buying an instant breakfast mix. You can mix it with milk or juice, or make yourself a fruit smoothie. Another alternative is to use a canned nutritional supplement drink, like Ensure®. The instant breakfast mix or the canned drink can be taken in between your lunch and dinner meals.
- Drink liquid supplements with a straw if you find that their smell makes them less appealing.
- Try different food textures (add chopped nuts, seeds, or water chestnuts to dishes) to make eating more interesting.
- Eat your favorite food, even if just a little bit.
- Keep snacks handy, such as hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and peanut butter. Keep snacks that don't require refrigeration near your bed or by the television.
- Pack foods that don't need to be refrigerated for snacking when you are away from home.
- Stock up on frozen meals in single-portion packages. These are quick and easy to prepare.
- When possible, do not drink fluids with your meals. They can make you feel full sooner.
- Watch cooking shows and keep cookbooks around.
- Make eating enjoyable -- eat with others, eat in a pleasant place, light a candle.