Diet Secrets to Help Hepatitis Patients Lose Weight

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Hepatitis is a disease that infects your liver and impairs its functions. This is problematic because everything that you consume passes through your liver, at least at the molecular level. The liver then has the job of transforming things you eat into energy and chemicals that your body needs to be able to function. It also detoxifies what enters your body. To a lesser extent, the liver also provides nutrients your body needs in order to form cells, maintain body functions, and produce energy.

There are various types of hepatitis and each can affect your liver in their own way. Hepatitis can be experienced by anyone, whether underweight, regular sized or overweight. Nonetheless, being overweight adds more risks to your health if you already have a liver condition.

Risks of Being Overweight

Most overweight individuals are inclined to developing a liver disease called “fatty liver”. This makes your liver more susceptible to long-term health problems, especially if you already have hepatitis C. Also, when you’re overweight, hepatitis treatment becomes risky and less effective. This can lead you to having high blood pressure, or contracting heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. By shedding all those extra pounds, you will be able to evade possible complications that may arise in your hepatitis treatment. The eight diet secrets are as follows:

1. Eat Balanced and Regular Meals

Eating regularly means that you have to eat at least three meals per day--preferably on a fixed schedule. One of the best ways to maintain your energy is also through eating snacks or small meals every three or four hours. If you’re undergoing hepatitis C treatment, you can prevent nausea by eating often, but with smaller portions. Make sure you’re balanced and that your regular meals include the four cardinal food groups to provide your organs with suitable nutrition.

2. Eat Grains, Breads, and Whole-Grain

Breads, cereals, tortillas, pasta as well as grits are stacked with minerals and vitamin B, which are essential for survival. Whole-grain provides fiber, which steadies your bowel movements; and slices of whole wheat bread disperse fiber, vitamin B6, zinc as well as magnesium to all the right cells and tissues. It is important to get these vitamins and minerals these foods provide for your body to improve your functions. Be careful though with what you select, because food labeled as multi-grain, cracked wheat, stone-ground, seven-grain, 100 percent wheat or bran are usually not whole-grain items.

3. Maintain Healthy Intake of Calories

It’s important to eye your calories because they are what keep your metabolism burning. Having too many calories, though, constitutes a trigger of weight gain. This is why it is important to monitor how much you consume, especially when living with a liver disease such as hepatitis.

4. Eat Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are one of the most important sources of nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid and beta-carotene. Some of them also include antioxidants, which aid in staving off cell damage. Also, most vegetables and fruits are minimal in sodium and calories.

5. Get Ample Protein

Protein plays a very significant role in fighting infections, as well as healing damaged and infected liver cells. It also helps in rebuilding and maintaining muscle mass. Protein can also heal and repair body tissues. One source of protein is dairy products, which will also provide calcium and vitamin D to the hepatitis patient; these are good for the diet.

6. Drink Enough Fluids

The drinking of sufficient fluids is imperative for anyone, even if you have hepatitis. Scientists recommend six to eight glasses per day. Soup, herbal teas, juice, milk, cold fruit bars, and pudding are also considered fluids. However, you should be vigilant about the other constituents they have that can upset your health.

7. Go Easy on Salty, Sugary, and Fatty foods

Too much food, even “healthy” food, can be detrimental. While oils and fats (a) warehouse the energy in your body, (b) transport vitamins in the blood, and (c) protect body tissues, they can also make you acquire more weight. Besides this, heaps of salty food put too much sodium in your body, and you should keep all of that low if you have hepatitis. In the case of sugary foods: items with too much sugar are also often high in fat and can inhibit your body’s capacity to digest healthier food.

8. Maintain and Reach Healthy Weight

If you are overweight or underweight, there is a great possibility that your hepatitis will advance more rapidly. Keeping track of your BMI or body mass index is an ideal way to gauge what a healthy weight is for your physique. By entering your weight and height into the BMI calculator below, you can ascertain what your BMI really is.

Dietitians can be approached to help you craft a diet to make you achieve a healthier weight and BMI if you fall under either case.

Benefits of Coupling Diet with Exercise

Hepatitis sufferers should note that exercise is one of the greatest ways to ditch the weight. Workouts also help in improving appetite, boosting your immune system, improving your well-being and relieving the slumps of hepatitis C medications. You can always call your doctor to create a suitable exercise program and diet schedule for you.

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Article Sources

  • Fan JG, Cao HX. Role of diet and nutritional management in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Dec;28 Suppl 4:81-7.
  • Iwasa M, Iwata K, Kaito M, Ikoma J, Yamamoto M, Takeo M, Kuroda M, Fujita N, Kobayashi Y, Adachi Y. Efficacy of long-term dietary restriction of total calories, fat, iron, and protein in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus. Nutrition. 2004 Apr;20(4):368-71.