Dietary Needs And The HIV Patient
People that live with HIV need a considerable amount of food but they are caught in a vicious cycle of poor to
no desire to eat or difficulties the make them not want to eat. This along with the bodies reduced ability to
absorb the proper amount of nutrients as it used to can lead to very serious weight loss. But
a HIV affected person can take in a high quality concentrated diet that can help to maintain weight and help the
immune system work well. We will explore some dietary considerations here.
So what would a person with HIV need to have a higher concentrated quality to their diet? Furthermore what does
higher quality diet mean? Simply put a high quality diet consists of low fat lean protein combined legumes,
fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Since these foods have a dense nutrient value you will receive much more
nutrition and provide better conditions for health and well being. There is a need for vitamins, minerals and
supplements that boost the immune system and enough quality water to alleviate and combat the battle with
Let’s briefly look at a major component of our body and of the primary things in the body to be degraded by the
ravages of HIV infections and the resulting malnutrition. That component is protein. The body’s organs, muscles,
and many other substances that help to make up a persons immune system are supported by building blocks of protein.
Now if you don’t get enough protein or calories for that matter in your diet via the food you take in then the body
finds it somewhere else. Do you know where that is? Your right! The body uses its own muscles for protein, for the
fuel it has not received. Hence, the immune system will suffer and the body will weaken. Let’s look at what might
be in a quality nutrient rich diet.
Keep in mind that a person needs a variety of foods. Since no food is “an everything a person needs food”, you
will need to choose from a variety of sources.
Some ideas to use as a guideline and some sources are as follows:
- Lean protein such as:
* fish, very very lean pieces of beef or pork, skinless chicken white meat, and dairy products that are
low in fat
* Eat a couple servings, at least, of legumes, nuts and seeds everyday
* Try to eat whole grains that will give you carbohydrates being sure that 50% of your carbohydrates come from this
* choose from the colors of the rainbow with fruit and vegetables. In other words eat from as many of the color
groups as possible everyday. This amounts to 3-4 cups.
Now even if you are just having a snack, make sure you eat some fat but just a little, protein and something
with some carbohydrates.
Did You Know?
In today’s enlightened world we know that AIDS is spread through direct contact
with body fluids of people who have been infected with HIV. You can get AIDS from practicing unsafe
sex, from having multiple sexual partners, or born to or breast-fed from an HIV-positive woman.
It is rare for someone to get AIDS by having a contaminated organ donation or from
contact with unsanitary dental equipment. You can be infected by sharing contaminated needles with
other drug users, having sexually transmitted diseases or by having a contaminated blood
transfusion before 1985.
The AIDS virus can go undetected for over ten years but it is destroying the immune
system without your knowledge. Remember to be safe! You can get AIDS by both homosexual and
heterosexual sexual activity. Take precautions with all of your sexual partners.
If you are a member of the medical profession, take extra precautions to not touch
a patient’s bodily fluids.
Do be sure to eat snacks between meals and do it without fail. Ideal foods for snacking might be:
Aside from the snacking make sure you eat three quality meals a day. Aside from food intake, drink a lot of pure
clean drinking water. Make sure to drink at least 8 cups a day. Increase that as much as possible to overcome
the adverse reactions associated with vomiting, fever, or diarrhea... Another note on diarrhea would be to eat
bananas for fiber if you are having this problem. Reduce the intake of any unrefined cereals or grains to help
alleviate the diarrhea.
A healthy immune system may be able to fight off the HIV virus far longer than one
that is already damaged.
Being exposed to the virus does not mean you will get it, and having the virus does
not guarantee you will develop AIDS.
You might want to consider taking nutritional supplements daily in the form of an RDA 100% value
multivitamin and mineral but avoid extra iron. If you find that weight loss is still occurring talk to your doctor
and check the possibility of adding a nutritional support drink in your battle to maintain a high quality nutrient
rich diet. By taking into consideration the information here in the battle against HIV malnutrition the person with
HIV will be much better equipped to support their body’s battle.