When the HIV/AIDs epidemic first began in the 1980s, excessive weight loss or wasting was a serious complication of the disease. Now, medical professionals are finding that the opposite is becoming true. In many HIV cases, patients are more overweight than underweight.
While being overweight can cause health problems for all people, it can be particularly dangerous for those with HIV, as they are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
It’s possible to achieve and maintain a healthy weight when you have HIV. Here are our tips for HIV and your nutrition.
HIV and Nutrition
There is not a specific diet for HIV-positive people to follow. Rather, one should establish a healthy eating plan that would benefit any person. Here are some suggestions:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day. 5-6 servings is a good amount.
- Opt for whole grains. These offer fiber and tons of nutrients.
- Eat lean proteins like fish, legumes, beans, chicken, and low-fat dairy. With less fat, calories, and cholesterol than less-lean options, these proteins are great for heart health.
- Eat small servings of healthy fats. Olive oil and nuts contain nutrients and are beneficial when eaten in moderation.
- Limit sweets, sugars, and foods with saturated fats. You should avoid trans fats completely.
- Don’t fall for fad diets. Anyone suggesting that you cut out entire food groups or take large amounts of supplements or vitamins is not basing their recommendations on scientific fact.
- Talk to your doctor if you’re having nutrition problems. Although it is possible to regulate your nutrition on your own, even with HIV, when you’re having issues with nausea, appetite loss, or excessive weight loss or gain, be sure to see a medical professional. Your physician will help diagnose the root of your nutritional problems and connect you with a trained dietitian if necessary.
Get HIV Testing at ARCpoint Labs
If you are at high risk for contracting HIV or you have just never been tested for it before, it’s important that you get screened today. ARCpoint Labs offers accurate, confidential STD testing, including HIV screening, so that you can gain awareness of your sexual health in a comfortable environment.
Find your local ARCpoint Labs today and see if they offer HIV testing.