Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Protein also helps prevent muscle wasting in HIV patients

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, also known as AIDS. Patients with HIV are more susceptible to frequent infections because the virus destroys the body's immune system. Patients with HIV must be mindful about what they ingest as contaminated foods can cause serious illnesses. Proper nutrition in HIV patients is important to maintain general health.

Patients with HIV are advised to eat low bacteria foods to prevent transmission of serious infections, according to University of California. Patients should avoid raw foods such as raw eggs, raw meat or raw seafood such as sushi, oysters and shellfish. Raw fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly. A separate cutting board should be used for cutting raw meat to avoid transmission of microorganisms to other foods.

Proteins and Carbohydrates:

Patients with HIV should be on a high-protein and high carbohydrate diet. Protein build muscles and maintain a strong immune system. Protein also helps prevent muscle wasting in HIV patients. Carbohydrate-rich foods provide energy needed to fight HIV infection. Increased intake of carbohydrates also helps prevent the breakdown of proteins in the body to produce energy. Examples of high-protein and high-calorie foods suitable for HIV patients include include protein drinks, milk shakes, powdered milk, shredded milk, yogurt, meat, fish and milk. Patients with HIV are advised to drink 8 to 10 cups of filtered water everyday. Extra water helps reduce the side effects of medications and flush out extra medications and toxins from the body, according to the University of California. Water also helps prevent dehydration and constipation. Patients with nausea and vomiting should avoid drinking water with meals. HIV patients should avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate milk because they contain caffeine which can worsen dehydration.

HIV patients with decreased appetite should try to eat six to eight small meals rather than three large meals. Patients experiencing painful mouth sores that prevent food intake can benefit from high-protein drinks. Patients with mouth sores should avoid citrus fruits and spicy foods. A BRAT diet can also be useful for HIV patients experiencing diarrhea. BRAT diet foods are bananas, rice, apples and tea. HIV patients with diarrhea should avoid fried foods, high-fat foods and high-fiber foods. Consult the doctor about taking a multivitamin everyday to supplement nutrients as HIV causes reduced absorption of nutrients.

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