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Hepatitis and Nutrition

The Best (and Worst) Foods and Drinks for Hepatitis C

Although there's no specific diet that will benefit every one of the nearly 4 million people in the United States currently living with hepatitis C, certain foods and drinks may boost liver function. Others, however, may be harmful to the liver.

What's more: People with hepatitis C have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, so making smart choices and maintaining a normal weight can help keep these threats at bay. A healthy diet should be considered an important part of your overall treatment plan.

Hepatitis C Heros:

  • Fruits and Veggies- They're rich in fiber, which helps you feel full for longer, as well as other nutrients that support heart health.
  • Whole Grains-They are an excellent source of fiber and nutrients and less likely to spike your blood sugar than refined grains, which have had most of their fiber removed, according to the American Diabetes Association
  • Lean protein- Seek out healthy proteins, such as fish, skinless chicken and turkey, nonfat dairy and lean cuts of meat. Maintaining a healthy weight is an important way to protect your liver and avoid fatty liver disease and choosing lean proteins is a smart idea to reach this goal.
  • Coffee-study published in the journal Gastroenterology found that people with hepatitis C who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were two times more likely to respond to treatment than those who didn’t drink coffee.

Hepatitis C Enemy:

  • Alcohol- Avoiding alcohol is one thing you can do to slow down the risk of developing liver failure." It's the best way to slow disease progression and keep your liver healthy until the virus has been eradicated.
  • Raw fish- Skip the sushi and oyster bar to avoid potential foodborne illnesses. You’ll want to be careful about all raw seafood, since developing a bacterial infection from raw seafood can worsen hepatitis C.
  • Liver- It is extremely high in iron, Graham says. Too much iron in your body can cause an enlarged liver, liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis and these risks may be heightened when you’re living with hepatitis C.
  • Salt- It can promote fluid retention, which is a symptom of progressive hepatitis C, Graham says. It’s not just salt from the shaker that you want to avoid; processed foods, such as frozen meals and baked goods, are also loaded with sodium.

When you have any form of hepatitis a healthy diet should be considered an important part of your overall treatment plan.

To access the full article of best and worst foods for hepatitis C, click here.