Living With HIV: Diet and keeping healthy

Eating a well-balanced diet that provides nutrients from a variety of sources is important for everyone to keep healthy, including PLHIV. These main sources include:

Protein (fish and meat)
Eating plenty of protein will help maintain the strength of your immune system as well as building/maintaining muscle – both of which are essential parts to managing your HIV.

Carbohydrates (fruits, grains, starches, and sugars)
You need to eat carbohydrates in order to give you energy. Your body uses these foods to make glucose which acts as your body’s main energy source.

Healthy fat (like olive oil or fat in avocado)
Eating healthy fat helps to protect our hearts by maintaining levels of ‘good cholesterol’ while reducing levels of ‘bad cholesterol’.1

Supplements like vitamins and minerals
If you eat a balanced diet, you should get all the nutrients your body needs to work properly and stay healthy. Supplements are used if you are deficient in a specific vitamin or mineral, they are used to add nutritional value and improve overall health and                                  wellbeing.2

Water
Good hydration is vital for keeping your body working the way it should be. It’s important to drink lots of water throughout the day to rehydrate.

Eating well, alongside taking your medication will help to ensure that you have a longer and healthier life.

  1. NHS. Fat: the facts. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/different-fats-nutrition/. [Accessed on August 2018]
  2. NHS. 2015. Supplements who needs them? Available form: https://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/05May/Documents/BtH_supplements.pdf. [Accessed on August 2018]
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