Tag Archives: Nutrition

‘Tis The Season For Overindulgence ♫

Boxing Day Buffet Lunch Christmas Tree and Log Fir

Many people overdo it at Christmas, celebrating with friends and family, non-stop eating, drinking and late nights can leave us feeling tired, sluggish and quite often, a little poorly if we’ve eaten or drunk too much.  A lot of people with HIV generally have a healthy diet and lifestyle, and may only overindulge once or twice a year, if that’s you, then you’ll have no problems going back to eating sensibly after the holiday season, festive excesses aren’t likely to have a long-term, damaging effect on your health or your weight.  However, the short term strain that too much rich food and alcohol puts on your body can still leave you feeling bloated and out of sorts, when all you need is your body to get back to normal.

An average person can consume as much as 7,000 calories on Christmas Day, (that’s three and a half times the recommended daily intake for a woman.)  As well as dehydrating us and putting a strain on our liver, excessive consumption of alcohol can also make us feel unwell, and ill-equipped to handle a detox correctly.

When the festivities are finally over, there are a few sensible, gimmick-free steps that you can take to help you and your body get back on the road to feeling better.

Get Moving

It’s a cliché, but exercise really is the best way to make your body and metabolism work together so it can make use of the nutrition it’s received over the past few days.  A 30 minute walk is good for your heart, lungs, muscles and bones, as well as improving your mood and giving you a sense of wellbeing.  So instead of watching reruns of Christmas TV, get yourself off the sofa and go out for a stroll!

Be kind to your body

If you’ve over-indulged in rich, fatty, sugary foods with alcohol, if your inclined, your body needs time to recuperate.  You should try to avoid red meats, dairy products and processed foods and opt for lots of fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods instead.  And one of the best things to drink is water (no surprise there), but did you know that the additional salt and alcohol we consume dehydrates the body, so it’s best to re-hydrate.  If you can’t manage full glasses, frequently just try a glass of water with your cup of tea, coffee or soft drink.  Combined with exercise, you’ll start to feel the benefits almost immediately!

Don’t Forget Protein!

Proteins are extremely important for your diet as they are the building blocks of your cells, muscles, organs, and more importantly, your immune system!  If your body doesn’t get the protein it needs from food, it will start using the protein it has stored up which can result in a weakening of your immune system.  A good rule of thumb for a HIV positive person is 100 to 150 grams of protein per day for men, and 80 to 100 grams of protein per day for women.

Energy & Fat (yes, fat)!

You can rebuild your energy by eating complex carbohydrates, that’s food items such as grains and beans, rice and pasta.  While eating complex carbohydrates, try to focus on foods such as white bread, pasta and potatoes.  These carbohydrates are richer in nutrients and the body absorbs them slower, helping to sustain you while you are between meals.

While carbohydrates help you get energy, fat is what helps the body store energy for later use.  For HIV positive people, doctors recommend a fat intake of less than 30 percent of your daily caloric intake.  Also make sure you are getting the appropriate amounts of fat, sometimes, people with HIV experience an increase in cholesterol because of interactions with medications so it’s important to watch your fat consumption. It is recommended that of that 30 percent, 7 percent be saturated fat from foods like whole milk, butter and fatty meats. The rest of the fat should come from nuts, fish, seeds, canola oil and soy.

If you’d like to know more about HIV and Nutrition, visit Avert, who have comprehensive information and advice on diet, supplements and nutrition.

You can also visit Web MD, National AIDS Trust or Positive Nation for some helpful nutrition information or learn about about eating a balanced diet on the NHS Choices website at: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/the-eatwell-guide.aspx.

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‘Tis The Season For Overindulgence ♫

Boxing Day Buffet Lunch Christmas Tree and Log Fir

Many people overdo it at Christmas, celebrating with friends and family, non-stop eating, drinking and late nights can leave us feeling tired, sluggish and quite often, a little poorly if we’ve eaten or drunk too much.  A lot of people with HIV generally have a healthy diet and lifestyle, and may only overindulge once or twice a year, if that’s you, then you’ll have no problems going back to eating sensibly after the holiday season, festive excesses aren’t likely to have a long-term, damaging effect on your health or your weight.  However, the short term strain that too much rich food and alcohol puts on your body can still leave you feeling bloated and out of sorts, when all you need is your body to get back to normal.

The average person can consume as much as 7,000 calories on Christmas Day, (that’s three and a half times the recommended daily intake for a woman.)  As well as dehydrating us and putting a strain on our liver, excessive consumption of alcohol can also make us feel unwell, and ill-equipped to handle a detox correctly.

When the festivities are finally over, there are a few sensible, gimmick-free steps that you can take to help you and your body get back on the road to feeling better.

Get Moving

It’s a cliché, but exercise really is the best way to make your body and metabolism work together so it can make use of the nutrition it’s received over the past few days.  A 30 minute walk is good for your heart, lungs, muscles and bones, as well as improving your mood and giving you a sense of wellbeing.  So instead of watching reruns of Christmas TV, get yourself off the sofa and go out for a stroll!

Be kind to your body

If you’ve over-indulged in rich, fatty, sugary foods with alcohol, if your inclined, your body needs time to recuperate.  You should try to avoid red meats, dairy products and processed foods and opt for lots of fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods instead.  And one of the best things to drink is water (no surprise there), but did you know that the additional salt and alcohol we consume dehydrates the body, so it’s best to re-hydrate.  If you can’t manage full glasses, frequently just try a glass of water with your cup of tea, coffee or soft drink.  Combined with exercise, you’ll start to feel the benefits almost immediately!

Don’t Forget Protein!

Proteins are extremely important for your diet as they are the building blocks of your cells, muscles, organs, and more importantly, your immune system!  If your body doesn’t get the protein it needs from food, it will start using the protein it has stored up which can result in a weakening of your immune system.  A good rule of thumb for a HIV positive person is 100 to 150 grams of protein per day for men, and 80 to 100 grams of protein per day for women.

Energy & Fat (yes, fat)!

You can rebuild your energy by eating complex carbohydrates, that’s food items such as grains and beans, rice and pasta.  While eating complex carbohydrates, try to focus on foods such as white bread, pasta and potatoes.  These carbohydrates are richer in nutrients and the body absorbs them slower, helping to sustain you while you are between meals.

While carbohydrates help you get energy, fat is what helps the body store energy for later use.  For HIV positive people, doctors recommend a fat intake of less than 30 percent of your daily caloric intake.  Also make sure you are getting the appropriate amounts of fat, sometimes, people with HIV experience an increase in cholesterol because of interactions with medications so it’s important to watch your fat consumption. It is recommended that of that 30 percent, 7 percent be saturated fat from foods like whole milk, butter and fatty meats. The rest of the fat should come from nuts, fish, seeds, canola oil and soy.

If you’d like to know more about HIV and Nutrition, visit Avert, who have comprehensive information and advice on diet, supplements and nutrition.

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Discussions with a Dietitian: Fruit & Vegetables

Each month, a registered dietician from the NHS, visits LASS to offer helpful advice and information on food nutrition and healthy eating for people who live with HIV.  Our next is session is in a week, Friday 17th August (12:00 noon) and will focus on Fruit & Vegetables.  This is an opportunity to ask questions and speak with the dietitian directly about any concerns you may have.

What we eat affects our overall health. Food can help the body to fight infections. It also provides energy so that we can carry on leading active lives.

Eating healthily can prevent weight loss or weight gain. It can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which helps to prevent diabetes and heart disease. Food can also help control some of the side-effects of medication.

This all means that good nutrition is an important part of living well with HIV, we do hope you’re able to join us next week.

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Discussions with a Dietitian: Sugary Foods

Each month, a registered dietician from the NHS, visits LASS to offer helpful advice and information on food nutrition and healthy eating for people who live with HIV.  Our next session “Sugary Foods” will be on Friday, 21st October 2011 from 12:00pm.  This is an opportunity to ask questions and speak with the dietitian directly about any concerns you may have.

What we eat affects our overall health. Food can help the body to fight infections. It also provides energy so that we can carry on leading active lives.

Eating healthily can prevent weight loss or weight gain. It can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which helps to prevent diabetes and heart disease. Food can also help control some of the side-effects of medication.

This means that good nutrition is an important part of living well with HIV.

The challenge of change

When we first found out we had HIV, some of us realised that our diet was really unhealthy. But the thought of having to completely change our eating habits filled us with dread. It seemed such a big change.

But by making small, gradual changes, such as swapping white bread for brown, or by eating one piece of fruit each morning, it’s possible to start eating better. You could use THT’s ‘planning and managing change tool’ to help you.

What should we eat?

So what does eating healthily actually mean? For us it means eating like this.

Lots of:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • bread, cereals, potatoes and other carbohydrates

Moderate amounts of:

  • meat, fish and other proteins, such as eggs
  • milk and diary products

Less of:

  • foods that are high in fat, sugar and/or salt.
 Food type What we should know
Fruit and vegetables Ideally we should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day with a mix of different colours. They don’t have to be fresh; frozen or canned are fine too.
Bread, cereals, potatoes and other carbohydrates Carbs should form the core of your meals. If you eat wholemeal, brown and high-fibre versions, they’ll keep you going for longer.
Meat, fish and other proteins, such as eggs Keep meat as lean as possible by cutting off visible fat and skin off the meat.
Milk and diary products Choose low fat versions where possible.
Foods high in fat High fat foods include butter, margarine, crisps, cakes and biscuits.
Food high in sugar Sugary foods include sweets, jam, cakes, puddings and most fizzy drinks.
Foods high in salt Check the labels on food for salt or sodium content.

 Get help from your clinic’s dietician

Most HIV clinics have a specialist dietician or nutritionist. If you ask to see one, they can give you detailed advice tailored to your needs and circumstances. They can also give you advice on taking vitamins and supplements or why not come to LASS on Friday 21st for our talk.

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Discussions with a Dietitian: The Truth about Fats!


Each month, a registered dietician from the NHS, visits LASS to offer helpful advice and information on food nutrition and healthy eating for people who live with HIV.  Our next session “The Truth About Fats” will be on Friday, 16th September 2011 from 12:00pm.  This is an opportunity to ask questions and speak with the dietitian directly about any concerns you may have.

Good nutrition can be a problem for many people with HIV.  When your body fights any infection, it uses more energy and you need to eat more than normal.  But when you feel sick, you eat less than normal, good diets and nutrition help many people living HIV feel healthier.

Studies have found that people living with HIV with a healthy diet and good nutritional status can better tolerate HIV drugs, maintain weight and muscle mass more easily, and feel better overall.

Nutrients are things like fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other important chemicals.  You need proper levels of different nutrients in order to build and repair cells, keep hormones regulated, fight infection, and maintain energy levels.  For the most part, we can’t make nutrients.  We get what we need from food and (when that’s not possible) dietary supplements.

Good nutrition depends on many things, including:

  • What you’re eating (how much, what type of food, etc.)
  • How you digest and absorb nutrients
  • How different parts of your body use these nutrients

HIV-related changes in any of these factors can affect your nutritional status. Over time, this can lead to a variety of nutritional problems, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle wasting
  • High levels of fats and sugars in the blood
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Many of these HIV-related problems can be avoided, or partially managed, using nutritional strategies.

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HIV & Nutrition

Good nutrition can be a problem for many people with HIV.  When your body fights any infection, it uses more energy and you need to eat more than normal.  But when you feel sick, you eat less than normal, good diets and nutrition help many people living HIV feel healthier.

Studies have found that people living with HIV with a healthy diet and good nutritional status can better tolerate HIV drugs, maintain weight and muscle mass more easily, and feel better overall.

Nutrients are things like fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other important chemicals.  You need proper levels of different nutrients in order to build and repair cells, keep hormones regulated, fight infection, and maintain energy levels.  For the most part, we can’t make nutrients.  We get what we need from food and (when that’s not possible) dietary supplements.

Good nutrition depends on many things, including:

  • What you’re eating (how much, what type of food, etc.)
  • How you digest and absorb nutrients
  • How different parts of your body use these nutrients

HIV-related changes in any of these factors can affect your nutritional status. Over time, this can lead to a variety of nutritional problems, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle wasting
  • High levels of fats and sugars in the blood
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Many of these HIV-related problems can be avoided, or partially managed, using nutritional strategies.

A dietician (Emma) visits LASS on a monthly basis to offer helpful advice and information, she’s with us tomorrow (Friday, 19th August) between 12:00 – 13:00 and will talk about methods to adapt recipes to gain or lose weight which may be helpful.

Service users are welcome to attend to speak with Emma to get more  information

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