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Nutrition and HIV/AIDS


Nutrition and HIV: Coping with Special Problems continued...

Lack of appetite

  • Exercise to help stimulate your appetite.
  • Don't drink too much right before meals.
  • Eat with family or friends, making meals as attractive as possible.
  • Try smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Include a variety of textures, shapes, and colors.
  • Ask your doctor about medications that stimulate appetite.

Too much weight loss

  • Include more protein, carbohydrates, and fats in your diet.
  • Use cream or half and half on cereals. Add ice cream to desserts.
  • Eat dried fruits or nuts for snacks.
  • Talk to your doctor about adding a nutrition supplement, such as Boost, Ensure, or Carnation Instant Breakfast.
  • Ask your doctor about medications that stimulate appetite and treat nausea.

Mouth and swallowing problems

  • Eat soft foods such as yogurt or mashed potatoes.
  • Avoid raw vegetables; cook them instead.
  • Choose softer fruits, such as bananas or pears.
  • Stay away from acidic foods, such as oranges, lemons, and tomatoes.
  • See your doctor to make sure you do not have an opportunistic infection or need more diagnostic testing.

Lipodystrophy (fat redistribution syndrome)

  • Limit fat, especially saturated and trans fats.
  • Choose unsaturated fats and sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna.
  • Limit alcohol, and refined sugars.
  • Prevent insulin resistance by limiting foods that raise glucose and insulin levels: primarily carbohydrates.
  • Eat more fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Exercise.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on August 17, 2014
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