In general, the best diet for hepatitis C is one that anyone can follow to lose weight, since staying at a healthy weight is important for controlling this disease. Therefore, lots of fruits and vegetables are recommended, as well as whole grains. Certain products should only be consumed in small amounts, such as red meat, sodium, and animal fats in general. Finally, some items should be avoided completely in a diet for hepatitis C, including alcohol and caffeine. Typically, implementing a low fat diet that follows these guidelines, as well as exercising regularly, can help treat the symptoms of hepatitis C.
A good diet for hepatitis C is high in fruits and vegetables, as these foods usually have plenty of vitamin C and folic acid. Additionally, vegetables like lentils and tofu typically have protein, which is important to add to this kind of diet. While it is often best to eat such foods fresh, most of the same nutrients can also be attained through canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, though juices are often too sugary to be considered healthy. In addition to such products, those following this type of diet should ensure that whole grains play a large role. Thus, whole grain bread, cereal, and brown rice are all recommended foods for those with hepatitis C.
Some foods should be limited when following a diet for hepatitis C, as they can be harmful in large amounts. Sodium is one of these products, as excessive salt can cause bloating, making the liver work harder than it should to get rid of toxins. Animal products are also to be limited, including dairy and red meat. This is because most have been altered with growth hormones, steroids, and antibiotics, and are also often difficult for the body to break down. Red meat in particular can be hard to digest, and may cause bloating and gas while it sits in the stomach.
Alcohol is typically prohibited on a diet for hepatitis C since there is no known amount that is safe to consume when this disease is present. This is because hepatitis C damages the liver enough to prevent it from properly removing alcohol's toxins from the body, which is partly why alcohol tends to make the disease progress faster than usual. In addition, caffeine can add stress to the liver since it is a stimulant. Thus, caffeinated beverages like most types of cola, coffee, and tea should be avoided among those with hepatitis C.