Healthy eating is just as important as exercise when it comes to your health, especially if you are living with HIV. People living with HIV are more likely to get diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and develop an unhealthy relationship with food due to treatment options and stress.
This year, you can make your health a priority at UNM Truman Health Services in Albuquerque. Our nutritionists specialize in HIV care and can help you find the right balance of food to prevent diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and live a healthy, satisfying life.
Foods to Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes happens when your pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to properly convert food into energy. Because HIV treatment can affect the way your body absorbs nutrients, eating fatty, sugary foods can significantly impact your pancreas, kidneys, and liver. This is because these foods take little time to break down, providing unsustainable energy in the long term (think: sugar crash).
Certain HIV medications may also increase your risk of Diabetes. On your next trip to the grocery store, you can do your best to prevent Type II Diabetes by picking up some basic foods with complex carbohydrates. These include:
- Fresh Veggies
- Brown Rice
- Whole Wheat Carbs
- Lean Meats
- Fresh Fruits with Potassium
Think of your body as a car and the gas is your food. When you eat food high in sugar and fat, the gas burns up really fast, making it impossible for you to get where you need to be without stopping for more. Eating foods with complex carbohydrates and fiber makes your car drive more like a hybrid, so you can travel more miles on less gas.
HIV Eating Tips
HIV treatment may deprive the body of macronutrients and micronutrients, which is why nutrition is so important. Managing HIV requires an average of 10% more of the body’s energy, depending on the stage. To maintain a healthy weight, people living with HIV should match this, eating 10% more calories than average for their height, weight, and BMI.
So, how can you do this? By choosing healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain your blood sugar, and eating more nutritional dishes during other meals, you can achieve a balance.
Here is an example:
- Breakfast: Donut & coffee
- Pre-Lunch Snack: Fresh fruit with greek yogurt
- Lunch: Rice and beans
- Late Lunch Snack: Carrot sticks
- Pre-Dinner Snack: Sliced avocado on whole grain toast
- Dinner: Roasted chicken breast with green beans and salad
Finding balance can be difficult, but it is essential to manage nutrition if you are living with HIV. And there is no better time to start than right now. A new year is an opportunity for health and happiness. Contact our nutritionists at UNM Truman Health Services today to get started.