Tips: Liver-Friendly Diet and Healthy Eating
Last updated: June 2021
Many people ask us, "What's the best diet for someone with hep C or liver disease?" While your doctor can help you determine the best diet and nutrition plan for you, you may be looking for liver-friendly recipes or tips for overall healthy eating. To better answer your questions, we turned to our HepatitisC.net advocates for help.
"Planning meals and healthy snacks ahead is key to a liver-friendly diet. If you plan to eat out, check-out the menu ahead of time to see what choices are low sodium and liver-friendly. Ask the server how something is prepared or request special preparations. Prepare healthy meals in batches at home for the fridge and freezer, along with having healthy options available in your pantry. Using a meal tracker that calculates the nutrition value and calories is also a great tool for healthy eating."
Do you try to follow a liver-friendly diet?
"I actually have lost 80 pounds in the past year to help reduce my risk of developing diabetes, for which I am at risk in general having had hepatitis C. The method that I followed was very simple (because I need simple, given I will overcomplicate anything if given the opportunity). It was called the CICO method, which stands for calories in, calories out. I didn’t do anything like the ketogenic diet, which involves avoiding carbohydrates and sugars. I actually didn’t avoid anything, apart from processed sugars and foods. I was just mindful of 2 things: what I eat and how many calories I was consuming per day. The one thing I liked about this type of diet change is that you don’t have to impose really limiting restrictions on yourself, which for me never work. However, it remains to be seen if I keep it off!"
"All it takes to begin a liver-friendly diet is to take little steps. Start by making healthy choices at the grocery store. Then you begin to spend a little more time in the kitchen. By cooking and eating at home, it is easier to think about how to care for your body. One small change can make a huge difference. For example, try eating less fast-food, or look for lower-sodium foods. Think about rewarding your body with delicious food. Even homemade fast-food, like a burger and fries or pizza, can be healthier."
"I looked to add GREENS and low-fat proteins to my diet first. I NEVER consume alcohol and keep hydrated with water. I have preferred to drink sparkling water and add berries or lemon slices to it. Stay away from large amounts of red meats and high-fat foods. Help your liver by adding foods that are giving your body much-needed nutrients for health."
"There is no special diet for the majority of hepatitis C patients, unless they are in late-stage decompensated liver disease. The best diet is a heart-healthy diet, low fat, and low salt. Don't forget lots of veggies and fruit. And remember, there is no safe amount of alcohol for patients with the hepatitis C virus."