How a Low-Sodium Diet Helps Hepatitis C and Liver Disease
Last updated: May 2020
Living with a chronic condition like hepatitis C and liver disease can make a person feel like they’re out of control, with no choices as to what happens to their body. On the contrary, there are many ways we can take control with proactive choices that make a big difference to help our body fight against hepatitis C and liver disease. One of those ways is with a proactive nutrition plan. I personally don’t like the word “diet” because it suggests being deprived or settling for less than satisfying foods. A proactive nutrition plan can be packed with flavorful, satisfying foods; Intentional planning can help you be a winner in fighting liver disease.
Why do I need to change what I eat?
With any chronic disease, especially those affecting the liver, kidney, lungs, and heart, as well as conditions like diabetes and a variety of autoimmune conditions, what we eat makes a huge impact.
In other words, our (good or bad) choices of what we eat will either help or hurt our condition. Good choices in what we eat and drink will help keep complications at bay and help boost our immune system, and promote weight loss, better sleep, and clearer thinking. Who doesn’t need that?!
How a low sodium diet helps
The number one enemy of those with hepatitis C and liver disease is high sodium. Too much sodium intake can lead to complications from swelling (edema) and high blood pressure, as well as complicate liver function.
Sodium is not just table salt, but it’s in every food we eat. In the US, the average American consumes approximately. 3 to 4 times the amount of salt that we need for good health. This is known as the Standard American Diet (SAD), which has 3500 to 4000mg of sodium daily. Leading hepatologists and registered dietitians who special in liver disease recommend the sodium intake not to exceed over 1500mg a day.
What foods are high in sodium
The majority of food that we eat in restaurants and fast foods, as well as all processed foods (items in a can, box, or bag) are very high in sodium. In short, you’re not helping your body or your liver disease condition by consuming any of these, you’re hurting yourself.
Even some low or no salt seasonings can seem like a good choice, but these are often high in potassium chloride, which can work against your health. Your doctor is the best person to ask about diet and nutrition.
How to eat low sodium delicious foods
Eating fresh is best. Eat fresh vegetables in a variety of colors and types. Eat fresh fruits (they have natural sweetness). Eat lean, fresh meat like poultry and fish.
By cutting out all processed foods (anything from a can, jar, bag, or box), eating fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and fish, you’ll be able to stay within the safe 1500mg of sodium per day.
Learn to read the ingredient labels on all foods and seasonings. Season foods with fresh or dried herbs, which are a delicious and healthy option to boost your foods with flavor.
Once you change what you eat and drink to a fresh low sodium intake, your taste buds will come accustom to tasting the full flavor of good foods. Plus, your body will thank you. Take back the wheel of control and help your body fight hepatitis C and liver disease!
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