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Points to Remember about Diet and HIV

for Veterans and the Public

Points to remember

You may feel that many things are out of your control if you have HIV. But you can control what you eat and drink, and how much. Good nutrition is an important part of your plan to stay well.

  • Eating right can make your body and your immune system stronger.
  • When you are HIV-positive, you may need to eat more. Be sure to eat a diet that is high in proteins and calories.
  • Exercise can stimulate your appetite and make you feel like eating more.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to help your body deal with any medications you are taking. If you are vomiting or have diarrhea, you will need to drink more than usual.
  • Practice food safety. Keep your kitchen clean, wash foods, and be careful about food preparation and storage. If your tap water isn't pure, drink bottled water.
  • You can use certain foods and beverages to help you deal with symptoms and side effects.
  • Before taking vitamin and mineral supplements, check with your VA health care provider.

Remember, there is no one "right" way to eat. Eating well means getting the right amount of nutrients for your particular needs. Your VA health care provider can refer you to a dietitian or nutritionist who can help design a good diet for you.

For general guidelines on good nutrition, you can follow the U.S. Government's Choose My Plate Guide. Check it out here: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/Link will take you outside the VA website..