What should I EAT if I have HIV?
Even with HIV disease, your nutrition needs are unique. Everybody is different, so it’s important to talk to our dietitian about an eating plan that is right for you. Your care coordinator can refer you to the dietitian. If you are already a client, you can also contact the dietitian directly at (918) 834-4914 ext. 22 to schedule an appointment.
Until you can meet with our dietitian, here are some basic tips to follow.
• Eat a well balanced diet, including all major food groups.
o Be sure to include a fresh fruit and a fresh or frozen vegetable with each meal.
o Include whole grains like oats, barley and whole wheat bread more often that white, refined flour foods.
• Aim for at least 1.1 grams (g) of protein/kilogram (kg) to maintain your weight and immune system
(divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to calculate your weight in kg).
o If you need to gain weight, talk to a dietitian about a protein level that’s right for you.
o Do not restrict your protein intake unless you have been diagnosed with kidney disease and
are not on dialysis.
• Include a protein food with all meals and snacks. Examples of lean protein foods include:
o Extra lean meat (93 to 95 percent lean beef, top sirloin, eye round)
o Poultry (skinless, ground turkey breast, skinless chicken)
o Fish (salmon, cod, tuna, sardines, mackerel)
o Nuts (almonds, walnuts, natural peanut butter)
o Beans and legumes
o Milk, milk products, and milk alternative (2% cheeses, fat-free skim milk, soy milk)
o Eggs (Egg beaters and egg whites are a good choice)
o Tofu (try it in smoothies, in a stir-fry, or as a base for dips).
• Drink eight to 12 cups of fluid/day.
• Choose water, sugar-free teas and light juices
• Try to exercise aerobically for 30 minutes (like brisk walking), three to four times a week.
• Strength train for 20 minutes, three times per week to protect and build muscle.
• Follow your doctor’s or dietitian’s advice about taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement and a basic B complex supplement.