Hepatitis B occurs when the liver of an individual is affected with the hepatitis B virus or HBV in short. People affected with this virus usually have irritation and swelling of the liver. This disease spreads in the body of other individuals with the help of blood, vaginal fluids, semen and other body fluids of an infected person with hepatitis B.
Children get affected with the disease when the pregnant mother is infected with it and passes it on to her children. Since Hepatitis B is incurable, patients must maintain certain dietary restrictions to prevent further liver damage.
Consuming foods otherwise will lead to liver irritation and swelling and cause discomfort to the individual. Therefore, having an in depth knowledge of the foods to avoid will help a person maintain good health and well being.
Foods to avoid if you have Hepatitis B or Hepatitis A
11 Foods to avoid if you have Hepatitis B:
1. Alcohol and drugs
Hepatitis B affected individuals should not consume alcohol or beverages with alcohol in them. Even drugs should be avoided by them. Alcohol and drugs are toxic even to the livers of healthy people. Therefore, people who have hepatitis B should not consume alcohol and drugs as they already have a sensitive liver which is prone to irritation and swelling.
Consuming alcohol or taking drugs even in moderate amounts can speed up the progression of the disease. It has also been found that consuming alcohol or drugs after starting the treatment for hepatitis B reduces the effectiveness of the disease. Some desserts and cooking sauces also have alcohol in them. Hence, it is better to check the ingredients before you consume them so as to avoid further complications.
2. Fatty foods
Fatty foods are unhealthy for the individual suffering from hepatitis B. Foods which have a high content of saturated fat like non lean meats, organ meats, poultry skin and other kinds of processed meats like sausage, lunch meat and bacon should be avoided by the individual with the disease.
Butter, whole milk, lard and other whole fat dairy products like cheese, ice cream, should also be consumed in limited amounts. Other fatty foods to avoid is hard margarine and those consisting of trans-fat and coconut and palm oil so as to not to increase the inflammation or swelling of the liver. Baked food like cookies and cakes should also be consumed less by the person as they are also high in fat content.
3. Salty foods
Foods which have high sodium content should also be avoided by the individual. Many canned, frozen and processed foods contain large amounts of sodium. Therefore, it is always advisable to read the label before buying the particular food.
Bouillon cubes, seasonings, bottled and canned sauces and gravy, powdered sauces in packages, canned soups, dry soup mixes, canned fish and meat, peanut butter, processed meat like ham and sausage, baking mixes like pancakes and muffins, snacks like potato chips and crackers should also be on the list of foods to avoid.
When an individual goes to buy a product he should check the label for low salt or low sodium rather than for reduced salt. Fast foods should be avoided for the same reason as they are high in salt content.
4. Sugary foods
Sugary foods must be avoided at all costs by an individual with the disease. Soft drinks and other sweetened beverages have been found to be the cause for the extra sugar in the foods of many individuals suffering from the disease.
The list of sugary foods to avoid include soda, many juice drinks, drink powders, sports drinks, beverages made from high fructose corn syrup. Other sources of sugary foods are pastries, jams, cakes, doughnuts, pies, candy, brownies and cookies. There are also various cereals which have high sugar content. Sugar has also been found in a number of foods like baked beans, salad dressings, ketchup, barbecue sauce and fruits canned in heavy syrup.
5. Protein rich foods
People suffering from hepatitis B usually face the problem that they cannot process the proteins in an efficient manner. Therefore, if an individual is suffering from this disease, then he should avoid the consumption of foods which are rich in proteins.
Since the proteins will not be processed properly, there will be an accumulation of toxic waste materials in the body. The buildup of the toxic wastes in the body can lead to disruption in the functioning of the brain. Meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products are the foods which have high protein content. Doctors around the world believe that reducing the amount of protein consumption may also help in the reducing of toxic material accumulation in the body.
However, consuming too little protein can also be problematic for the liver. Proteins help in preventing fats in the body that can damage the liver. Intake of about one gram of protein per kilogram of the body weight is advisable for individuals.
6. Raw seafood
Seafood in its raw or undercooked form should be avoided by individuals suffering from hepatitis B. Seafood includes fish like shellfish, oysters, clams, octopus, sea kelp. Eating these foods in their raw form or undercooked form is harmful for the health of an individual with the disease.
This raw seafood is risky as it may become contaminated with other viruses and bacteria which can further deteriorate the condition of the liver. This will lead to irritation and inflammation of the liver and the individual will face much discomfort due to it.
7. Avoid heavy meals
Heavy meals should be avoided by people who are suffering from hepatitis B. Consuming heavy meals puts pressure on the liver of the individual. The liver is not able to process the food easily and this leads to an accumulation of toxic wastes in the liver, causing irritation and inflammation. It is always better to have three of four short meals rather than consuming a big meal and putting pressure on the liver.
8. Smoked food
Smoking is a cooking process in which flavor is added to the meat so that an individual cooks by adding the smoke from the plant material to it. While individuals may like consuming smoky foods, people with hepatitis B should avoid it.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed during the smoking process. Exposure to this hydrocarbon can be detrimental for your health and can even increase the irritation in the liver. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a well known carcinogen and long term exposure to this carcinogen increases the effect of hepatitis B on the person.
9. Fast food
Fast food should be avoided at all costs by an individual suffering from hepatitis B. Fast food are storehouses of high amount of fats, sugar and salt which are really detrimental for the health of an individual with the disease.
People with the disease hepatitis B have a malfunctioning liver, which is also prone to becoming irritated and inflamed. When an individual consumes fast food, he consumes large amounts of fat, sugar and salt. Since his liver is not in a good state, the processing of these three compounds is not so effectively done by the liver.
This leads to the formation of toxic wastes accumulation in the body of the individual and this can also lead to the disruption in the functioning of the brain also. Burgers, French fries, hamburgers and hot dogs are the foods to avoid. The sudden burst of energy that the individual feels on consuming this food also makes the person feel fatigued later when the effect of the food begins to waver down.
10. High calorie foods
High calorie foods are those foods which have high protein and calorie content in them. Such foods include milk, cheese and other dairy products, meat, poultry. These foods are consumed by individuals to maintain the protein and calorie intake in their body. Many individuals even consume them as they want to increase their body weight.
These foods must be avoided by individuals who suffer from hepatitis B. The high protein content and calorie content in these foods make it difficult for the liver to process and thereby toxic wastes are accumulated in the body.
The accumulation of the toxic wastes in the body of an individual will lead to liver inflammation and irritation causing much discomfort to the individual. The excess fat content in these foods also make it difficult for processing by the liver. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid these foods for the sake of liver.
11. Carbohydrate rich foods
Carbohydrate rich foods are rich sources of sugars and starches essential for the body. They are the energy source for the body. However, people with hepatitis B should not consume much of these foods as they cause much stress on the liver.
Low carbohydrate diet is ideal for them. Since the liver of the person is malfunctioning due to the disease, the starches and sugars will not be broken down properly and therefore toxic accumulation will be there.
11 Foods to avoid while ailing from Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is the infection of liver which manifests in swelling of the liver due to the presence of the hepatitis A virus. Lasting for up to two months, this communicable disease causes the eyes and urine to turn yellowish in color and is evident with other symptoms like fever, weakness, body pain, vomiting amongst others. The mortality rates are known to be low for this disease.
Proper hygiene and cleanliness can help prevent a person getting infected with Hepatitis A, which is generally present in the stool of diseased person and spreads through adulterated food and water or direct contact. There are some foods that you should avoid if you are suffering from this illness and they include fried and fatty foods, nuts and oil seeds etc. This disease generally results in loss of appetite, therefore you should maintain a healthy diet during this period.
Meat products should be altogether avoided in Hepatitis A as they add unwanted stress on the digestive system, creating discomfort to the liver, gall bladder and the pancreas. Since meat is a little tough for the humans to digest, it can remain in the stomach for a week and ferment. This can cause a patient to suffer further from gas or bloating or even more stress. Meat products like hot dogs and bacon also lead to cardiovascular complications.
These cooked or semi cooked meat products could lead to deposits of excessive fat in the body, leading to serious health complications. You could replace them with beans, lentils and tofu in your daily diet which are high in fiber and low in fat. If possible, try to opt for low sodium, low fat varieties.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant for the liver causing stress on this organ and also de hydrates the body. However, Hepatitis A patients are advised to stay hydrated at all times. Caffeine is present in some over the counter medications and drinks like cola, tea and also found in chocolates. High amount of caffeine can also cause irritability and restlessness. During Hepatitis, it also increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone injuries. If you are habitual to caffeine in your daily diet, eliminate it gradually to avoid its withdrawal symptoms. You could choose to opt for caffeine alternatives like green tea which is high in antioxidants and is healthier than coffee.
Wheat flour should not be consumed if suffering from Hepatitis A unless it is organic and unbleached. Know that chemically processed flour is referred to as bleached white flour. During this process, many essential minerals and vitamins are lost and if you consume this chemically altered wheat flour, the body demands more extra vitamins and minerals in order to process it and make use of it effectively. Instead, you should consume foods which nourish the body and provide essential vitamins and minerals in required quantities for proper functioning of the immune system. Foods like cherries, grapefruit, and garlic should be consumed while suffering from this disease as they are considered healthy for the liver. It is important to know that wheat flour floods the blood with excessive sugar, which poses an extra burden on the body to be absorbed and eventually gets deposited it as fat.
Any individual suffering from a chronic liver disease should avoid consuming artificial sweeteners as they contain substances like aspartame which create toxic reactions in the body. It puts additional burden on the liver to detoxify this chemically produced sugar. Any person suffering from this ailment should reduce the load of toxins that liver needs to process, else already inflamed liver can pose serious consequences on your health. It can also run you into health problems such as tooth decay, obesity, and the health complications related to being overweight and obese. You should therefore avoid foods like candies, cakes, cookies amongst many more such food items. You could replace artificial sweeteners with honey or malt sugar in your diet.
Processed foods contain unnatural substances that are produced inorganically. They contain preservatives, and chemically treated substances. Processed foods contain additives that affect the liver’s performance. These foods hamper the detoxification process and prohibit the liver from producing sufficient bile. This slows down the cleansing process and can lead to excess toxic substances circulating in the body. These high calorie, high fat foods should be eaten sparingly by people ailing from this disease. You should avoid foods like processed meats, frozen dinners, frozen fish sticks and canned foods for instance. You could rather add garden salad or fresh vegetables to make your meal healthier and filling.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar in most soft drinks and many processed foods is replaced with high fructose corn syrup instead of sucrose – also known as natural sugar. This high fructose corn syrup is made from cornstarch. This form of corn syrup is harmful to the liver. It can lead to development of fibrosis in people ailing from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It also poses an added burden on the liver to process it. Always remember that the goal of Hepatitis A patients is to take away the pressure and strain off the liver to the maximum extent possible. This corn syrup can also lead to health problems like cavities and weight gain. Try to opt for water or other unsweetened beverages instead of beverages which contain corn syrup. Reduce your intake of processed and packaged food and avoid munching pastries and cookies.
Trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated oils
Trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated oils are hard-hitting on the liver to digest. Such oils and fat solidify in the body and get difficult for the body to digest. You can opt to consume flax seed oil or virgin olive oil instead of hydrogenated oils. Examples of such foods could be margarine, vegetable shortenings or butter spreads amongst others. You should also avoid consuming oxidized fats like ghee for prevention of unwanted fat accumulation in the body. The foods high in trans fatty acids can also lead to coronary heart disease or strokes. They are present in a variety of foods and most often are found when vegetable oil is processed to solid fat. Such foods are also not essentially high on nutrition. You can replace these foods with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. More examples of such foods are cookies, muffins, donuts, potato chips, pizza dough and many more.
Dairy products (animal)
Dairy foods are extremely difficult to process for the liver. You are ingesting whatsoever the animal inge
sted. Always read the food labels as they are generally high in sugar being commercial products. They are also normally rich in vitamin A content, which is not suitable for people suffering from Hepatitis A. You may replace them with foods such as papaya which are easy to digest. These dairy products are also rich in proteins and high in fat content which is not recommended by experts during this disease. For a healthy gastrointestinal system and liver, animal dairy products should be excluded from the diet by patients of Hepatitis A.
Avoid foods rich in iron
Patients suffering from Hepatitis A should not consume foods that are rich in iron content. Excessive iron in the body can damage the liver and therefore should be avoided. This means foods like meat, beans, grains should be avoided. Iron overload can lead to iron toxicity, impacting the proper functioning of liver. It can lead to additional liver damage and can also be the reason for developing liver cancer. If your iron level goes too high, you would be advised to undergo iron removal process from your body. To get rid of the excess iron, blood loss is the only solution.
Junk foods contain empty calories with nil nutritional value. The body does not get any nutrition from such food. These foods are also high in saturated fat, fatty acids and are made from hydrogenated oils which are not healthy and difficult for the liver to digest. They also contain chemicals and additives which are a source of toxins. It further aggravates the challenge of detoxifying such substances by the already inflamed liver. Urge to consume junk food can be replaced by healthy and nutritional food like fresh fruits (papaya, orange or grapes) which are a good choice for Hepatitis A patients. You could replace junk food with fruits and vegetables which will also provide your body with essential minerals and vitamins which are required as part of your daily diet. Other healthy alternatives could include frozen yogurt, popcorn or rice cakes which are delicious enough to satisfy your taste buds.
Avoid foods rich in Vitamin A
Foods that are rich in vitamin A are also considered toxic for the liver. Diet which is high in vitamin A should necessarily be avoided while ailing from Hepatitis A. It can also lead to liver dysfunction and further degradation of the liver. Foods such as egg yolks, fish oil, carrots, spinach and apricots are the ones which are high in vitamin A and should not be consumed. You should replace vitamin A rich foods with antioxidant rich foods, to help in detoxification process. Excess of vitamin A could lead to liver damage along with a risk of developing toxicity in the body and its accompanying symptoms. Consuming foods which are easy to digest are recommended to people suffering from this disease.