October #117 : Daring to Diet - by Derek Thaczuk

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents
 

Immuno's Defense

Quick Draw




The Common Touch

Seeking for the Perfect Pill

Three’s the Charm With One-A-Day

No Cure, But A Better Liver

Striking Gold

Doctor’s Diary - October 2005

Home Work

Daring to Diet

Do and Don’t-Do Diets

Flu-Shot Time

Smokin’!

In Sickness and In Health

Buzz Off

A Little off the Top

Buddy Up




Who Will Save Them Next?

Pulse - October 2005

Wait-Lifting Stretches

Charlize in Charge

Miss Congeniality 3:HIV

Rap Sheet

Mentors - October 2005

Sex Toys R Us

Trying Trials

Underexposed




Editor's Letter - October 2005

Mailbox - October 2005



 
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV



email print

October 2005


Daring to Diet

by Derek Thaczuk

Control weight and boost health—with HIV in the mix

Once, thin was the last look any HIVer desired, and even today, AIDS and its wasting are still around. But since HAART’s arrival, many of us are not just living longer—we’re living larger—in every sense of the word. A recent study suggests that up to 45% of U.S. HIVers may be overweight, nearly matching the general population. Meanwhile, viral and med effects demand an especially close monitoring of what we shove down the gullet.  

Even trim and toned HIVers may find themselves dieting, because meds can raise blood fats like cholesterol. As Toronto HIV doc Alex Klein, MD, says, “Cardio used to be low on my patients’ list of worries: ‘Heart attack?’ they’d say. ‘I should live so long!’ Now it’s not a joke.” Doctors are seeing more high cholesterol, heart disease and fatty liver in HIVers, Klein says, “and all can be improved with healthy dieting.” But who needs to diet—and why? Here are some of the reasons HIVers should do it:

For weight control: While you can never have too much lean body mass (muscle), if the love handles jiggle like Jell-O, you could be courting heart danger, diabetes and other problems. Your doctor and a registered dietitian can help determine your best weight and course of action. Body mass index (BMI) tables, though not HIV-specific, can roughly indicate the right weight for your height—a basic measure of BMI. (See nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ for an online calculator.) Diana Johansen, HIV dietitian at Vancouver’s Oak Tree Clinic, notes that lipo’s fat redistribution can throw BMI stats off, so do check with Doc.

If your general health is good—blood fats and sugars normal, no diarrhea—but you are overweight, the main diet dictum is: Put out as much energy (calories) as you take in. You don’t have to get crazy with calculations—but if your main physical activity is walking to your parking space, consider cutting down (or out) high-cal foods. Adding exercise is as important in weight control as subtracting calories.

For regularity: Diarrhea is the HIVer’s constant companion (it may be connected to pancreas function, which the meds affect), but dietary fiber can slow those runs. Best sources: bran or high-fiber cereals, whole grains, beans and peas, fresh fruit.

For heart health: Gobs of grease may jazz up french fries, but they clog your arteries, and HIV meds such as (most) protease inhibitors don’t help, pumping up lipids and blood sugar. Some studies have shown consistent gains in heart-disease risk for HIVers on meds. Diet can do wonders for these numbers. And choosing healthy fats (unsaturated ones like veggie and fish oils) helps anyone’s heart.

For (pre-) diabetes: Research links blood-sugar (glucose) regulation problems, caused by some meds, to lipodystrophy and heart disease. (HIVers coinfected with hepatitis C are at higher risk for diabetes.) Diet to the rescue: Limiting carbs and eating more fiber and less fat can help cut blood-sugar levels. Think whole grains, fruits and veggies, fish and lean meats and unsaturated vegetable oils.

For liver lovin’: The liver filters nutrients and toxins from everything you put in your body, so give it a break by eating smaller, more frequent meals, limiting animal fats and drinking eight glasses of water daily.

Choosing a diet
Many popular diets ax entire food groups—unwisely, HIV nutritionists say. “HIVers have high nutrient needs,” says Julie Marx, nutrition and wellness coordinator at New York City’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis. “Excluding food groups is a risk for people with chronic illnesses.” Better to eat a varied diet. Marx says a balanced diet should look balanced. Try tasting all the colors of the rainbow (from the produce department, not the candy bins!). Dieting to lose weight? Be patient, and aim for slow, steady loss.

Dishing it out: To get started, bone up on food groups and choices: The USDA Food Guide’s “food pyramids” offer individually tailored suggestions (www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/).  

Dieting needn’t make life less fun.  Practice harm reduction, limiting the amount of your favorite killer snack, say, instead of abstaining altogether. Your healthy diet will last longer, and so will you.                                


[Go to top]

Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    dhsd777
    san diego
    California


    usuallyhappy
    Palm Springs
    California


    OahuAJ
    Glendora
    California


    clintonjrsyr
    syracuse
    New York
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Is HIV/AIDS adequately portrayed in pop culture?
Yes
No

Survey
Pop Watch

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.