Positive Living: Looking After Yourself (cont.)
A general rule to follow is to limit fat intake to less
than 30% of your total diet. A low fat diet is not necessarily advocated,
but keep in mind there is good fat and there is bad fat. Limit your intake
of saturated fats and eat in moderation those foods containing essential fatty acids, like those found in fish,
avocados and nuts.
is essential for your body. It's important
to drink at least eight glasses a day. It's also important
that the water be safe. Some opportunistic infections,
such as cryptosporidiosis, can be contracted from bad water. Drinking
untreated water from streams or lakes is dangerous for everyone.
Most areas in the US do not have contaminated water supplies, but
it still would be safest to drink treated water, especially if you have
a low CD4 cell count. The best option is to boil tap water for
1 full minute. Another more expensive option is to filter your water
with a filter that attaches to your faucet or under your sink. Make
sure the filter is capable of removing particles less than 1 micron in
size. The best filters in this category produce water by reverse
osmosis, are labeled as "Absolute" 1 micron filters, or are labeled
as meeting the ANSI/NSF International standard #53 for "cyst
removal." Watch for these descriptions on filtered water and
filtering products. Use disposable gloves when changing the filter
cartridges. Bottled water is another option, if purified by
distillation or reverse osmosis.
Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements
Many people take vitamins. Though it
is recommended that you first try to get your nutritional needs met with
a well balanced diet, there are times when vitamins are needed to
"fill the gap." Do not take the attitude "if one vitamin is
good, then two or three would be even better." Having too much
of some vitamins can harm your health. The current recommendation is to
take one or two multi-vitamins per day with less than 10-mg. iron.
Be sure to tell your health care provider about your current vitamin
There are many products on the market
(such as Ensure and Advera) that have proven to be reliable sources of
nutrients for people with HIV or AIDS. These supplements, which
often come in liquid form, can be great food on the run, if you don't
feel like cooking, or if you just want to boost your protein a bit.
It's important to remember these products are not meant to replace
meals, they are supplements. It is very important that you maintain a
balanced diet to the best of your ability.