Hepatitis C Community
13.3k Members
Avatar universal

Diet no-nos???

Dear All:

I know about keeping a no-iron diet; my only vice that I have not been able to kick is coffee; but I drink it very diluted with soy milk. I read recent studies that coffee actually helps with liver damage in regards to cirrhosis from alcohol consumption. Can I get some opinions about this???

Gratefully yours,

19 Responses
30678 tn?1217992847
I sure hope it does, cause I drink coffee a lot, and I read the studies too, maybe we can start our own.lol but my gastro said to eat a regular diet, but try to stay away from fatty foods, and raw shellfish. Protien is important, but not so much from red meat. But even if you don't feel like eating do eat a little at a time.
154927 tn?1205246451
Protein/Energy bars come in handy too when regular meat isn't turning me on. I keep a couple in my desk drawer at work along with some trail mix to munch on.
Avatar universal
Egss do provide excellent protein however they should be limited to only a few a week as they are extremely high in cholesterol. For people who already have high cholesterol issues they should stay away from them until they get their cholesterol back to normal.
Avatar universal
They are fine and a good choice for protein for everyone BUT if you are a person who has high cholesterol or are medicated to lower it then it is recommended you limit eggs to a few a week. I should have been more clear. I too eat a whole lot of eggs and it is good in my case as I don't have a cholesterol issue. I was talking about those who have medical issues with cholesterol because eggs can raise our cholesterol at 247mg of cholesterol per.

Eggs got a bad rap before they learned a  little more about good and bad cholesterol, they are still a food to be careful of if you have those kinds of medical problems.
Avatar universal
The article posted on eggs and dietary chloseterol may be literally true but still misleading.

It's true that total fat intake -- particularly "bad" fats -- do more harm than pure dietary cholesterol as found in eggs (the yokes actually).

However, it's an additive thing -- so unless you're already on an extremely good eating plan -- and let's face it not that many of us are "Rockers" -- adding dietary choleterol like eggs to an already less than optimum diet will increase cholesterol in most cases.

Bottom line is to check your cholesterol regularly. If it's low, then by all means eat eggs. If it's high, try cutting down on dietary cholesterol (like eggs) as well as total fat.

Personally, I only eat egg whites which are low in both fat and dietary cholesterol, but then again I've always had somewhat of a cholesterol problem resistant to anything but the most stringent diets. My doctor will probably put me on Statins next month, and while I'm not particularly happy about that, the silver lining will be an occasional serving of REAL eggs -- yokes and all :)

-- Jim
Avatar universal
I use Egg-Beaters ... It's a great alternative, makes prettier scrambled eggs than using real eggs...Yummy Too!
Avatar universal
Egg beaters are okay.  I switch from that to the real thing.  Like you said there are lots of things that lead to cholestoral and trans fats, polly unsat anything are no-nos.
Exercise is a great thing to reducing cholestoral. Mine has a tendency to run high but get it to normal range if I exercise hard 3 times a week.
Avatar universal
my mother had to go on statins. went on crestor and took the lowest dose, 5mg.,, doesn't even take daily, doesn't tell her doctor that though.. her cholest. is fine now.

you're right, sometimes we need the drugs, genetics are a factor, but maybe try the lowest dose...even all the health newsletters I receive say if you have to, try lowest dose.

my mothers doc is very please with her cholestrol level now. sometimes takes it only once or twice a week now,,,but can't tell her doctor that.
Avatar universal
Thanks Rock. But the ones I'm familiar with on the list (Omega 3 and Garlic) only confer maybe a 5% reduction in LDL which in my case simply isn't enough, not even close. I'm not saying that I couldn't lick this thing without Statins, but realistically it would probably involve more of a lifestyle/diet change than is realistic. I'm close to 60 years old, exercise regularly, am close to my ideal weight, eat very few saturated fats. Bad genetics are just bad genetics I'm afraid. You know, just like many people are forced to go "unnatural" with drugs like interferon and ribavirin to lick the virus (some people do clear naturally) for some, like myself, Statins may be the only realistic way. We'll see.

-- Jim
Avatar universal
Brave woman mentioning "Egg-Beaters" in a thread "Rocker" is monitoring. LOL. But thanks, I may check them out for once-in-a-while.


I have the same distate for Statins as you have. However, my family cardiac history, dietary response to fat, and lipid profile have put the writing clearly on the wall in big, block letters. GET YOUR CHOLESTEROL DOWN YONG MAN (ER, OLD MAN) OR YOU WILL HAVE A HEART ATTACK PRETTY SOON. (In fact, I'm the oldest male on my father's side of the family who has not had a heart attack by now.

I did mention before that my brother has had some success with Red Yeast Rice Extract, but basically it is so similar to statins -- both in terms of chemcial formulation and liver stress --  that I believe in some countries it's only available by prescription. At least the statins have been studied for years.

The altermative would be to go on a VERY low fat diet like Pritkin, i.e. under 10% of daily calories in fat calories. However, limiting fats severly (including the good fats) also may have consequences. And, against "common" wisdom, the good fats do increase cholesterol -- both in my case and I'm sure with many others.

That said, a "zone" type diet -- significantly limiting carbs -- once brought my lipid profile into the green zone. However, I don't seem to function all that great on limited carbs, and indeed have trouble writing on that kind of diet. And writing what I do to make a living.

No easy answers and I guess that's why I'm now considering Statins.

-- Jim
Avatar universal
What's your problem with statins? I know you're clear and you've no doubt seen the studies, but for those with liver disease and cholesterol/lipid problems see: http://www.clinicaloptions.com/Hepatitis/Annual%20Updates/2006%20Annual%20Update/Modules/Concha-Schiff/Pages/Page%2010.aspx
"Statins may have a beneficial effect on NASH, HCC, and hepatitis C, without increasing the risk of hepatotoxicity. Hyperlipidemic patients with normal or mildly elevated baseline aminotransferase levels are not at higher risk for hepatotoxicity when using atorvastatin, simvastatin, or pravastatin."
Avatar universal
Well, I'm "down" on statins like I'm down on most drugs -- prefer not to taking anything unless I absolutely have to. Treatment was quite an aberration in that respect for me. Like most drugs -- and statins are pretty strong ones -- the good comes with side effects. Here's a blub on Lipitor, the statin I will probably end up taking:

BTW didn't find out about the statin/cholesterol link until a few months ago, and perhaps if I read that earlier I might have tried Statins prior to treatment, especially given my cholesterol issues. All I heard back then were that statins stress the liver to one degree or another depending on which doctor you talk to.

Anyway, like I said, I'd prefer to get my cholesterol down naturally but that will probably not be in the cards. I think I see the cardiologist later this month.

-- Jim

Avatar universal
One of the better definitions/discussions on cure I picked up at the Clinical Options site in the "Doc Eye for the Hep Guy" video module.

Basically, Jenson? said that "cure" was more of a clinical definition than a microbiological definition. He went on to say
studies ten years out show the durability of SVR and if biopsies are done, histology approves toward normal and in some cases no detetible virus in liver as well, i.e. the clinical defintion. He concludes saying that cure is an operational definition if not a biological one. Sort of a hedge here.

Then there's doctors like Dieterich -- he's in the same video module btw -- who simply say SVR is a cure. And of course, your doctors, who may have other opinions especially in the transplant population.

Personally, if someone who knows I've treated, asks me if I'm cured, I'll say "yes", because the rest IMO is still conjecture. I did ask a very well-known doctor about the whole occult/persistent virus thing and he said those tests have haven't been reproducable using accepted test technology.

I'm sure that we'll learn more about this as time rolls on.

-- Jim
Avatar universal
'Basically, Jenson? said that "cure" was more of a clinical definition than a microbiological definition."
I agree with that completely and I too believe that SVR is durable and confers the benefits of halting further liver damage and eliminating the increased risk that HCV poses for the development of HCC in the vast majority of people. The question of SVR equaling the absolute elimination of the virus is another distinct issue. For some, I believe it may but, for the majority I have serious doubts. While my circumstances are definitely distinguishable I demonstrate without question that it is possible to be SVR for a prolonged period of time yet still have "active" HCV in the body. But, I also believe that had it not been for the dramatic redution of my anti-rejection dose I would have been fine - or as fine as one can be while taking calcineurin inhibitors- vis a vis HCV. So, I'm okay with the word "cure" as a practical matter but, in the academic sense it's a little different. Now, we both spoke on this and neither of us intended to. So much for resolve. Mike
Avatar universal
Yeah, but we both avoided the thread this time. LOL.
Avatar universal
One positive side of all the threads is that I don't think a lot of people read them so it's possible to get lost down here. I know you know that Jim. I feel free to say things I wouldn't say out loud. You mentioned or referenced my stoicism. I will tell you what I tell my friends in real life who suggest that I have strength or courage or something along those lines. I'm just like everyone else and we all do the same thing - we try to stay alive and get as healthy as possible. I know people who've said about another facing cancer that they'd never do chemotherapy if it were them - they'd just die rather than get sick on meds. Then, when they get diagnosed with cancer and have only a 15% chance at remission they queue right up for the meds. We're all basically the same. If I have demonstrated a determination that seems noteworthy it's only that I'm probably more scared than most people and that's what drives me. It's not courage but rather a combination of fear and hope. You've had some very difficult issues to deal with and you've shown a determination and a strength and a grace. My line is: "I do what everyone else does and if I manage to do it gracefully that's nice but I'm not fundamentally different". So, though I thank you for your kind words I felt I should respond and tell you that I don't believe I am all that stoic or strong. I'm just trying to get by - just like you Jim. Take care and stay well. Mike
Avatar universal
Thank you for your kind words Elaine. I am surprised that you read down this far - and impressed too. I thought I was hiding down here but alas, I check down here and find you. I know that your comment was directed towards Jim so I'll take the liberty of thanking you on his behalf. I know...that's presumptuous of me... but, what the heck - no one will see it anyway. Mike
Avatar universal
being from the south i love iced tea---i am also new to this forum and will see the liver docs on monday--in the meantime is caffeine free tea o k to drink in place of caffeinated tea---only one or two coffees a day--i guess that's not good either--i'll know more on monday but right now i am truly scared to death--
Avatar universal
Everyone is scared before they get see their doctor. If you can relax it would make things easier. I drank coffee and tea during treatment and it worked out okay.
See: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/478185
"The researchers reported that overall, the greater the coffee consumption, the greater the association with liver protection (P = .034 for the trend). The highest consumption noted was more than two cups of coffee per day. Consumers of more than two cups of coffee per day had an odds ratio (OR) for elevated ALT of 0.56 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.31 - 1.0); those who drank one to two cups had an OR of 0.83 (95% CI, 0.49 - 1.4). Those who drank less than one cup had an odds ratio of 1.4 (95% CI, 0.84 - 2.4), with zero cups being assigned an OR of 1.0."

You must be registered to view the article but it's free and quick to register.

Good luck. Mike
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473362051
683231 tn?1467326617
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.
Trying to lose weight? Grab a snack that works with your diet, not against it. Check out these delicious, slimming foods.
Trying to lose weight? Grab a snack that works with your diet, not against it. Check out these delicious, slimming foods.
How eating more salt may actually save your life.
A deeper look into the relationship between salt and hypertension.