What Foods are good for Hepatitis C and Liver

Good Liver Foods cirrhosis hepatitis
Straight from the garden and into your salad or salsa!

What Foods are good for Hepatitis C and Liver

I’m glad you asked. Because the diet that I have put together has been a huge part of what saved my life. I call it a liver loving diet. When I was first diagnosed, I started making lists of all the vegetables and fruits that were good for the liver. I also researched the types of protein that would nourish me without creating a burden on my liver.

A liver loving diet is easier than you think! My Dr’s list is meat, vegetables, fruits, and protein to protect and heal your liver.

You can still shop at your local grocery store. You may have to learn to use different ingredients. But it is so very do-able! Please make it easy on yourself and check out my Low Sodium shopping list.

The truth is that you can just eat a well balanced diet and cleanse your liver at the same time. If you have sodium problems, be more cautious. But a basic low fat diet is the best food for everyone. That is true for you on Hepatitis C treatment or with liver disease.

Protein can be a problem for the liver. It has such a hard time processing certain foods. This is really true when you eat large meals. For example, when I want to make a cheeseburger, I get lean meat. (I go for bison or piedmontese beef when my budget allows) I use swiss cheese and a low sodium bun. Add some no sodium ketchup or tomatoes with no sodium mustard! Then I top it off with lots of fresh dill instead of pickles.

When you try and think about avoiding certain food, it is confusing. Try and focus on what foods that you CAN eat. There are tons of them!

When I first started reading, I did not like the idea of Tofu. Still don’t. But my transplant doctor at Nazhi  Zuhdi told me that a well rounded diet for End Stage Liver Disease can include meat. That news made my day! My motto is to run it by your doctor.

beef good for liver steak
Don’t flip out on me! I can read labels and I just enjoy some beef that is easy on my liver.

I am going to give you a quick look at what foods are good for Hepatitis C and Liver Cirrhosis.

Powerful Protein!

Lean meat such as fish, chicken, eggs, bison, beef (I get extra lean or piedmont beef)

Plant based proteins such as quinoa, beans, chickpeas, whey, and soy

Yogurt or other no or low fat dairy

Valuable Veggies!

Any cooked green like spinach or kale is good. Mix them with lettuce for a salad. Green beans, corn, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, cukes, beets, rutabaga, onions, and garlic are all good too.

Fresh is best. Wash it good and don’t cook the veggies until they are limp. Try to shop in the frozen food section. There is a lot more nutrition and less sodium than canned foods.

Good Grains!

Rice – black, brown, or white, whole grain breads and pasta, and oats are super too.

Fun Fats!

Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and nuts

I love to eat. Small meals eaten throughout the day can help to stabilize your blood sugar. Mix a little protein with your veggies and grains for each meal. Just remember the food pyramid that your teacher sent home from school.  

face in ice cream
We all have our indulgance treats!

About half of your diet will be fruits or veggies. The other half will be grains and protein. Allow a little room for desert too! Dark chocolate, pop tarts, popsicles or even an occasional piece of pie or cake are all fine. If you get your energy from good foods, you will not crave sweets as much.

Take a grocery list with you. I shop on a budget and stock up when the items that are liver loving are on sale. I also like crock pot cooking and gravy. There IS a way to make low fat gravy. It’s good too!

Most of all, your liver will love you. Print this or the low sodium shopping list out or make a list and stick it on your fridge. Knowing what Foods are good for Hepatitis C and Liver is a safe way to move out of decompensation. I got my MELD all the way down and my cholesterol is so low too. The liver loving diet is one of the best things that will happen as a result of Hepatitis C. You are going to feel so much better. It may take some time to get used to. Do not expect overnight results.

You may have a craving and go stick your whole face in the ice cream container. Call me and I’ll help you pull it off of your head and remind you to get a popsicle next time. But you can do this. I promise. Slow and steady wins the race.

Your best friend, Karen:)

P.S. Drink a lotta watta throughout the day. The recommendation is half of your body weight in ounces. Caffeine only counts as half the amount of liquid. So at 160 lbs, you need 80 ounces. If you drink 20 ounces of coffee or tea, it only counts as 10 ounces. That is because caffeine acts as a diuretic and causes you to lose fluid. xo

If you liked this one, maybe these links will help you also!

Sample of Liver Loving Daily Diet

Is Protein Good or Bad for Your Liver

Protein is Vital For Healthy Liver Maintenance

About Karen Hoyt

Karen Hoyt offers a no nonsense approach to living with Cirrhosis. A Hepatitis C treatment survivor, she created a liver loving diet and lifestyle that allows her to create awareness and advocate for her Best Friends at http://www.ihelpc.com

28 thoughts on “What Foods are good for Hepatitis C and Liver

  1. Thank you so much for the tips on hepC friendly foods,, I’m already eating great and your blog just confirms my choice in better eating habits,,,I’ve lost 60 lbs in the last year just by not eating anything man made and walking a few miles a week,, such a wonderful feeling! I know I’m sick with the hepC virus but I feel so dang good just from eating the proper foods,,, Thanks again! John

    1. Go John! You’ve added not only years to your life, but incrased your energy. I need to confess that I just finished a big ole chocolate chip cookie at a teachers luncheon.
      It’s not that we “can’t” eat that stuff. We can eat anything we want… and I do eat some sweet stuff occasionally.

      You said it all: “I feel so dang good just from eating the proper foods.” I know that the slump will hit when I eat too much sugar all at once.

      I should have read your comment BEFORE I ate that giant cookie. haha. I would have passed on it.

      Thank you for writing. I hope to hear from you again. Eating right, walking, living the ilfe. xo Karen:)

  2. Hi Karen,
    Your site has evolved more than I have in the past 2 months. Well done.
    I am finally alcohol free and also de-toxed from the nasty methadone addiction that developed as my poor Dr finally resorted to radical band aid craving control measures to curb my drinking.
    The rehab was empowering and confronting. To see footage of burst varices and realizing how quickly I could have died was good aversion therapy. No one at the hospital 3 years ago told me It was told me it only took a matter of minutes to bleed out. That said it was me who resumed drinking. Someone was looking out for me as I collapsed 10 yards from the resuscitation room and not in the carpark.
    It was the same voice that made me book into rehab a month after my private health waiting period was up. I arrived yellow and with dangerously high ammonia levels.
    On reflection which becomes clearer and clearer with sobriety an angel has been by my side through my mad dance of intoxication over the last 30 years.
    Surprise surprise my depression has lifted and my lust for life has returned.
    Despite talk of transplants and or Interferon/ribavirin attempt 3 I am finally living in my own skin, my own head and learned to live life in the moment. I feel free.
    I have to thank you as I have never wanted to search end stage liver disease on the net in case I found out what I already knew. Yours was the first site on the reults page and rather than filling me with fear and dread it presented a message of hope, change and reminded me I wasn’t isolated in my struggle.
    This sense has grown through the AA meetings I attend, I have a new circle of (sober) friends, a plot at a communal vegetable garden, open curtains and most all, proud and relieved children.
    There is a long road ahead but it is now lined with wild flowers and the mountains I will have to climb have amazing views.
    Love and Peace, Guido

    I know this doesn’t have much to do with good diet, unless you count soul food but I haven’t found my way around your whizbang website yet.

    1. You survived the detox! I’m so dang proud of YOU! I’ve been wondering where you’ve been my friend.

      It brightens me to no end to hear your choice of words: depression lifted, lust for life, circle of friends, amazing view.

      I’m not a webmaster and fought my way through a few disasters this summer. I like to write to my friends like you as I learn new stuff. I hope all the links are good. Honestly? Give me a review if you would please.. I mean it!

      Last but certainly not least. The kids.. this was only a dream to have your relationships restored. Dreams do come true Guido. Tears of joy for you.
      xoxoxo Karen:)

  3. Hi Karen,

    Nice list of foods that one should be eating for Hepatitis C and liver, which is surely going to help many. I think eating healthy is the KEY factor to overall good health and well being, whether we have any health problems or not.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Thank you Leena! It’s funny that I posted that and then got tempted to gobble down a big ole cookie. We have to have some wiggle room for pleasure foods!

      The problem for those with advance disease of any kind is that we pay for it later. grrr.

      Still sugar buzzed and glued to the computer.. lol. xo Karen:)

  4. Hey Karen
    I will have a good look around the site and get back to you.
    On a real dietary note, the opiate detox was a bit more intense than me and the staff expected, I lost 18 pounds in 12 hours and 18 more over the following week as gradually began to eat.
    I was unable to eat the hospital food and slowly built up to 5 small meals a day. The day I ate a tiny piece of cake (sugar) I crashed a few hours later. Same again when I had a cup of sugared tea a coup;e of days later. I haven’t consumed sugar since.
    I realize my system is extra fragile and others may have a bit more wiggle room for the odd treat but below is food I was drawn to as my appetite returned:
    Bircher Muesli with yoghurt with a teaspoon of high quality honey, Avocado/tomato on spelt/quinoa/rye bread or crackers, sushi, fish in small portions, free range chicken in smaller portions, organic beef in very small portions, organic rice – especially organic brown rice. lots of mainly vegetable juice with some apple to sweeten it up, fresh fruit lots of vegetable-all colours, leafy salads with olive oil and apple cider vinegar Italian made pasta (different wheat). I saw a nutritionist and didn’t have to change much apart from reducing my protein to 20% which was specific to my case for ammonia levels and low liver stress. All this in several small meals avoided the energy slumps i experience after. eating.
    Food for thought. haha
    Love and light, Guido

    1. I needed to hear this. You are eating so well. I’ve been so strict for 3 years and occasionally slide back into old habits. Honestly – knowing that others are having success by eating right perks me up, makes me want to stick with it. Some folks who have less liver damage can do that.
      You and I are going to have to stick with the program for the rest of our lives. We have to live out our purpose on this planet Guido. BTW – I talked with a bff who is in 12 steps tonight. She called to let me know that she is beginning a recovery program and I told her your story. Your life can be a beacon to others who are struggling with addictions.
      I am always fascinated at how well you think throughout this process. I feel privileged that you have shared it with me and our other bff’s in the battle.
      I love good honey too. It’s a pricey treat. Smiling at you. xo Karen:)

      1. Three years is pretty good. It’s still early days for me but I have felt a seismic shift in my attitude. Part of that is AA and the twelve steps program.
        I watched a film with James Woods called BILL F. It depicts the birth of AA and the 12 steps program which began in Acheron Ohio.
        The organic nature with which the process grew really struck me. Two men talking evolved into a worldwide movement in which people suffering alone can reach out of their self imposed prison and enter a room where each person is a beacon who understands their pain, there is no fear of .
        The final message the two founding members shared was to keep it simple and take it one step at a time.
        The serenity prayer that concludes each meeting is applicable in every aspect of every persons life.
        To a higher power of my understanding grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot share. The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
        Understanding that and accepting that you are truly powerless over your addiction/disease to the point that your life is unmanageable to the point that you are unwittingly destroying your core values is worth a lot of the therapy.
        Obviously recovery takes more than that but it is a good start. All my best to you, your friend and all people in the grip of addiction – hey all my best to everyone,

        1. woops, Im tired that should have read “without fear of judgement” and the serenity prayer begins “to accept the things I cannot change”

        2. I’ve never heard of the movie. It sounds awesome. I think that the serenity prayer is used in many ways besides AA. It is a great program that has changed over the years with out losing the core tenants and the original ideas from the founders.
          Thanks again my friend, xo K

  5. Hi Karen,

    Wow… All about foods, eh? 😉 Quite a delicious post I’d say 😀

    I’m not a meat lover and here in my family, there’s no room except for chicken either 🙂 But when I read through your veggie list, I’m glad to find that most of ’em are consuming each day. Hmm… Some veggies come fresh for meal, such as tomato and cabbage as in salads. Thanks to my mother 😉

    In my country, our main meal is rice and curry Karen 🙂 Glad you recommended rice too. Usually 3 meals per day and, onion and garlic are everyday ingredients. Are we eating too much? I can’t help eating though 😀 lol…

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful information and now I should love my mother even more 😉 Don’t you think?

    You have a wonderful weekend Karen 🙂


    1. Mayura,
      Maybe your mom could give me some advice! haha! A well balanced diet throughout your life is great whether you are fighting disease or not.

      Curry, onion, and garlic are just a few of the things that I use in my daily diet also. It takes time to learn to cook with herbs in order to jazz up a bland dish such as rice. But the benefits make it worth the time and effort. You can never eat too much, in my opinion. The antioxidant power is what helps our body to maintain healthy cells!

      YES! 🙂 Call your mother today and tell her thanks for forcing you to eat all of those veggies!

      xo Karen:)

  6. I’m from Indonesia. My english is not proficient 🙂 My Mama convicted cirrhosis. Now, his heart lived 20%
    Doctors said his life still survive 1 year. Normally, how long plain survive in these conditions? Thx before..

    1. I was told that I would not survive 2 years. With treatment from doctor, your mama can survive! Yes! She needs to eat good food. Not much fat or sodium.

      The doctor must control her medication. If she is very careful, her body may get strong again. This is true for me! I hope it is true for your mama also.

      Please stay in touch. I got your twitter message. I am praying and others who read this will pray also. We are with you in our hearts.

      I am glad for google translate and will use it also.

      xoxo Karen:)

  7. I want to start taking care of my self I want to go to the doctor been with hepatitis C for 19 years I’m Up and down on wight I want to eat healthy that’s why I’m looking around find ? you?

    1. Jerry,

      I’m glad you wrote dear friend. I’ve got this shopping/menu plan almost finished and need to get to work on it. I woke up and put in on my to-do list for today. There are so many of us trying to hold off liver disease. You’re fortunate that you are starting early in the game. Keep buzzing around on the site and I”ll work on getting it in an easy to read format.
      xo Karen:)

      1. Thanks, just scared I’m 47 I’m a big guy not scared like a punk I have a 9 year old boy and I want to c him grow up and fend for himself.

        1. If you weren’t scared, I would be worried about you. This is a scary disease. I’m thinking that with the new drugs, you can get RID of the the virus and live to help your son grow into manhood.
          I hope you’ve found a good doctor and can get the meds. If you need help with that, please let me know and I’ll refer you to some people who can help.
          You’r life is just beginning. Hope is a powerful word.
          Love, Karen:)

  8. Sorry if this has a slight negative bent to it. I love most of your liver diet suggestions – good stuff! But a couple things jumped out at me and one I’ll mention is Pop Tarts.Have you looked to see what’s in those things? Yuck! I agree that we should.be able to splurge once in a while with something sweet, but there are so many better choices – like the dark
    chocolate you mentioned. Sorry for the little rant – I really do love your blog!

    1. Lynn,

      I eat so super duper healthy. This was my little indulgence. I gave it up when they found the tumor. I have never given much over to sugar anyway. Sometimes I just get a craving and will eat 1 a night till the box is empty…
      Like you – I LOVE good dark chocolate.
      Thanks for loving me enough to be honest. xo Karen

  9. Hi , is me jerry, im getting health insurance on November 1, but won’t kick in till the new year. With my liver problem wat insurance would be good for me , I don’t make that much money. A friend of my started that new medicine for 8 to 12 weeks he said he came back undetected what you recommend about that medicine

    1. Hi there, Harvoni is a good medicine for HCV though expensive much easier to take and much easier on the system. If I were you I would google Insurance companies paying for Harvoni. I am pretty sure that BCBS is. I have friends who have gotten it that way. I hope someone else will add to this. If you have trouble write again I will google for you.

    1. It seems overwhelming at first. Just take it a few things at a time. You’ll learn everything you need to know just when you need to know it. Eat well, sleep when you can, and continue to stay informed. And I know this is hard… relax… The new meds are here and you’re going to be ok.
      xo Karen

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