Eating healthy is easier said than done, especially for people who are managing a chronic condition like a bleeding disorder. The stress of trying to keep up with a busy schedule can often lead to overeating, eating on the run and poor food choices. Taking charge of your health when you have hemophilia is of great importance. Regardless of your hemophilia type — A, B or C — the goal is to keep your joints strong and healthy, and to keep extra weight off to avoid muscle strains and bleeding in vulnerable joints.
Tips on choosing the best food:
(1)Choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables. Dark leafy greens are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
(2)Baked, broiled, or grilled lean meats are healthier than fried.
(3)Whole grains, like oats and brown rice, and whole grain breads can help curb your appetite and stabilize your blood sugar. This may help reduce cravings for sweets and increase your energy levels.
(4)Aim for foods low in saturated fat, but pay close attention to the sugar content. Some foods advertised as low fat or fat free may contain a large amount of sugar instead. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women, and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men. One 12-ounce can of regular soda contains 8 teaspoons of sugar.
(5)Unsaturated fats are considered healthy fats. These are found in fish, avocados, olives, walnuts, and soybeans, for example.
(6)Oils such as corn, safflower, canola, olive, and sunflower are also unsaturated fats. These may help improve your cholesterol when you use them in place of saturated and trans fats like butter, lard, or shortening.
Food and supplements to avoid:
In general, you’ll want to avoid foods high in saturated fat and sugar. Fried foods, snacks, candy, and soda are not part of a healthy diet. It’s OK to indulge once in a while on a piece of birthday cake or a chocolate bar, but this shouldn’t be an everyday routine. In addition, limit your intake of the following:large glasses of juice, soft drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened tea, heavy gravies and sauces, butter, shortening, or lard, full-fat dairy products, candy and foods containing trans fats, including fried foods and baked goods (pastries, pizza, pie, cookies, and crackers).
A few other nutritional suggestions are especially important for people with hemophilia.
In addition to maintaining healthy weight, people with bleeding disorders need to maintain normal blood volume and blood cell production. There are several nutrients involved in blood cell production, such as: iron, protein, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin E and folic acid. But it would be wise for patients to avoid vitamin E supplements since they may increase the risk of bleeding.
During a bleed, it is estimated that roughly 75 micrograms iron is lost with each tablespoon (15 ml) of blood. Maintain your iron levels by eating naturally iron-rich foods such as liver, lean red meat and poultry, all of which provide the best and most readily absorbed iron sources.