Jaundice Diet Chart for Patients - Best Foods to Eat
Are you or a loved one dealing with jaundice and wondering how to manage it through diet? Well, you are in the right place! A jaundice diet is an important aspect of managing this condition. Making the right food choices can make a world of difference in your recovery journey.
By following a carefully crafted jaundice diet chart, you can make the right decisions about the foods you consume to ease jaundice symptoms. But what exactly is a jaundice diet, and how can it help? Read on to find out.
What is Jaundice?
Jaundice, or icterus, is a medical condition characterised by the yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes. The condition occurs when there is an excessive buildup of bilirubin in the bloodstream. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that develops when red blood cells break down.
In a healthy body, the liver processes bilirubin and excretes it in the bile. However, bilirubin can accumulate when there is an issue with the liver’s function or an excessive breakdown of red blood cells. This leads to jaundice.
The most common symptoms of jaundice may include:
Yellowing of the skin, mucous membrane, and white of the eyes
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Role of Diet in Jaundice
Diet plays an important role in jaundice management as it helps support or interfere with liver function. The following is how food affects liver function, making the right food choices vital for jaundice:
Bile Production: The liver produces bile during the digestion of food. Bile helps in breaking down fats in the intestine. The liver also metabolizes most digested nutrients, toxins, and medications.
Liver-Friendly Foods: Different nutrients and chemicals are processed differently by the liver. This makes some foods more liver-friendly than others. The right food for jaundice can help digestion, protect the liver from further harm, and support in detoxification of liver.
Digestion Impact: Foods that are difficult to digest can increase the workload on the liver. It particularly includes foods high in refined sugars, salt, and saturated fats.
Toxins and Medications: Toxins like alcohol and certain medications can damage liver cells during metabolism.
What to Eat in Jaundice?
When dealing with jaundice, you should focus on a diet that is liver-friendly, aids in recovery, and promotes overall well-being. Here is a list of foods and beverages that are generally considered beneficial for individuals with jaundice:
Hydration is a top priority in aiding the liver’s recovery from jaundice. Water plays a vital role in facilitating digestion. It also supports the liver and kidneys in expelling toxins from the body.
A daily intake of around 2 litres of water is recommended for most individuals. Also, you can add a teaspoon of fresh lemon or grapefruit juice for additional antioxidants.
2. Coffee and Herbal Tea
Both coffee and herbal teas boast substantial amounts of antioxidants and caffeine, which can act as a digestive stimulant. According to a report by the British Liver Trust in 2016, coffee in moderate amounts can lower the risk of liver-related ailments like cancer and fibrosis (the formation of scar tissue). It also helps slow down their advancement.
A study by PubMed published in 2021 revealed that consuming green tea can reduce the chances of having abnormal liver biomarkers.8
3. Vegetables and Fruits
Fresh vegetables and fruits have abundant antioxidants and dietary fibre. They reduce liver damage during metabolic processes and facilitate smooth digestion. The recommended daily intake of these foods varies based on several factors, like age, gender, weight, and physical activity.
However, according to the Dietary Guidelines updated in 2011, adult males typically require between 2 ½ and 4 cups of vegetables daily, along with 2 to 2 ½ cups of fruit. Adult females are advised to consume 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit daily with a vegetable intake ranging from 2 to 3 cups.
Vegetables and fruits for jaundice include:
To maximise health benefits, opting for whole fruits and vegetables is advisable. Avoid high-calorie, low-fibre options like fruit juices and blends.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grain foods are rich in liver-friendly nutrients such as healthy fats, fibre, antioxidants, and essential minerals. A study published by ResearchGate in 2013 revealed that individuals who incorporated beta-glucan-rich oats into their jaundice diet experienced improved liver function.
Examples of whole grains that benefit liver health include:
Whole wheat bread and pasta
5. Nuts and Legumes
Plant-based proteins like nuts and legumes are liver-friendly foods. They have a high content of antioxidants, including vitamin E and phenolic acid. Additionally, they contribute to a suitable diet for jaundice patients due to their fibre and healthy fats.
A study published by NCBI in 2015 shows that regularly consuming nuts can positively impact liver function. Examples of nuts and legumes include:
6. Lean Proteins
When selecting proteins, it is best to steer clear of fattier cuts. You can opt for various protein sources, including plant- and animal-based options. If you prefer animal proteins, go for leaner selections like:
Skinless chicken breast
Beef flank steak
These sources of lean proteins put less stress on the liver than red meat. Furthermore, fatty fish species like salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 and zinc. They help metabolise fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins, and alcohols.
7. Dietary Supplements
Multivitamins can be beneficial in ensuring you meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirements, promoting optimal liver health. However, you must consult a doctor before trying any supplements for liver health. This is important because supplements can interact with other medications you may be taking. Moreover, certain supplements might not be safe for individuals with liver disease.
Diet Chart for Jaundice Patients
A jaundice diet chart should focus on gentle foods that are good for the liver and promote recovery. A sample Indian diet for jaundice patients is as follows:
You can customise your jaundice diet according to your nutritional needs and dietary preferences. Consult a doctor or registered dietician for a personalised diet plan.
Foods to Avoid in Jaundice
When dealing with jaundice, you must avoid certain foods and beverages that put additional strain on the liver and worsen the condition. Here are some foods and substances to avoid:
Alcohol can negatively impact several internal body tissues, including the liver. For jaundice patients, alcohol can further damage the liver and interfere with its ability to process bilirubin. It can result in chronic inflammation and the development of fibrosis. Patients with jaundice should try to completely abstain from alcohol.
2. High-Fat Foods
Fatty foods, particularly those high in saturated and trans fats, can be difficult for the liver to process and should be limited. Examples of high-fat foods include:
Some dairy products are also high in saturated fats. These products include:
According to the American Heart Association, you should limit your saturated fat consumption to 5-6% of total calories.
3. Excess Sugar
High sugar intake can cause several health conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes. These conditions can impair liver function. You should limit the intake of food items that include high amounts of refined sugar. These include:
Sugary beverages, candies, and desserts
Instead, consider choosing fresh fruit and protein the next time you crave something sweet. Combining a handful of blueberries with Greek yogurt can be one option.
Excess dietary sodium can lead to fluid retention. This hinders the liver’s efficiency. You should rinse and drain canned foods before eating. It helps remove excess salt and additives from canned vegetables, fruits, beans, and other food products.
Reducing salt from your jaundice diet can also be done using herbs to add flavour instead of salt. These herbs may include onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano. For those dealing with jaundice, a doctor or dietitian may advise opting for low-sodium foods.
Please Note: Food products containing 1.5 grams (g) of salt per 100 g or more are considered high in salt.
5. Beef and Pork
Fatty meats like beef and pork are abundant in animal amino acids and fats. They may make digestion difficult and exert additional pressure on a damaged liver. Leaner protein options are usually more liver-friendly choices for protein intake. These include:
Tips for a Healthy Jaundice Food Diet
The specific dietary recommendations may vary based on the underlying cause and severity of jaundice. You can keep a food diary to stick to your eating plan and see how you feel after each meal. Some general rules or tips for a healthy jaundice diet are as follows:
Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration is crucial. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush toxins from the body.
Watch Portion Sizes: Consume four to six smaller meals throughout the day instead of having three larger ones. This will avoid overburdening the liver and maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Frequent Snacking: Consider snacking every few hours, including a bedtime snack.
Add Variety in Flavours: Try experimenting with different flavorings to keep your meals exciting while avoiding excessive salt. This can enhance the taste of your dishes without straining your liver.
Avoid Alcohol: Completely abstain from alcohol, which can further damage the liver. Instead, choose nonalcoholic beverages.
Practice Food Safety: Ensure that all foods are properly cooked and handled to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. Foods that carry a higher risk of these illnesses include:
Unpasteurised dairy products, vegetable juice, and fruit juice
Unwashed fruits and vegetables
Raw or undercooked protein like poultry, meat, eggs, fish, seafood, tofu, etc.
Raw vegetable sprouts
Who Should Eat Liver-Friendly Foods?
Both children and adults who maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet have a low risk of developing jaundice. Therefore, they may not require any dietary alterations. However, you should eat liver-friendly foods if you are in the high-risk category for jaundice. People who can benefit from these foods include:
Children: The liver in children is in the developing phase and thus they are easy to get jaundice. Liver-friendly food supports healthy growth and development by providing essential nutrients. It also reduces the risk of liver-related issues.
Individuals with Compromised Immune Systems: These foods bolster the immune system by reducing the workload on the liver. As a result, this helps individuals with a weakened immune system better fight infections and illnesses.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: By reducing stress on the liver, these foods provide essential nutrients to support the mother’s health. Also, they ensure the development of a healthy baby.
Those with Liver Conditions: These foods contain antioxidants that support liver health. They ease oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and prevent cell damage. This benefits people with hepatitis, bile duct obstructions, or fatty liver disease.
People Taking Specific Prescription Medications: Foods that are good for the liver can minimize the risk of adverse interactions while taking medications. This is especially true with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, pain medication, steroids, hormone-regulating drugs, etc.
Individuals with Hereditary Conditions: A liver-friendly diet can be the right choice if you have conditions like Dublin-Johnson and Gilbert syndrome. These foods ease the liver’s workload, prevent symptoms from worsening, and promote overall health.
A well-structured jaundice diet is vital in promoting liver health and facilitating recovery. Individuals with jaundice can support their liver’s function by emphasizing whole, nutrient-rich foods and avoiding harmful substances. Always consult a medical specialist for personalized dietary guidance in managing jaundice.
The team of experts at HexaHealth can help you manage the symptoms of jaundice. We will connect you with the best doctors for effective treatment. From finding the right doctor to recovery, HexaHealth will help you throughout your medical journey. Schedule an appointment today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a recommended jaundice diet and diet chart for patients?
A recommended jaundice diet includes:
Hydrating with water
Coffee and herbal tea
Fruits and vegetables
Lean proteins (like chicken and fish)
Nuts and legumes
A personalised jaundice diet chart should be created in consultation with a doctor.
Should specific foods be included in a jaundice treatment diet?
Yes, a jaundice treatment diet should include foods that are gentle on the liver. Foods to eat during jaundice include:
You must avoid alcohol, fatty foods, and excess salt. A tailored plan should be developed with medical guidance.
What foods are considered safe to eat during jaundice recovery?
Jaundice treatment food considered safe for recovery includes lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Stay hydrated with water and herbal teas. Consult a healthcare professional for a personalised diet.
Can you list fruits suitable for a jaundice patient’s diet?
Fruits for jaundice patients include:
These are easy to digest and gentle on the liver. Moreover, they are rich in nutrients like protein, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
Is it advisable to consume milk while dealing with jaundice?
Yes, consuming milk is generally advisable during jaundice as it provides essential nutrients and protein. However, you should not consume whole milk, as it is high in fats (which can be hard on the liver). Opt for low-fat or dairy-free options to reduce fat intake.
Are there any foods that should be avoided completely during jaundice?
During jaundice, it is advisable to avoid the following:
Sugary items etc.
These foods can strain the liver and worsen symptoms.
How does the jaundice diet contribute to the patient’s recovery process?
A jaundice diet supports recovery by reducing the workload on the liver. It helps with the following:
The elimination of bilirubin and toxins
Supply of essential nutrients
Is cow’s milk recommended or not for jaundice patients?
Whole cow’s milk is typically not recommended for jaundice patients. It contains very high amounts of saturated fats that can strain the liver. Instead, opt for low-fat or dairy-free alternatives like almond or soy milk.
Is apple good for jaundice?
Yes, apples are generally good for jaundice patients. They contain healthy digestive enzymes and provide essential nutrients like vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants.
Can jaundice patients eat papaya?
Yes, papaya is suitable for jaundice patients. It is rich in vitamins, fibre, and antioxidants. These help support the liver and aid digestion.
Which dal is good for jaundice?
Moong dal (split yellow gram) and suva masoor dal (lentil) are often good for jaundice patients. They are easily digestible, low in fat, and a rich source of protein. However, individual tolerances may vary. It is recommended to consult a doctor or dietician.
Can I eat curd in jaundice?
Curd or yoghurt is generally considered safe for jaundice patients. It is a source of protein and probiotics, which can support digestion. However, you should not consume full-fat yoghurt as it is high in saturated fats. Instead, opt for plain, low-fat yoghurt.
Can I eat rice in jaundice?
Yes, you can eat rice in moderation during jaundice. Choose plain, well-cooked rice, an easily digestible carbohydrate that can provide energy.
Is potato good for jaundice?
Yes, you can include potatoes in your jaundice diet in moderation. They are a good source of energy. However, potatoes in jaundice should only be consumed in baked or roasted form. Avoid eating potatoes which are cooked in oil.
Which soup is best for jaundice?
A clear vegetable soup can be the best for jaundice patients. You can opt for carrot, tomato, beetroot, or broccoli soup. They offer hydration and essential nutrients without excess fat.
Can we eat ghee in jaundice?
It is generally advised to avoid ghee during jaundice. Ghee contains high saturated fat, which can strain the liver. It is difficult for the liver to process ghee.
Is mosambi juice good for jaundice?
Yes, mosambi juice is highly recommended by doctors for jaundice patients. It reduces the risk of jaundice and controls bile secretion. It also contains several minerals and vitamins that support liver health.
Is coconut juice good for jaundice?
Coconut water is typically considered safe for jaundice patients. It is hydrating and maintains a proper fluid balance. It includes several nutrients that are good for the liver. Furthermore, it has antioxidants that help fight free radicals (unstable atoms that damage cells).
How can I improve jaundice at home?
You can improve jaundice at home with the following steps:
Get adequate rest
Follow a prescribed jaundice diet
Avoid alcohol and harmful foods
Consult a doctor for personalised guidance if your symptoms worsen.
Can we drink buttermilk in jaundice?
Yes, you can drink buttermilk in jaundice. It is easily digestible and helps maintain fluid balance.
Is pomegranate good for jaundice?
Pomegranate is a jaundice-cure food that has a protective effect on the liver. It is rich in antioxidants that support liver health and overall recovery. Make sure to include this fruit in a balanced diet.
Can I eat turmeric in jaundice?
Contrary to popular belief, turmeric does not harm the liver or cause jaundice. Turmeric contains curcumin, which can aid bile production and improve liver function.
Can we eat sabudana khichdi in jaundice?
Yes, you can eat sabudana khichdi during jaundice. The dish is easy to digest and gentle on the stomach. However, make sure to cook it in very little oil.
All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.
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- Diet for Jaundice: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid [Internet]. Healthline. 2017.
- Diet for jaundice recovery: What to eat and what to avoid [Internet]. www.medicalnewstoday.com. 2018.
- Rao DKSSS. Diet for Jaundice: Foods to Eat and Avoid [Internet]. Apollo Hospitals Blog. 2021 [cited 2023 Sep 25].
- Diet for Jaundice: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid [Internet]. Healthline. 2017 [cited 2023 Sep 25].
- Jaundice Diet Chart & Foods | Best Diet Plan, Foods for Jaundice Patient [Internet]. Paybima Blogs. 2023 [cited 2023 Sep 25].
- Coffee and the Liver [Internet]. British Liver Trust.
- Fallah S, Musa-Veloso K, Cao J, Venditti C, Lee HY, Hamamji S, et al. Liver biomarkers in adults: Evaluation of associations with reported green tea consumption and use of green tea supplements in U.S. NHANES. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology [Internet]. 2022 Mar 1 [cited 2022 Apr 1];129:10508
- Gupta V. Oily fish, coffee and walnuts: Dietary treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. World Journal of Gastroenterology [Internet]. 2015;21(37):10621.
- American Heart Association. Saturated Fat [Internet]. www.heart.org. American Heart Association; 2021.
Updated on : Monday, 20 November 2023
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