5 steps to getting started

1. Start with fruits and vegetables (7 servings)

  • There are many healthy foods to choose from in this category. The serving sizes are quite small (about 1/2 cup) so you might choose 2 servings of the same food (e.g. 1 cup of cooked carrots).
  •  If you currently eat 1 serving per day, try to add a few more serving seven if you don’t get up to 7.Spread out the fruits and vegetables throughout your meals and snacks.
  •  Make sure you eat both vegetables and fruits throughout the day, not just one or the other.
  •  Include fresh, frozen, canned or dried vegetables and fruits as well as vegetable or real fruit juice. Eat more whole fruit and drink less juice.
  •  Look for colours, lots of different colours. Try to include 1 dark green(e.g. broccoli, spinach, kale) and 1 orange (e.g. carrot, squash, sweet potato, pepper) vegetable.
  •  Some people with HIV may not be able to tolerate this many servings of fruits and vegetables because of the high fibre content. Eat what you can. 

2. Then add grains (6 servings for women, 8 for men)

  •  Spread out the servings throughout your meals. For example, you might want to have 2 servings at breakfast,lunch and dinner. Extras can be added as snacks.
  •  Include foods such as bread or bagels, pasta, hot and cold cereals,rice, barley, quinoa and couscous.
  •  Make most of your choices whole grain (e.g. whole wheat, oat, flax,millet, buckwheat, spelt and brown or wild rice).

3. Combine with milk products and alternatives (2-3 servings)

  •  Include cow’s or goat’s milk, cheese,yogurt, kefir and milk alternatives(such as soy, almond or rice milk).
  •  If you need extra protein or calories or you have osteopenia, you might need more than 3 servings. 
  •  When choosing a milk alternative make sure it is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

4. Serve with meat and alternatives(2-3 servings)

  • Include food from animals, such as meats, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as legumes (dried peas,lentils and beans) tofu, peanut butter, nuts and seeds.
  • Choose 3 or more servings if you need extra protein.
  • Choose lower-fat products and cook with little added fat.

5. Sprinkle lightly with fats and oils

  • Aim for about 2-3 tablespoons of added fats daily. This includes butter,oil, salad dressing, margarine and mayonnaise.