Nutrition During Steroid Therapy: Best Foods to Eat and Avoid

The main focus during steroid therapy should be on maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. This can help patients minimize the side effects of steroid treatment and ensure that their body is receiving the nutrients it needs to heal. A diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and nutrient-dense foods can help support muscle mass, reduce inflammation, and prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Patients should aim to consume lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes as sources of protein while avoiding processed meats which can be high in sodium and preservatives. Healthy fats found in foods like avocado, nuts, and olive oil can help reduce inflammation in the body, while trans fats and saturated fats should be avoided. Patients should also limit their sugar and salt intake, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

It is also important for patients to work with their doctor or a registered dietitian to ensure that they are meeting their unique nutritional needs during steroid therapy. By focusing on a healthy diet, patients can help support their body’s overall health and minimize the negative effects of steroid treatment.

The Importance of Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient that helps maintain and repair muscle tissue in the body. During steroid therapy, it is even more important to consume enough protein to help minimize muscle loss. Good sources of protein include lean meats such as chicken and turkey, fish such as salmon and tuna, eggs, and legumes such as lentils and chickpeas.

Patients should also aim to avoid processed meats, such as hot dogs and deli meats, which can be high in sodium and preservatives. These types of meats can also increase inflammation in the body, which may be counterproductive during steroid therapy. Instead, patients should focus on consuming lean sources of protein and incorporating a variety of plant-based proteins into their diet.

In addition to being a good source of protein, fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Patients should aim to consume at least two servings of fish per week.

Patients who have difficulty meeting their protein needs through diet alone may benefit from the use of protein supplements. However, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any type of supplement to ensure it is safe for the individual’s specific medical needs.

Healthy Fats

During steroid therapy, it is important to consume healthy fats that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, and olive oil. These fats can also help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

On the other hand, patients should avoid trans fats and saturated fats, which can have the opposite effect and increase inflammation in the body. These can be found in processed and fried foods, as well as in dairy and meat products. By limiting the intake of these unhealthy fats, patients can help improve their overall health and reduce the negative effects of steroid therapy on their bodies.

It is important for patients to work with their doctor or a registered dietitian to create a healthy eating plan that includes the right types and amounts of fats to support their unique nutritional needs during steroid therapy. By focusing on consuming healthy fats and avoiding unhealthy ones, patients can help minimize negative side effects and improve their overall health.

Avoiding Sugar and Salt

During steroid therapy, patients should limit their intake of foods high in sugar to help avoid an increase in blood sugar levels. High sugar foods such as candy, soda, and baked goods should be avoided or consumed in moderation. Patients should also be mindful of their salt intake, as steroids can cause water retention and high blood pressure. Processed and packaged foods, which often contain high levels of sodium, should be avoided. Instead, patients should opt for fresh, whole foods that are low in sodium and high in nutrients. For added flavor, herbs and spices can be used instead of salt.


Proper hydration is crucial during steroid therapy as it helps to flush out toxins from the body. Patients should ensure they are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Sugary beverages should be avoided as they can contribute to increased blood sugar levels, which can be a side effect of steroid use. Drinking water is also helpful for maintaining healthy skin and preventing dehydration, a common side effect of steroids.

Aim to drink at least 8-10 cups of water per day, and more if you are exercising or sweating excessively. To keep track of your fluid intake, consider using a water bottle with measurements on it. It is also important to note that drinking too much water at once can lead to water intoxication, so it is best to sip water throughout the day instead of chugging it all at once.

In addition to water, patients can also hydrate with other fluids such as herbal tea, coconut water, or vegetable juice. These drinks can provide additional nutrients and electrolytes that are important for maintaining proper hydration.

Overall, proper hydration is an important aspect of nutrition during steroid therapy. Patients should prioritize drinking plenty of water throughout the day and be mindful of their fluid intake to promote optimal health.

Nutrient-Dense Foods

During steroid therapy, it is essential to focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods to maintain overall health and prevent nutrient deficiencies. Such foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that your body needs to function properly.

Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, and melons are especially rich in vitamins A and C and can help boost your immune system. Vegetables, including leafy greens, bell peppers, and broccoli, are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and can help reduce inflammation in the body. Whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa, are rich in fiber and essential nutrients and help improve digestion.

It is also important to note that patients should avoid consuming processed, high-fat, and high-sugar foods during steroid therapy. These foods can worsen inflammation and lead to weight gain, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.

In conclusion, consuming nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help support overall health and prevent nutrient deficiencies during steroid therapy. Patients should also avoid high-fat, high-sugar, and processed foods to minimize negative side effects. It is recommended to discuss your nutrition and dietary needs with your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized recommendations.

Talk to Your Doctor

It is crucial for patients undergoing steroid therapy to stay in close communication with their healthcare providers regarding their nutrition. Each patient’s dietary needs are unique, and a registered dietitian or physician can work with them to create a food plan that meets their specific needs. For example, a patient with diabetes or high blood pressure may need a different diet than someone without those conditions. It is also important to inform their healthcare provider about any supplements or herbal remedies they may be taking, as these can interact with steroids or other medications.

Additionally, patients should discuss any digestive issues they may experience during steroid therapy, such as nausea or bloating. Their healthcare provider may be able to recommend foods that are easier to digest or suggest measures to alleviate these symptoms.

Overall, communication with a healthcare provider is vital to ensure that patients are receiving the best possible care throughout their steroid therapy. By working together to create a personalized nutrition plan and monitoring for any potential side effects, patients can optimize the benefits of their treatment while minimizing any negative impacts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like