Plant-based diet for hemochromatosis

Food for people with excess of iron in the body


Recommended diet for hemochromatosis

recommended diet for hemochromatosis or excess of iron

Summary drawing on the recommended diet for hemochromatosis or excess of iron. Foods with a lower iron content are recommended and avoid any type of alcoholic beverage.

The diet for hemochromatosis should be complementary to medical treatment as it is essential to reduce iron levels in the blood.

This diet is based on the use of foods that do not contain iron and that can help to improve the secondary affections that this disease can produce.

In general, the diet for excess iron consists of:

Vegetarian diet foods for hemochromatosis

  • Eliminate iron-rich foods from the diet : such as red meat, pâtés, entrails (liver, brains, …) and processed meats (sausages, cold meats, etc.) .
  • Suppress alcohol: Alcohol, besides being toxic to the liver, increases the absorption of iron, causing it to accumulate in the body. It is also responsible for many nutritional deficits of people with alcohol problems.
  • Eat whole grains: It is recommended the consumption of whole grains, such as brown rice or wholemeal bread, because they contain phytates, some components that prevent the absorption of iron.

Other recommended whole grains: oats, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, … These foods can be the main component of meals, as the main source of energy.

You can combine cereals with vegetables with little iron, such as zucchini, chayotes, tomatoes, carrots, squash or pumpkins, lettuce, onions, potatoes, radishes, etc.

  • Foods rich in proteins with little iron: The ideal is a vegetarian diet or ovo-lacto vegetarian, since the protein of egg and milk contain very little iron. Foods rich in proteins with less iron are eggs and dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt).

Avoid meat and consume more of these products. In case of nonvegetarian diets, take white fish instead of meat. White meat and white fish contain little iron. Red meat and sausages are not recommended.

  • Diet rich in calcium: Calcium and magnesium compete in the absorption of iron. It is recommended to introduce dairy products and calcium-rich sources usually at each meal. Foods rich in calcium are: tahini, sesame seeds, yogurt, cheese, milk, vegetable drink with calcium, etc.
  • Fruits: They can be consumed because they are all poor in iron. In general, there is no problem in eating dessert fruits (apples, tomatoes, pears, bananas, avocados, etc.).
  • Avoid fortified breakfast cereals: because they usually contain added iron. Better replace them with oat flakes. It is recommended not to consume cookies, cocoa powder and other products enriched in this mineral.
  • Avoid sausage sandwiches: replace with avocado sandwiches, tortillas, or cheese.

Is it good to mix fruits and foods rich in iron

Some authors consider that fruits very rich in vitamin C should preferably be eaten outside meals (ie, away from iron-rich foods), because vit. C increases the absorption of iron.

In general, although it is true that vitamin C increases the bioavailability and absorption of iron of vegetable origin, it is not such a high increase in the absorption of iron as to be considered very significant or dangerous.

For this reason you can eat fruit (it is poor in iron), although, as a precaution, it is not recommended to mix foods that are very rich in vitamin C in the same meal, such as pepper, guava, kiwi, citruses and acerola.

punto rojo More information on hemochromatosis and other metabolic diseases.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

25 October, 2021

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