Q: "I have haemachromatosis and need to lose weight, but I don’t know what to eat, because I need to avoid foods with a high iron content. What foods should I be eating?"
Diann McClelland, via email
A: Dietitian Kate Di Prima replies:
“The most efficient management of haemachromatosis is to have regular venesections (blood deposits) to remove the iron from your blood. However you should also be trying to reduce the amount of iron you consume, and reduce the absorption of iron from foods in your diet, by following these tips:
Eat regularly; try not to skip meals or snacks to ensure nutritional adequacy.
Eat less red meat (two to three 100g serves per week is fine).
Increase your intake of white fish and chicken, as these contain less than half the iron of red meat.
Avoid iron-fortified breakfast cereals.
Do not drink alcohol with meals.
Avoid fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C with meals, as vitamin C enhances iron absorption.
Reduce your portion size at meals to help you lose weight, if needed.
For expert menu planning, go to the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) website www.daa.asn.au to find a dietitian in your area.