Some people living with hep C undergo a months-long treatment that includes interferon, a drug notorious for its flu-like side effects. These might include appetite loss, sore mouth and throat, metallic tastes, nausea and vomiting. What’s more, those with progressive liver disease caused by hep C may also feel less like eating and, as a result, become undernourished and too weak to battle the illness.

In addition, people burdened by hep C and other illnesses, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and celiac disease, or those living with chronic kidney disease, may need special diets to avoid additional health complications.

What to do? In general, those living with this infectious liver disease should just follow the basics of a healthy diet. This means eat balanced meals with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins and whole grains, and also lighten up on fatty, salty, sugary and high-calorie foods. And, of course, drink enough water.

The good news, though, is that many hep C treatments in the pipeline don’t rely on interferon and are much easier to tolerate—and digest.