Eating the wrong foods can damage your liver as much as alcohol. When your body stores too much liver fat, the result is inflammation, scarring, and permanent damage. Even if things don’t go as far as liver failure, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) places you at much higher risk for several serious chronic conditions. And it affects as many as 100 million Americans, making it the most common chronic liver disease.
NAFLD isn’t well understood, but there are some things we do know. We know its risk factors include metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high triglyceride levels, and obesity. While you can’t do anything about many of those risk factors, those you can influence are almost entirely linked to a healthy diet. That’s why the most effective therapeutic method of battling NAFLD is no more complicated than having a fatty liver diet plan.
Fatty Liver Foods to Avoid
Added sugars contribute to hypertension and excess fat in the liver. Sugar can be found in obvious places like sweetened beverages, but it’s also lurking in most processed foods. It almost goes without saying, but this includes alcoholic beverages, which are known to contribute to the development of fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.
Furthermore, a fatty liver diet menu will heavily restrict the consumption of refined grains. Having been stripped of their fibrous content, refined grains are rapidly digested by the body. The result is a change in insulin resistance that’s almost on par with eating raw sugar. Do your best to avoid simple carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, potatoes, rice milk, rice crackers, and cornflakes.
Foods to Seek Out
Broccoli may help prevent buildup of fat in the liver, and clinical studies have found garlic powder can help reduce body weight for people with fatty liver disease. Additionally, research suggests omega-3 fatty acids are good for improving cholesterol problems. Omega 3 is found in sardines, walnuts, salmon, and similar fresh fish.
If you’re trying to lose weight, then stick to foods that are lower on the glycemic index, like vegetables. In place of simple carbs, switch to complex carbs. Whole grain bread, oatmeal, and wheat bran cereal are good choices.
Foods to Eat in Moderation
No human studies have connected NAFLD and the consumption of saturated fat. Because triglyceride levels can actually increase with reduced-fat diets and high levels of carbohydrate consumption are associated with liver inflammation, you’ll want to eat saturated fat in moderation rather than eliminating it entirely.
But don’t get your saturated fats from low-quality sources, like processed foods. Good sources of saturated fats include things like fatty meats, dairy, avocado, and most types of nut.
Planning For Fatty Liver Disease
You may have noticed that the fatty liver diet menu is composed of classic diet foods. That’s because for most people the best way to take on NAFLD is losing weight. But regular exercise can make dietary changes far more effective than dietary changes alone. If you or a loved one are making dietary changes in the interests of health, don’t forget to put some regular activity on the menu as well.