A Healthy Diet for Fatty Liver: Do’s and Don’ts

A Healthy Diet for Fatty Liver: Do’s and Don’ts

If you’re wondering how to improve a fatty liver through diet, take a few moments to read this article. I will share what I’ve learned about fatty liver disease (FLD) and discuss which foods you should and should not eat to reduce fat in your liver.

A fatty liver occurs when there is an excess accumulation of fat, specifically triglycerides, in the liver. Generally, a liver is considered “fatty” when fat makes up between 5-10% or more of its weight. This fat builds up in and around the liver cells, causing the liver to enlarge and grow heavier.

In the early stages of FLD, known as simple steatosis, the condition is often benign and asymptomatic. Many patients are unaware that they have FLD, as it is usually discovered during routine blood work or other unrelated tests. While a liver biopsy is the only definitive way to diagnose the condition, elevated liver enzymes can indicate a problem.

A diet plan for fatty liver typically focuses on balance, moderation, regulation, and reducing fat intake to less than 30% of total daily calories. For example, if you are following a 1200 calorie diet, fat calories should not exceed 360. This is equivalent to about 40 grams of fat per day. Since fatty liver is often associated with obesity, losing weight can significantly improve liver function and health.

So now let’s discuss what you should and should not eat. Complex carbohydrates should make up the majority of your energy source. These can be found in whole grains, brown rice, and pasta. Avoid simple carbohydrates found in sweets.

Diets for fatty liver patients should also be high in fiber and include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Monitor your fat intake and be particularly mindful of saturated fats. Protein can be obtained from vegetables or lean white meats like chicken or turkey instead of beef or pork. Here is a brief list of foods you should avoid or carefully monitor:

Foods to avoid or carefully monitor:
– White bread and white rice
– High-fat butters
– Sweets containing simple carbohydrates (candy, doughnuts, etc.)
– High-fat foods (pizza, ribs, pot pies, etc.)
– Eggs and other high-cholesterol foods
– Sugary and/or carbonated drinks like soda
– Fast foods and processed meats such as hot dogs
– Fried foods
– Alcohol (especially if you have alcoholic fatty liver)
– Salad dressing and other high-fat condiments (opt for low-fat or non-fat alternatives)
– Red meats (beef, pork)

Foods to eat to improve a fatty liver:
– Vegetables (such as greens, leaves, legumes, tomatoes, and especially broccoli)
– Fruits rich in vitamin E and vitamin C (like oranges, papaya, kiwi, mango)
– Beans (a great alternative source of protein)
– Whole grain breads
– Milk in moderation (substitute whole or 2% milk with skim or 1% milk)
– Brown rice and pasta
– Lean white meats (chicken, turkey, tuna)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *