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Fatty Liver Disease & Diet Changes

The liver serves as the gate-keeper in preventing toxins from circulating throughout your body. Your liver metabolizes toxins that may be consumed with foods and beverages, inhaled with the air that you breathe or absorbed into your skin. Your diet can directly affect liver health. Diets rich in total calories and simple sugars that increase fatty deposits in your liver can cause liver damage and impair normal liver function.

Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis, is an accumulation of fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides in your liver cells. In the absence of dietary or lifestyle changes, fatty liver can progress to a more serious form of liver disease called cirrhosis. Variables associated with fatty liver include obesity, alcohol use or poor nutrition habits such as sugar and soft drink consumption and a high-fat diet. Identification and removal of the cause for fatty liver can reduce further liver fat accumulation.

Limit Protein and Fats

Excess protein is broken down in your body for energy or production of new proteins, which creates ammonia. Fatty damage to your liver could prevent the proper conversion of ammonia to urea, which occurs in your liver, resulting in a build-up of ammonia in the bloodstream. Therefore, a high-protein diet is not recommended for fatty liver disease. Consuming unhealthy forms of fat like saturated and trans fats increases your risk of further fat accumulation in the liver. Opt for poultry or ocean fish instead of fatty red meats, and bake, grill or broil lean meats instead of frying them.

Increase Fiber and Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for your body. Foods containing complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly than refined foods, which causes a slower, long-term release of glucose into your blood. Complex carbohydrates are also a good source of dietary fiber. A fiber-rich diet helps reduce the amount of cholesterol accumulation in your blood and may also help decrease fat accumulation in your liver. Whole-grain breads and pastas, leafy green vegetables and beans are healthy fiber-rich sources of complex carbohydrates. Fruit is also a good source of fiber and carbohydrates in place of snack foods containing refined flour and sugar.

Additional Diet Suggestions

Consult with your physician to create a diet plan that is best-suited for your condition. The foundation of your liver-friendly diet is based on 5 to 6 daily servings of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Consume three solid meals with these elements and add a low-fat protein source from lean meat or dairy. Snack on vegetables or fruits instead of potato chips, cakes and candy. Abstain from alcohol use altogether and drink water or whole fruit juice over soda. Read food product nutrition labels to learn the fat, simple sugar and cholesterol contents in foods.

Photo Credits:

  • grilled chicken salad 3 image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.