Little quantity of fat in the liver is reasonable but if 5-10 percent of the liver weight is fat you have fatty liver or steatosis. This condition affects about 40 percent of American adults and is leading cause of liver damage.
Our liver filters toxins from the blood and produces bile. Steatosis inhibits these processes and leads to inflammation of the liver, liver scarring, permanent liver damage and death.
The fatty liver disease is of two types non-alcoholic fatty liver and alcohol-induced fatty liver. The non-alcoholic fatty liver is common in obese and those who eat highly processed diet or live a sedentary life.
The good news is that changes in lifestyle, exercise and diet can reverse fatty liver and eliminate excessive liver fat.
Diet for fatty liver
Lets us see what foods to include in your diet to minimise liver damage, reduce fat in the liver, improve insulin function and lose weight
- Raw plant foods – Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Make sure you eat at least two servings of fruit every day. Fruits contain sugar in a fair amount. Eat fresh, bright coloured and organic fruits. Eat unlimited quantities of raw vegetables as they contain very less amount of sugar and are rich in fibre. Fibre promotes the removal of excessive fat from bloodstream. Also, include a variety of cooked, starchy vegetables to your diet to compensate your cravings for bread, sugary desserts and biscuits. Avoid potatoes.
- First class protein– Chose protein sources that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Eat fresh lean meat, poultry, seafood, organic and free-range eggs, nuts, low-fat cheese and legumes.
- Sulphur-rich foods- Foods rich in sulphur such as garlic, broccoli, cabbage and eggs raises the level of N-acetyl cysteine that acts as a precursor for glutathione. Glutathione is anti-inflammatory and detoxifier.
- Good fats- Good fats treat and prevents non-alcoholic fatty liver. Consume food sources rich in omega-3 fatty acids and monosaturated fatty acids such as tuna, walnuts, salmon and sardines, avocados, flaxseeds and vegetable oils.
- Complex carbs- Complex carbs are low in glycemic index and stabilises the level of blood sugar. Food sources rich in complex carbs are brown rice, oats, whole grains cereals, quinoa and sweet potatoes.
- Antioxidants- Antioxidants fights oxidative damage. Antioxidant vitamin E is found in seeds, nuts, meats and vegetables. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and sprouts.
List of foods you need to avoid if you have fatty liver
Diet for fatty liver should exclude following drinks and foods:
- Alcohol- Alcohol impairs the ability of the liver to metabolise fats and aggravates fatty liver.
- Sugar- Sugar has zero nutrients. It increases the level of blood sugar and activates production of fat in the liver. Discard sugary drinks, sugary desserts. Minimize adding sugar to coffee and tea.
- Soda with high fructose corn syrup-It is believed that high fructose corn syrup is one of the biggest cause of fatty liver. Do not consume food products containing high fructose corn syrup.
- Trans-fats- Trans-fats causes blood vessel inflammation and raises the level of blood cholesterol.Processed foods contain artificial trans fats.
- Simple carbohydrates with high glycemic index- Simple carbs break down quickly into sugar. Also, they are low in fibre. Limit intake of corn products, white rice, white bread and regular pasta.
Diet for fatty liver is not enough to treat fatty liver. You also need to exercise for 30-45 minutes 5 times in a week.