Fatty liver disease and your diet.
What is fatty liver disease?
Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in your liver. There are two main types:
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease also called alcoholic steatohepatitis
What is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?
NAFLD is a type of fatty liver disease that is not related to heavy alcohol use. There are two kinds:
- Simple fatty liver, in which you have fat in your liver but little or no inflammation or liver cell damage. Simple fatty liver typically does not get bad enough to cause liver damage or complications.
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in which you have inflammation and liver cell damage, as well as fat in your liver. Inflammation and liver cell damage can cause fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver. NASH may lead to cirrhosis of liver and cancer.
One of the main ways to treat fatty liver disease, regardless of type, is with diet. As the name suggests, fatty liver disease means you have too much fat in your liver. In a healthy body, the liver helps to remove toxins and produces bile, the digestive protein. Fatty liver disease damages the liver and prevents it from working as well as it should.
There are certain foods
1. Coffee to lower abnormal liver enzymes
Studies have shown that coffee drinkers with fatty liver disease have less liver damage than those who don’t drink this caffeinated beverage. Caffeine appears to lower the amount of abnormal liver enzymes of people at risk for liver diseases.
2. Leafy vegetables to prevent fat accumulation
Eating more greens, like spinach, Brussels sprouts, can also help with general weight loss. Weight loss leads to mobilization of liver fat.
3. Tofu reduces fat buildup
A University of Illinois study on rats found that soy protein, which is contained in foods like tofu, may reduce fat buildup in the liver. Plus, tofu is low in fat and high in protein.
4. Oily fish can reduce infammation
Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation in liver and protects from fat related liver injury.
5. High fiber grains
Carbohydrates from whole grains like oatmeal give your body energy. Their fiber content also fills you up, which can help you maintain your weight.
6. Nuts to improve the liver
Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids that people with fatty liver disease who eat walnuts have improved liver function tests.
7. Avocado to help protect the liver
Avocados are high in healthy fats, and research suggests they contain chemicals that might slow liver damage. They’re also rich in fiber, which can help with weight control.
8. Milk and other low-fat dairy to protect from damage
Dairy is high in whey protein, which may protect the liver from further damage.
9. Sunflower seeds for antioxidants
These nutty-tasting seeds are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that may protect the liver from further damage.
10. Olive oil
This healthy oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s healthier for cooking than margarine, butter, or Ghee . Olive oil helps to lower liver enzyme levels and control weight.
11. Garlic to help reduce body weight
This herb not only adds flavor to food, but experimental studies also show that garlic powder may help reduce body weight and fat in people with fatty liver disease.
12. Green tea for less fat absorption
Data supports that green tea can help interfere with fat absorption, but the results aren’t conclusive yet that whether green tea can reduce fat storage in the liver and improve liver function. But green tea also has many benefits, from lowering cholesterol to aiding with sleep.
Thus if you have fatty liver disease you need to be careful with what you eat. There are natural food that can help you taking care of your liver without compromising your taste buds.
Dr. Rakesh Rai . MS, FRCS, MS, ASTS Fellow.
Consultant HPB & Transplant Surgeon