Dietary Approaches for Managing Fatty Liver: What to Eat and What to Avoid
“Healthy Liver Leads to a Healthy Life”
The Liver is the largest and most important gland in the body. It helps digest food, stores energy and removes toxins. Excessive accumulation of fat in liver cells and can cause a condition called Fatty Liver Disease.
Fatty Liver Disease is of two types: -
- Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (AFLD)
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Over time, excessive fat accumulation can lead to liver inflammation, which leads to liver damage and ultimately can end up in liver failure. Since the liver is involved in some of the important metabolic processes of the body, fat accumulation may lead to dysfunction of the liver, which can lead to further hampering of various bodily functions such as producing of proteins, Cholesterol, and bile for storing fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and carbohydrate. Break down of toxins like Alcohol, medications and natural byproducts of metabolism and maintaining good health may also get hampered.
Diet plays a significant role in maintaining liver health. Many foods contain active compounds that have been shown to help improve liver enzymes, prevent fat accumulation, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
The DASH diet, and Mediterranean diets are considered healthy liver diets that help reduce fatty liver, which consist of whole grains such as Oats, Ragi, Jowar, Bajra, Quinoa, Oats, Pulses, Fresh fruits and vegetables and Healthy fats. True Elements has a variety of whole grain options that one can choose from.
Foods to include for Fatty Liver:
- Whole grains: Whole grains, including whole wheat, Oats, Daliya, Ragi, Jowar, Bajra, and Quinoa, are complex carbohydrates rich in fibre and have been associated with a reduced risk of NAFLD-related diseases. Choosing whole grains over processed carbohydrates can reduce liver inflammation, thereby reducing insulin resistance, improving gut health, and lowering triglycerides, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) in the blood) and VLDL (Very Low-Density Lipoprotein) levels to improve and lower, which may help improve, the absorption of micronutrients to improve overall liver health. True Elements Rolled Oats is rich in fibre and hence, a must in our diet.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, Tuna and Sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts and oil seeds such as flax seed, chia seeds, walnuts, and almonds may benefit NAFLD patients by reducing liver fat, increasing protective HDL cholesterol, and lowering triglyceride levels. True Elements Flax Seeds and True Elements Chia Seeds are high in Omega-3 Fatty acids and may support Fatty Liver Disease.
- Garlic: Supplementation of Allin (active compound in garlic) may help patients with fatty liver lose weight and fat and improve liver enzyme levels
Foods to Avoid for Fatty Liver:
Alcohol: It is one of the major contributor for acute and chronic liver diseases. Alcohol consumption should be completely stopped.
Sugary Drinks: These should not be included in fatty liver diet as it can further increase the fat buildup around the liver leading to worsening of condition.
Salty foods: Salty foods are accompanied by higher calorie and saturated fats and hence should be restricted
Processed foods: These foods are rich are loaded with calories, Sodium and preservatives which are not considered good food for liver and should be completely count down from the diet.
Meat: Beef, pork and deli meats are high in saturated fatty acids and cannot be included in healthy liver diet.
Authored By: Dt. Shaikh Sana Parveen
Clinical Dietitian, CDE