Fatty liver, excess fat within liver cells, is caused by a wide range of factors including alcohol consumption, obesity, diabetes, medications, or diseases that affect the metabolism of fat. If untreated, fatty liver can lead to more serious conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver. Your health care provider will prescribe a treatment plan that includes medication and lifestyle changes. The following dietary considerations may help to slow the disease's progress or reverse it as part of a total wellness program designed with your health care provider.
Protein is required to repair liver cell damage and prevent the build-up of fat within liver cells. However, a diseased liver is unable to process extra protein. These excess proteins are treated as waste products by the liver, metabolise into ammonia, and cause additional damage. Consuming excess protein also forces your liver to work harder, causing additional stress on the organ. Reduce overall consumption of red meats, replacing red meat with lean proteins such as fish or soy-based products. Eliminate meats with a high saturated fat and cholesterol content such as bacon to reduce the risk of elevated blood pressure and cholesterol. These conditions can aggravate existing liver problems.
A high fibre diet rich in green leafy vegetables is recommended for fatty liver patients. Vegetables that specifically promote liver health include cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. These assist in the detoxification of the liver and blood. Do not overcook these vegetables to avoid the accompanying bitter taste and foul odour caused by overcooking. Artichokes strengthen the cells that line the liver and also help to produce bowel movements and clean out the digestive tract.
Fruits containing water-soluble fibres such as apples and oranges should be included as a regular part of a liver-healthy diet. Fruits containing high antioxidant properties also help to heal your liver while detoxifying your blood. These include plums, prunes, dark berries, oranges and grapefruit. Pectin in apples also helps to expel metals from your digestive tract, lessening the liver's workload.
Switch your current menu from high glycemic refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and noodles to include low glycemic whole grains, including brown rice, flax seeds, oatmeal, barley and 100 per cent whole grain breads. Whole grain foods help to keep your bowels active and reduce stress on the liver.
Water not only keeps your system hydrated but is necessary for proper liver function by flushing toxins that have been broken down by the liver. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water each day. Avoid sugared beverages and those with artificial sugars. These can dehydrate your system and are counterproductive to the benefits of water. Alcohol is also toxic to the liver and should be completely avoided.
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