How to Cure Fatty Liver | 5 Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Liver
Fatty liver disease affects millions of people worldwide. Thankfully, the liver is so unique, it has the ability to repair itself.
Here's what you need to know about fatty liver, including food items you need to get rid of, so you can address this condition.
5 Things You Should Avoid to Reverse Fatty Liver Disease
What Is Fatty Liver Disease?
Your liver helps in processing the nutrients you get from food and drinks. Additionally, it removes toxic substances from your blood.
It's normal to have small amounts of fat in your liver. However, when too much fat already accumulates in your liver cells, it can pose a health risk and lead to fatty liver.
Fatty liver is also called “hepatic steatosis.” It has two main types:
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD): From the name itself, this disease develops in people who drink alcohol excessively.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): Even if you don't drink too much alcohol, it's still possible to have fatty liver. In fact, this is the most common type, as it affects at least 25% of the global population.
What Causes Fatty Liver?
Several factors cause the buildup of fat in your liver cells. Drinking a lot of alcohol is an example.
This is because alcohol can damage your liver. When this happens, your liver wouldn't be able to break down fat properly. This then leads to fat buildup.
However, for those who are non-alcoholic, fatty liver disease may be caused by your diet. Fortunately, you can treat this condition by altering your diet, making it healthy and sustainable.
Other factors that may play a role in developing this disease include:
- High blood sugar
- Certain genes
- High levels of fat in the blood
- Excess belly fat
- Effects from some medications
- Rapid weight loss
- Exposure to certain toxins
Fatty Liver Symptoms
In most cases, the fatty liver doesn't show noticeable signs and symptoms until it develops to cirrhosis or liver failure. You might not even realize that you already have a fatty liver.
However, you might feel pain or discomfort in the upper right area of your belly. Other symptoms may include:
- Elevated triglyceride, liver enzymes, and insulin levels
- Feeling of tiredness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
Keep in mind to consult your doctor and undergo a series of physical exams and blood tests. This way, fatty liver can be diagnosed at an early stage when it's still reversible.
Myths about Fatty Liver
You may have browsed the internet and read some information about fatty liver. However, some of these won't help in reversing this condition.
Some misconceptions are:
- Eat a low-fat diet: You may want to avoid fats to treat fatty liver, but remember that there are what we call “healthy fats.” This type doesn't have anything to do with keeping fat in your liver. In fact, eating “good fats” won't make you fat and won't cause fatty liver.
- Avoid fried foods: There are healthy oils available in the market to cook with, thus eating fried food does not automatically mean it's not good for your liver. What is usually unhealthy is the breading or coating you use for fried dishes, but then again there are healthy alternatives to this.
Foods to Avoid to Get Rid of Fatty Liver Disease
You must avoid different types of sugar, such as sucrose.
Sucrose is sugar made of glucose and fructose. Glucose is metabolized in your body and may lead to an insulin spike. Meanwhile, fructose is metabolized in your liver. Your body absorbs fructose through the portal vein that goes to your liver.
With your insulin already spiked due to glucose load, the fructose is then converted into a triglyceride, which stays in your liver. This is why you have to stop eating lots of sugar in all its forms.
2. Soft Drinks
Your soft drinks may be sweetened with either table sugar or corn sugar. However, either one of these sugar forms is terrible for your liver. With this, you must minimize your soft drinks intake, including sugar-free and artificially sweetened alternatives.
3. Fruit Juices
You may be wondering, shouldn't you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables? So why must you avoid fruit juices?
Yes, eating fruits occasionally isn't a big deal. Having apples or a cup of berries is actually healthy. There's plenty of fiber in fruits that slow down the absorption of glucose and fructose.
However, you may not want to make fruits a part of your diet, particularly as a dessert or a drink. Fruit juices are actually concentrated forms of the liquid sugar that you can find in fruits.
For instance, a glass of orange juice contains fructose from four to five oranges, which is way too much fructose.
Keep in mind that you need to avoid sugar. Therefore, you must set limitations as to your fruit intake, especially when it's in the form of juices and smoothies.
Grains are full of carbohydrates, and carbohydrates are long chains of sugar. Therefore, since you need to avoid sugar, you must also avoid carbohydrates.
Stop eating grains, including the following:
Don't worry. There are other alternatives that are still good sources of carbohydrates. Instead of grains, you may take starchy vegetables, like squash and potatoes.
You may also try a grain-free diet. You may opt for protein-rich products, such as seafood, fish, and meat, as well as dairy products, like yogurt, milk, and cheese.
5. Industrial Seed Oils
These types of oils contain a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. This proportion can cause inflammation to your liver, as well as to your other body parts.
Not all omega-6 are dangerous to your health. However, if you're getting more omega-6 than omega-3, that's when the problem might occur.
Examples of industrial seed oils are:
- Peanut oil
- Soybean oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Corn oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
If you're frying your food in these types of oils, you have to stop immediately. Instead, use real fat or plant-based oil when frying. Great alternatives are olive oil, coconut oil, and animal oils, such as tallow, bacon grease, lard, and butter.
Here’s an infographic guide. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
Do you. know of any other ways to reverse a fatty liver? Please share with us in the comment section below!
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