Diet and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

Better nutrition can be an effective treatment for non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis (NAFLD) and its more severe form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Concerning patients who are overweight or obese, their goal is a loss of 7 to 10% of body weight. Two ways of achieving this are recommended to practice.


Change your eating habits

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The first step in weight loss consists of a change in eating habits with adapted macronutrient intakes. The traditional Mediterranean diet has many beneficial effects on overall health. Coffee consumption (especially from the electric coffee machine) is known to have properties that can fight steatosis, or even hepatic fibrosis.

Calorie Reduction

It is necessary to reduce the caloric intake from 500 to 1000 kcal to lose between 500 and 1000g/week. The goal is to lose between 7 and 10% of your weight. This is a long-term effort that must be coupled with an increase in physical activity.

Foods to consume and to avoid

You should eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day. Coffee is not restricted as part of the fight against steatosis.

However, patients are advised to avoid sodas and foods rich in industrial fructose. Alcohol consumption should also remain below the usual recommendations (30 g/day for men and 20 g/day for women).

In case of severe fibrosis or cirrhosis, it is recommended to stop drinking any alcoholic beverages.

Increase physical activity


The second aspect of weight management is to increase physical activity (aerobic or resistance physical activity) and to combat physical inactivity. Increased physical activity improves hepatic steatosis even in the absence of weight loss.

It is recommended to exercise between 2 and 4 hours a week in three to five sessions, such as brisk walk or cycle. The effort must be moderate to intense. Resistance exercises are also effective. To fight sedentary lifestyles, these efforts must become a real habit for the patient. Therefore, you should focus on an activity you enjoy and change your lifestyle.


French Association for Continuing Medical Education in Hepato-Gastro-Entérologie

Last updated: 20/06/2017

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