Fatty liver disease, the accumulation of excess fat in your liver, refers to a group of conditions that may not damage the liver initially but can progress into severe liver scarring and cirrhosis. Your liver performs the essential metabolic function of filtration and detoxification of any substances you eat, drink, breathe or absorb. Fatty liver disease can impede this function, but dietary changes may help you manage fatty liver disease and potentially reverse or inhibit further damage.
1. Limit Fat and Cholesterol
Animal-based foods supply you with protein to maintain healthy tissue and fat for energy storage and nutrient absorption. Excess consumption of foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol can complicate fatty liver causing disease progression. Replace fatty red meat and whole dairy foods with two servings of fish per week, baked poultry and low-fat dairy. Avoid fried foods, read nutrition labels for saturated fat contents and, if you must eat red meat, limit consumption to a few times a month instead of weekly. Consult your health care team for exact recommendations of daily fat, cholesterol and protein based on your specific condition.
2. Eat more fruit and vegetable and grains
Carbohydrate-containing foods are your main source of caloric energy and also provide you with vitamins, minerals and fiber necessary for controlling further liver damage. A damaged liver has difficulty converting stored energy in the form of glycogen from carbohydrates; therefore, you may need a specific amount of servings daily to get an adequate energy supply. Choose fresh fruits such as apricots and citrus; raw or steamed vegetables including greens, broccoli or asparagus; and whole grains such as wheat or bran products. Consult your physician for serving recommendations based on your fatty liver condition.
3. Limit sodium consumption to prevent abdominal fluid buildup and high blood pressure, notes the National Liver Foundation.
4. Abstain from alcohol use, which further progresses liver disease damage.
5. Consume small meal portions frequently throughout the day to combat fatigue associated with fatty liver.
6. Limit junk snack foods with added sugar, sodium and fat. Consult your physician to discuss safe weight-loss options and use of vitamin supplements.
Have you adapted your diet to suit your liver condition? If yes, what exactly have you changed? Who helps you with choosing the right foods - your doctor, a dietitician, your friends/family, or are you doing research yourself on the Internet?