According to data released by the National Institute of Health in 2020, globally, the cases of NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) have increased significantly from 391.2 million (1990) to 882.1 million(2017). Currently, the nutritionists are pitching it to be increasing at a rate of 10.9% in the upcoming years. Seems like the myth that ‘alcohol’ is the sole reason for your liver becoming defunct will finally take a backseat. Refined white bread, chips, and soda are equally responsible and have formally found their place in the list of foods to avoid with fatty liver.
Trust the medics; this is just the beginning. That list will increase exponentially, and you will get to look at the same. This article will also give you an insight into a replenishing diet and some other foods that will provide respite from the same. Let’s see what experts have to say –
What are the foods to avoid with fatty liver?
Alcohol, refined and processed foods. That should be enough, right? Apparently not! There’s a list there! Let’s acquaint you with the same –
1. Baked food products
Who doesn’t love cookies, muffins, and cakes? Once in perhaps 6-7 months is fine. But if you are a lover of them, then here’s how it affects your body – it leads to higher levels of triglyceride in your body, which further leads to obesity and is the starting point of a range of liver issues. So, if you are fighting fatty liver already and wish to reverse the medical problem or are looking to heal your liver, you need to restrain this from your diet.
2. Processed sugar
One of the biggest enemies of your liver! You have it in candies, aerated drinks, sodas, packaged food, and even packed fruit juices! Having them once in a while is good enough, but if you are a fan of them and do enjoy munching them a bit too often, you are in for some trouble! They immediately push up your weight, putting you into the obese category, thereby enhancing your chances of accumulating fat in your liver.
For the uninformed, aerated drinks and sodas, along with sugar, have an increased amount of refined carbs (alternatively known as empty calories) that deteriorate your liver’s condition.
3. Deep fried foods
This is one of those foods that you may not be able to give up on, but it also solidifies its rank in the chart of foods to avoid with fatty liver. They are not just high in ‘unhealthy’ fats and calories (your cholesterol levels will hit the roof) but also have a lot of sodium and sugar stacked into them – which categorically is higher than the recommended amount. In the long run, they enhance the fat buildup of the liver and exacerbate the condition (or lead to it if you have not been diagnosed with it as of now).
4. Red meat
This meat, as tasty as it may be, has never been your liver’s friend! Though it is high in protein content (especially beef and pork), the complex protein ingrained in this meat variety makes it difficult for your liver to break down. Therefore, a buildup of proteins occurs, increasing your chances of being diagnosed with fatty liver. If you have already been diagnosed, then this food item must exit your food list. Also, if your vitals are not good, then you need to stop consuming them.
In case you are just reading this and contemplating reducing your intake of red meat, first cut down on your bacon, pepperoni, and sausages!
5. Refined food items
This list includes white bread, pasta, and pizza biscuits – basically items made of white flour. You must understand that these flour-based products eventually convert into refined sugar, which is difficult for your system to process. So, if you are already consuming these for your fatty liver medical condition, it is time to put them on that set of foods to avoid with fatty liver.
6. Packed products
As you are already aware of the negatives associated with packaged food products, it is only natural that this will be on that ‘must-avoid’ list. Canned and packed products are rich in sodium and saturated fat (the unhealthy type). Assuredly, too much salt has never been good news for the liver. Therefore, daily consumption of these could lead not only to fatty liver disease but also heart and kidney issues as well.
In fact, you must also steer clear of canned ‘beneficial’ products, such as – corn soup or sardines, that are randomly sold in supermarkets.
A standard meal plan to follow
In this section, you will get a sample meal plan that you may follow to reverse the fatty liver condition. This is subject to change as per the concerned party’s requirement –
Note: The measurements follow the US metrics
|MEAL PLAN||FOOD ITEMS|
|BREAKFAST||Chia seeds (1 cup)
Green tea or Chamomile tea
Oatmeal or Indian cracked wheat(Porridge) with a handful of chosen veggies like carrots and beans and a cup of berries.
|LUNCH||Vegetable salad with olive oil dressing (1 bowl)
Grilled chicken (1 cup)
A combo of carrots and broccoli with a dash of spinach (or any other vegetable) (1 bowl)
|DINNER||Broccoli or any leafy vegetable (cooked) (1 cup)
Grilled salmon (1 cup)
Quinoa (cooked) (1/2 cup)
|SNACKTIME||Apple/Cucumber sliced (1) with a dash of almond/peanut butter on top of it|
However, if you are uncomfortable bringing this sudden change and wish to stick to a certain alternative diet plan (with a bit of expert advice), there are 2 global diets that are currently making waves.
Alternative diet choices to restrain fatty liver condition
To note down the foods to avoid with fatty liver is not enough. It is crucial to ensure that you replenish your body with something more fruitful. You must have heard of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, especially in regard to its benefits in dealing with NAFLD. Well, apart from that, there’s a new cuisine that has proven its set of benefits for your health – the Japanese diet. Let’s see what these diets have in store –
What does the Mediterranean diet emphasize?
It is categorically a plant-based eating plan that focuses wholly on whole grains, herbs, and chosen spices. Animal protein intake is significantly less, and that is too restricted to fish and seafood. Also, olive oil is prioritized over the others, and avocados, sardines, and nuts are part of the daily diet plan. The key is to add healthy fats, proteins, and carbs to your diet to fulfill the body’s nutritious requirements.
What research has been done on the Japanese diet?
This is a comparatively new addition that nutritionists have been following while curating the chart of foods to avoid with fatty liver. This format categorically focuses on plant-based foods, with legumes and fruits being the primary ingredients. The key here is – harnessing the benefits of phytonutrients that prevent oxidative damage to the liver.
Thus, it has a heavy content of complex carbs like noodles and rice, which are low in glycemic index, along with seafood and seaweed – both of which have the power to reverse the ill effects of non-alcohol-induced fatty liver.
What other changes to make?
In the above-mentioned section, you have a fair idea of the foods to avoid with fatty liver. However, cutting those food products from your diet chart is not enough. You need to bring about some fundamental changes in your lifestyle. Let’s see what the experts have to state –
Manage your weight
Apart from giving up those specific foods, you also need to get into the exercise zone (add cardio and strength training) to manage your weight. Check your BMI levels and ensure that you are always in the ‘healthy’ zone.
Watch your schedule
Lack of sleep, excessive caffeine intake (as mentioned below), and untimely food consumption all amplify the condition.
Are you aware that healthy fats are a necessity for the body?
Yes, for the record, there’s a difference – between ‘healthy’ fats that seafood and Omega 3 rich foods provide and ‘unhealthy’ fats such as refined food provides. So ensure you include those good fats into your diet plan (the Mediterranean and Japanese diets focus on the same).
They are essential for the body as they provide the adequate fiber, iron, and protein content that the body requires. Hence, you need to moderate its portions and include them in the diet.
You must be cautious of the portions that you eat. Too much nutritious food can also exacerbate the fatty liver medical condition.
Fatty liver conditions are becoming more prominent with the disruptive lifestyle adopted by people globally gaining acceptance due to excessive work pressure and lack of time to whip up nutritious food. Though it may only show its effect in terms of enhanced weight gain, in the long run, it affects the body as a whole, making it the breeding ground of a host of lifestyle-related diseases.
So, if you are suffering from NAFLD or have a chance of being detected for it, keep a checklist of the foods to avoid with fatty liver and ensure you take proper care of the same. If you liked this know-how guide, scroll down and get answers to more queries. Also, stay in touch with this website for more exciting health-related updates.
1. What are the symptoms of fatty liver?
Some of the most prominent symptoms are – jaundice, black stools, sudden itching of the skin, dark urine, and vomiting of blood. If you are facing more than two of these symptoms, connect with a medical professional immediately.
2. Is it reversible?
With a nutritionally-charged diet and specific lifestyle changes, you can reverse a fatty liver condition.
3. What is the fastest way to reduce fatty liver?
This is not a problem with a quick fix. It requires long-term changes in the diet plan, avoiding certain food products, and working out regularly.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.