Diet has a vital role to play in maintaining liver health. Although, certain foods can keep your liver healthy, others might be a danger. There are two main types of fatty liver disease, namely alcohol-induced and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease affects a lot of people worldwide and is one of the major causes of liver failure. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is usually seen in those people who are obese or have a sedentary lifestyle, and those who consume more processed foods. One of the best ways to treat or even prevent fatty liver disease, is with diet. As the name says, fatty liver disease implies that you have excess fat in your liver.
In a healthy human body, the liver functions to eliminate toxins and produce bile juice, which is the digestive protein. Fatty liver disease damages the liver and prevents it from functioning as well as it actually should. Most people suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are overweight or obese. When we talk about obesity, it involves an enlarged liver, due to the storage of fat. Therefore, it is also important to majorly cut fat from your diet. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dietician Arushi Gupta, Associate Dietician, Dayanand Medical College and hospital, Ludhiana, about the foods and drinks that should be eaten or avoided to prevent liver damage.
Foods and drinks to avoid to prevent liver damage
As per Dt. Arushi, here are the 5 foods and drinks to avoid to prevent liver damage:
1. Fatty foods
Fried food such as french fries, chips are not good for your liver because they have high amounts of saturated fat which are difficult to digest. So, your liver faces difficulty in processing these foods. Submission of these fats can cause inflammation in the liver over time which eventually converts into cirrhosis, if not taken care of. It is also responsible for rise of bad cholesterol level in the body which may also increase risks of various heart diseases like stroke.
2. Sugary foods
Sugary foods are a major cause of weight gain and obesity in people. And obesity can adversely affect your liver by increasing fat accumulation in liver also known as fatty liver. Most foods that contain sugar and refined carbohydrates (also called empty calories) are not good for our liver. Sugary items like soda and baked foods should also be avoided because they are mostly hollow calories.
Also read: 5 Best Foods To Help Fatty Liver Reversal
If you are facing health issues related to your liver, the first thing you should do is quit is alcohol. When liver tries to digest alcohol, the chemical reaction that takes place can cause damage to liver cells leading to inflammation and cell death. Moreover, alcohol can block absorption of nutrients and cause fibrosis and cirrhosis, which is irreversible. It may lead to jaundice, digestive issues such as vomiting and even liver cancer.
4. Packaged foods
Mostly packaged foods contain a lot of calories and preservatives which are not very good for your liver. One must also watch their weight if they are suffering from any kind of liver issues. Losing weight overall helps to achieve a healthier liver. Most of the packaged food is made from refined flour which also adversely affects the digestion and they also lack in nutrients, so they aren't suggested at all.
5. Red meat
Red meat is no doubt high in protein, but digesting red meats is a tough task for our liver. Breaking down animal proteins is not easy for the liver and can lead to various liver-related issues and excess protein build-up which is also harmful. Including small amount of red meat is fine but it can also increase cholesterol if eaten in excess. According to Dt. Arushi, one should also avoid sodium or salt rich foods and green leafy vegetables as well.
Foods and drinks to eat to avoid liver damage
As per Dt. Arushi, here are the 5 foods and drinks to eat to prevent liver damage:
Any green leafy vegetables are healthy because they contain a lot of fiber and antioxidants, so they are healthy for your gut as well. Broccoli is also considered to reduce fat in liver. And, you can also try other vegetables such as brussels sprouts, kale and microgreens. Including greens in your daily diet may also aid healthy weight loss.
People who include coffee in their daily diet have comparatively lesser liver damage than others because certain researches show that certain amount of caffeine can help liver regulate its enzymes. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks should not be consumed in excess but including cold brews instead of hot brews is always a better option.
Oatmeal is also high in fibre, hence it is an aid in digestion. Oatmeal also helps you in reducing cholesterol and hence lowering the risks of heart diseases and fatty liver. It also decreases the fat absorption in the body. Oat meal is also a low calorie food, hence including it in your routine may help you lose a few pounds.
Almonds are high in healthy fats, and are suggested to consume as they contain certain chemicals that might slowdown the process of inflammation. They also contain good amount of antioxidants which helps our immune system to fight free radicals.These nuts are rich in fiber and vitamin-E, which can help with weight control. All these benefits, further prevent liver damage.
5. Olive oil
Olive oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which increase the amount of good cholesterol and decrease the bad cholesterol. It is also rich in Vitamin E which saves liver from further damage. You can also try using garlic flavored oil which can be easily prepared at home. It can enhance flavour in the food and is excellent for weight control.
So, these were some foods and drinks that should be consumed and avoided to prevent liver damage and maintain overall health. When the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is too high, the liver functions can get disturbed, hence, the main focus should be on taking minimum amounts of alcohol, along with the prevention of certain foods. You can even talk to your dietician regarding a diet schedule that is in favour of your liver health. Consuming everything in a limit is still fine, but the moment you cross this limit, you are risking the health of your liver.
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