Your body can store fat in many regions, but too much fat storage in your liver is a sign of fatty liver disease. This build-up of fats in the liver can lead to severe complications. Your diet plays a significant role in managing fatty liver disease.
There are two main types: alcohol-induced fatty liver (caused by excess alcohol consumption) and nonalcoholic fatty liver (occurs even if you’ve never had a drink).
Regardless of the type, a low-fat diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fibre will help overcome it. So start by following a fatty liver diet, avoiding alcohol, enough water intake, regular exercise and losing extra weight to combat and reverse fatty liver disease.
This article describes a diet for fatty liver, including what to eat and avoid and the necessary safety measures to follow.
Fatty Liver Diet – An Overview
A fatty liver diet aims to restrict your daily calorie consumption to promote weight loss. According to a study, losing weight is one of the most effective strategies to eliminate the fat stored in the liver. A modest weight loss of 7%–10% of your body weight can reduce the amount of fat in your liver.
Diet and lifestyle modifications are primary treatments for both types of fatty liver diseases. Regarding diet, a fatty liver diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Furthermore, portion control is another crucial component of any diet for fatty liver disease.
Some experts also believe that the Mediterranean diet can improve fatty liver. However, apart from modifying your dietary habits, exercise, supplements, and proper sleep can help reverse fatty liver disease.
The HealthifyMe Note
Rather than just avoiding or adding random foods here and there, you need to make strategic and lasting changes to your diet. The most critical part of these dietary changes is that they should be sustainable. The best way to ensure significant resolution or even cure is to model your eating habits after consulting a nutritionist.
Foods to Eat if You Have Fatty Liver
Everyone should follow a balanced diet, but those with fatty liver disease need specific modifications in their balanced diet. Therefore, you must be extremely careful about your food choices. Some of the recommended food choices for this liver disease include:
Legumes are a complex carbohydrate and a vegetarian source of protein and fibre that help you feel full and lessen significant blood sugar spikes. They contain little fat, too. Chickpeas, lentils, and beans are some options to try.
Protein is essential for building muscles and helping you recover from muscle damage. In addition, lean protein has fewer calories and saturated fat than higher-fat proteins, which can aid in weight loss.
- Other skinless white meat
- Paneer (low-fat)
Unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are among the good fats, and they are present in avocado, olive oil, and fatty fish, including sardines, tuna, and salmon.
According to a study, eating meals like oatmeal that are high in whole grains and fibre can lower your chance of developing fatty liver disease. Always opt for a lower glycemic index and fibre-rich grains, such as
- Whole oats
- Brown rice
Sweet potatoes, turnips, and yams are complex carbohydrates beneficial in preventing liver illness.
Non-starchy veggies, which are high in satisfying fibre and low in calories, should form the foundation of most meals. Some of the vegetables are:
Nuts and Seeds
Choose raw, unsalted nuts and seeds such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, and pistachios high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Some healthy options include fruits like berries, kiwis, apples, oranges, raw papaya, and lemons. People who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to maintain healthier weights and lose weight more quickly.
Low-fat dairy such as low-fat kefir and Greek yoghurt are some that you can include in the diet.
Have as much water as much as possible over sugary and high-calorie alternatives. You should drink between a half ounce and an ounce of water for every pound of body weight daily to avoid the adverse effects of dehydration on the liver.
Preventing Fatty Liver – Foods to Avoid
The foods to avoid are those that lead to weight gain, or spike blood sugar levels, such as:
- Refined carbohydrates, including white bread, white rice, bagels, white spaghetti, and processed packed/boxed goods
- Margarine, fried foods, processed baked products, high-fat meat, full-fat cheese, and foods high in trans and saturated fat
- Rice cakes, chips, and other refined snacks
- Sugary drinks: sports drinks, soda, and juice
- Alcoholic beverages
- Sweets like full-fat desserts, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and doughnuts
- Organ meats, red meat, and processed meats like sausages, hot dogs, and liver
Sample Diet Plan for Fatty Liver Disease
The length of time for reversing fatty liver often depends on how long it takes you to lose weight safely. It also depends on how consistent you are with diet and exercise changes. Dedicated HealthifyMe coaches can suggest the best-suited plan for you after understanding your body type, food preferences, and medical history.
Here is a sample one-day diet chart for your reference.
Breakfast (8:00-8:30 AM)
- Vegetable oats upma: 1 cup
- Low-fat milk: 1/2 cup
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30 AM)
- Green gram sprouts: 1 cup
Lunch (2:00-2:30 PM)
- Brown Rice: 1 cup or Chapati: 2
- Dal: ½ cup
- Palak Sabzi: ½ cup
Evening (4:00-4:30 PM)
- Seasonal Fruit: 1
- Green tea: 1 cup
Dinner (8:00-8:30 PM)
- Mix Dal Cheela: 2 or Grilled Low-fat Paneer: 100 g
- Green chutney: 1 Tbsp
- Salad: 1/2 cup
Additional Methods to Treat Fatty Liver Disease
These lifestyle changes, together with dietary adjustments, can aid in the recovery of fatty liver disease.
Increase Your Workout Time
You may control the state of your liver and lose weight by combining exercise and food. Try to include aerobic exercises in your workout plan for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. If you find this intimidating, split the sessions into smaller increments, such as four 15-minute walks.
Sleep More and Better
Quality sleep is vital for everyone, but people with liver diseases may require it even more. Every night, you should sleep for seven to nine hours. Try gradually going to bed a few minutes earlier instead of trying to alter your schedule in one go.
Reduce Blood Lipid Levels
Watch how much sugar and saturated fat you consume to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Take Measures to Control Diabetes
Fatty liver disease and diabetes usually coexist. Both issues are manageable with diet and exercise. If your blood sugar is too high, use medicine to lower it.
The HealthifyMe Note
The three primary forms of treatment for fatty liver disease are weight loss, dietary modifications, and exercise. The healthiest diet for fatty liver disease includes enough fibre and a balance of foods from each food category. In addition, it reduces trans fat intake and boosts whole grains, fresh produce, and veggies intake.
The secret to preventing and treating fatty liver is adhering to a diet rich in green vegetables, low-fat dairy, low-sugar fruits, lean meats, and whole grains.
As you work to achieve these dietary adjustments, focus on goal-setting, behaviour modification, and exercise because they all play a vital role in keeping a healthy liver and overall well-being. You can reverse fatty liver with persistence and consistency.