What Foods to Avoid With a Fatty Liver

Knowing what foods you should avoid is crucial if you are dealing with fatty liver disease.  If you've been diagnosed with this condition, you'll want to tailor your diet so as to slow or even reverse the damage done to your liver. Fatty liver disease can be caused by many different factors, some of which are obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, rapid weight loss, high cholesterol, fasting and gastric bypass surgery. The goal of a fatty liver treatment diet is to slowly lose or maintain weight by eating a healthy diet.

Foods to Avoid if You Have a Fatty Liver:

  • Alcohol: While red wine is great for your heart, it's still disputed whether wine is good or bad for you if you have a fatty liver. Some doctors say red wine might help your liver if you keep consumption to less than one glass a day; other doctors say even that small amount of red wine is bad for your liver. What doctors do agree on is that all other forms of alcohol are definitely bad for your liver if you have a fatty liver. With your liver already in jeopardy, you'll need to protect your liver from any damage from alcohol by abstaining except for a very small amount on special occasions. If you need help abstaining, talk to your doctor about support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Foods high in saturated fat: It's fine to consume small amounts of heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, but you'll want to limit even these oils. The reason why is because part of fatty liver disease problem is your liver is having trouble breaking down fat, which is why the fat is accumulating in your liver, causing the very problem you are trying to avoid. Use heart-healthy fats sparingly, and avoid saturated fats altogether. That means no more fried chicken, donuts or french fries, but you can sauté chicken and vegetables in olive oil and garlic or bake potato wedges sprayed with a little Pam and sprinkled with rosemary, salt and pepper.
  • Highly processed foods: Goals for people with fatty liver disease include losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight and controlling diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions. This means you'll want to watch your glycemic index, which is a way of measuring how certain foods affect your blood sugar level. Highly processed foods, such as snack-sized pastry products, pancakes or macaroni and cheese are all going make your blood sugar level spike. Replace highly processed foods with whole grains, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits as often as you can. Instead of instant oatmeal, cook the real, old fashioned oatmeal; the extra fiber in the old fashioned oatmeal will slow the rate at which your body absorbs the sugar, keeping your blood sugar level relatively even.
  • Sugary drinks: You may not think of fruit juice as a sugary drink, but think that water and fructose combination is one full of natural sugar.  Avoid sodas, fruit juices and other high sugar beverages, such as lemonades limeades. Unlike whole fruit, which has fiber to slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, these drinks make your glycemic index skyrocket, which is terrible for anyone trying to control or prevent diabetes, which is linked to fatty liver disease.
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