Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Diet: Foods to eat and avoid
In a healthy body, the liver performs several important tasks, varying from producing proteins, cholesterol, and bile to storing vitamins, minerals, and even carbohydrates. The fatty liver disease weakens the liver and hinders it from working as well as it should, but lifestyle changes, including eating a whole-food-based diet, can prevent it from getting worse.
The primary treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD) is weight loss, through a combination of exercise, and healthy eating.
Foods to eat and avoid if you are a non-alcoholic fatty liverdisease patient
1. Eat your non-starchy and starchy vegetables to avoid fat build-up
Compounds present in spinach and other non-starchy vegetables likeefo, ewedu, bitter leaf, broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, and cauliflower may help fight fatty liver disease.
A 2021 study on Spinach consumption and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among adults, conducted by Ebrahim Mokhtari, Hossein Farhadnejad, and Parvin Mirmiran, found that eating spinach particularly lowered the risk of NAFLD, possibly due to the nitrate and distinct polyphenols found in the leafy green. Interestingly enough, the study focused on raw spinach, as cooked spinach did not have the same strong results. This could be because cooking spinach (and other leafy greens) may result in lowered polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity.
Starchy vegetables like sweet potato, yam, cocoyam, and water yamare super healthy for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients too.
2. Stay away from added sugars
Sugary foods and drinks such as ice creams, desserts, cakes, donuts, biscuits, candies, cookies, sodas, energy drinks, and packed fruit juices are loaded with added sugars and they increase fat-build up in the liver and also your blood sugar levels.
3. Eat Beans and soy
A 2019 study found diets rich in legumes specifically helped lower the likelihood of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NFALD). Both beans and soy have proven to reduce the risk of NAFLD.
A scientific study on Food and Nutrition in the Pathogenesis of Liver Damage, conducted by Andrea Mega, Luca Marzi, and Annarosa Floreani, points out that legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and peas are not only nutritionally dense foods, but also contain resistant starches that help improve gut health. Consumption of legumes may even help lower blood glucose and triglycerides in individuals living with obesity. In addition,
also, tofu is a low-fat food that serves as a good source of protein, making it an ideal choice if you’re trying to limit your fat consumption.
4. Reduce your salt intake
Eating too much salt can increase the risk of NAFLD. It’s recommended to limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day. People who have high blood pressure should limit salt intake to no more than 1,500 mg per day.
5. Eat nuts to help reduce inflammation
A diet rich in nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and cashew nuts isassociated with reduced inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and a lower prevalence of NAFLD.
A large study in China, on the association between nut consumption and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, found that increased nut consumption was significantly associated with a lowered risk of NAFLD and research found that people with fatty liver disease who eat walnuts have improved liver function tests.
6. No alcohol
Alcohol does not do the body any good. Abstinence is the best.
7. Avoid trans fat, saturated fat, and processed high-fat meat. Fried foods are high in fat and calories, and should be avoided.Margarine, processed baked goods, fried foods, pastries, pork, sausage, red meat, full-fat cheese, and packaged foods are not healthy for a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patient.
8. Avoid refined carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and pasta are not healthy foods for NAFLD patients. White flour is highly processed, and items made from it can raise your blood sugar more than whole grains, due to a lack of fiber.
9. Eat herbs and spices
Herbs like basil, sage, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemongrass, and lavender are amazing to eat when it comes to protecting the liver. They're a good source of healthy polyphenols. An additional benefit: they help you reduce your salt usage in many recipes. Cinnamon, curry powder and cumin are good ones to try, too.
10. Eat garlic to improve the overall health
This vegetable does not only enhance your food, but small experimental studies also show that garlic powder supplements may help reduce body weight and fat in people with fatty liver disease.
A recent 2020 study on patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was conducted, and these patients took 800 mg of garlic powder per day for 15 weeks and saw reductions in liver fat and improved enzyme levels.
11. Eat lots of vibrant fruits like grapes, oranges, apples, lemons, berries, etc.
12. Eat your whole grains like oat, millet, brown rice, guinea corn, corn, 100% stone-ground wheat, barley, bulgur, farro, etc.
13. Eat healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocado.
My Short Bio:
Daniella Obuwan Oshiame is a Lover of "Cats" and all things "Black & Vegan". She is a Naturalist /Vegan-Health Consultant, who enjoys writing Health & Nutrition articles and developing Vegan recipes.
Linkedin: Daniella Obuwan Oshiame