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How do I Choose the Best Diet for Fatty Liver?

By B. Schreiber
Updated Jan 26, 2024
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To choose the best diet for fatty liver, it's important to understand how dietary choices contribute to the condition. A number of dietary decisions are likely to blame for the prevalence of fatty liver disease, particularly in developed countries. These include a high-calorie diet, particularly one rich in refined carbohydrates and saturated and trans fat and low in plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Choosing the best diet for fatty liver involves opting for a more plant-based way of eating that restores nutrients and lowers carbohydrate and fat intake. Such dietary changes can actually help reverse fatty liver disease.

Fatty liver disease, also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), occurs when the cells in the liver accumulate too much fat, which can damage healthy liver tissue and impair the liver's overall function. This build-p of fat, called steatosis, may have a number of causes, some of which are unknown. Still, it is nearly certain that a diet high in junk and fast foods and low in plants almost certainly contributes to fatty liver. Other triggers include the so-called lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, type II diabetes, and conditions like high triglycerides and cholesterol.

The frequency of fatty liver has been associated with the Western eating habits that are common in North America, Great Britain, and Australia. Typically, these diets are high in processed and fast foods that contain large amounts of saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and other added calories. Such foods are also partly to blame for associated conditions like heart disease and unhealthy weight gain. Reversing this trend is one step to take in choosing the best diet for fatty liver. To help reverse fatty liver disease, consume a diet that eliminates processed and junk foods and the unhealthy calories that come with them.

A plant-based diet is helpful for fatty liver. This is because a great variety of naturally occurring compounds present in different kinds of fats may help reverse fatty liver and prevent further fat buildup. Plants are also low in fat, particularly saturated fats, and don't contain the additive trans fat present in many processed foods. Also, a diet containing few alcoholic beverages will lower caloric intake, give your liver a break, and prevent more serious liver diseases like cirrhosis. With these considerations in mind, choose a diet based around foods you actually like to eat, which will make it much easier to maintain.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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