A good diet for reducing a fatty liver can be implemented to stop and/or reverse excessive fat in the liver without keeping you from enjoying many of the foods you love. Like a healthy diet for the average person, moderation and balance are the keys.
Although you will need to find more healthy alternatives for some of the things you eat and keep a closer eye on your food consumption, you’ll still find a multitude of delicious liver friendly recipes to satisfy your taste buds.
Fatty liver disease (FLD) generally falls into one of two categories based on its cause. When alcohol consumption is the main culprit of excess fat in the liver, the disease is classified as alcoholic fatty liver (AFL). If other factors such as a high fat diet, obesity, diabetes milletus, metabolic disorders, hyperlipidemia, or hypertension are the culprit, then the disease is classified as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
AFL is generally considered easier to treat because of its singular cause. Often asymptomatic and benign in early stages, both types can become fatal in the form of cirrhosis, liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, and total liver failure if left unchecked.
However, when caught early, simple changes in diet and exercise aimed at losing weight is often all that is needed to slow or even reverse the condition. Fat reduction and weight loss must be done gradually to keep the body from going into an internal state similar to starvation.
When this happens, the body makes up for the lost fat by rapidly producing fatty acids which worsens fatty liver. This is why drastic measures of weight loss such as gastric bypass surgery are not often recommended for FLD patients.
A diet plan for fatty liver disease should focus on reducing fat consumption to no more than 20-30% of the daily caloric intake. This means if you’re eating a 1500 calorie diet, then no more than 450 of those calories should come from fats, especially saturated fats. Replace high fat foods with high fiber foods.
The main energy source for FLD patients should come from complex carbohydrates such as those found in brown rice and pasta. These should make up approximately 60-70% of the overall diet. In our example above, this means 900-1050 of the 1500 calorie diet should come from complex carbohydrates.
Avoid foods containing only simple carbohydrates. These are found in things like candy and other sweets. Simple carbohydrates break down quickly and are used too fast by the body. Once these carbohydrates are used up, the body starts feeling starved and fatty acid production starts to take place in the liver. As we mentioned earlier, this is an undesirable condition for fatty liver disease patients.