Fatty liver is now the most common liver disease in the world. There are different types, including NAFLD, which stands for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). They have different mechanisms and consequences but share something in common: a build-up of fat in the liver. This build-up of fat causes inflammation and damage, leading to cirrhosis or liver failure.
But if your liver is becoming infiltrated with fat, and that’s a problem, does it make sense that you keep eating fatty foods? The first guess is that fats are the enemy, but that’s not necessarily the case. You can consume healthy fatty acids, and instead of flaring up inflammation, they will put out the fire. What you need to know is the type of food you should consume.
Diet and nutritional management are essential in treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Moreover, a healthy diet is essential for overall health while improving liver function. When you’re diagnosed with fatty liver, your doctor will probably give you several recommendations, and weight loss will be one of them if you’re overweight or obese. But weight loss will be even more effective if you know what nutrients to consume.
That is the main topic we’re covering in this article. After reading, you will know your dietary options for fatty liver disease and the nutrients you want to seize through the diet.
How is a balanced diet important for fatty liver disease?
Every case is different, but one of the aspects that leads to fatty liver disease is overweight. Excess body fat reflects not only in your belly but also in your visceral fat, which is fat located in and around your abdominal organs. As your body mass index (BMI) increases, the chance of suffering from fatty liver disease will also increase.
As obesity becomes a widespread problem in America and other parts of the world, the most crucial advice to solve fatty liver disease is to change the way you eat and lose weight. Why is that? Because the liver is a central organ in energy and fat metabolism. Fat accumulation elsewhere usually happens when the liver is already overwhelmed with adiposity. In other words, if your body has excess fat, it means your liver started the same process a long time ago.
But just how much weight do you need to lose in order to achieve a considerable change in fatty liver? According to studies, losing 5% of weight can achieve significant results if you are obese. When you lose 7% of weight, the changes start to reflect in the microstructure of the liver. But only 10% of weight loss improves inflammation and the long-term damage of the disease. Of course, these changes will be more noticeable if you achieve weight loss through a healthy diet.
A healthy, balanced diet should include a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish or poultry, beans and legumes, low-fat dairy products, and nuts. These foods are filled with vitamins and minerals and are low in calories. Foods with high-calorie content include sweets, fats, junk food, sugary drinks, processed foods, and alcohol. They worsen your condition and damage other organs and metabolic processes.