A Healthy Diet for Your Liver

Young lady eating Yoghourt with Fruits

Healthy Diet for Your Liver

Diet in liver disease is a very controversial topic. Perhaps the most important aspect in the fight against liver disease is a proper diet to avoid harmful foods.

A proper diet is also especially important because most of the food ingested is processed by the liver. Therefore this diet protects the liver from working too hard and helps it to function as well as possible. For this, we need to understand some basics in terms of nutrition.

The liver is involved in the metabolism of all foods. Metabolism is the conversion of food into energy. Changing the diet by increasing or decreasing proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins may further affect the function of the diseased liver, especially its protein and vitamin production.

Daily nutritional diet will be subject to the following (percentages are the total number of calories):

1. Carbohydrates (mostly complex carbohydrates, such as the pasta and whole grains) – 60%, 70%.

-The carbohydrates and fat help preserve the protein in the body and prevent protein breakdown.

If you eat too few carbohydrates, this usually means that too much protein and fat consumed, which puts pressure on the liver because it has to convert into energy, which is a difficult process even for a healthy liver. This is one reason why some people with chronic hepatitis always feel tired: because of improper diet.

-Excess carbohydrates can lead to poor absorption of vitamins and minerals.

2. Protein (from vegetable and lean meat without fat) – 20%, 30%.

-A person with a severely damaged liver may need to eat less protein than this, and may even be limited to small quantities of special nutritional supplements.

However, avoid limiting protein too much, however, because it can lead to malnutrition.

-Although many proteins are associated with animal products, they are also found in plants.

-When you are choosing animal protein you should choose lean meats, fish, chicken or turkey. Red meat, even when lean meat, has a high fat content.

3. Polyunsaturated Fats (those from fish oil, sunflower, corn, cotton-seed, etc.) – 10%, 20%.

Saturated fats are more harmful than unsaturated fats. What explains this? Most saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature, therefore, have the ability to “clog” arteries and increase blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats that are liquid at room temperature and do not do that. Therefore we recommend diets low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats.

4. Vitamin Supplements (especially B-complex vitamins).

5. Sodium (1000-1500 mg sodium/day) – if you are retaining fluid.

6. Water – 8, 12 cups daily -Try to avoid chlorinated water (tap water).

Foods to Avoid

-Margarine and other hydrogenated fats; refined salt; sugar, chocolate and other foods that contain high concentrations of sweeteners; refined oils; baking powder; cheese; fast food (hamburgers, pizza, hotdog), fried or smoked food; fizzy drinks; alcohol.

-Also to protect the liver, should be removed from the diet following: antibiotics; artificial sweeteners; food additives; pesticides; chlorinated water (tap water).

Recommended Foods

-Rice or barley malt; fruits; carrots; unrefined sea salt; vegetables juices; beef; veal; fish; poultry; fresh milk or fresh dairy products, without additives (yogurt, cheese); organic foods; aloe Vera; green tea (contains antioxidants that help liver function); garlic and onions (contain chemicals that inhibit the production of substances that cause cancer).

General Tips

Instead of three meals copies a day, try smaller meals more quantitatively based on complex carbohydrates.
Avoid fried foods or smoked foods. Meat can be consumed boiled, baked, grilled or cooked.
Eggs should not be consumed in excess. We recommend an egg every 2-3 days.

Sample Menu

  • Breakfast
    • 1 orange
    • Cooked oatmeal with milk and sugar
    • 1 slice of whole-wheat toast
    • 2 teaspoons of margarine
    • Strawberry jam
    • Coffee or tea
  • Lunch
    • 4 ounces of cooked lean fish, poultry, or meat
    • A starch item (such as potatoes)
    • A cooked vegetable
    • Salad
    • 2 slices of whole-grain bread
    • 2 teaspoons of margarine
    • 1 tablespoon of jelly
    • Fresh fruit
    • Milk
  • Mid-Afternoon Snack
    • Milk with graham crackers
  • Dinner
    • 4 ounces of cooked fish, poultry, or meat
    • Starch item (such as potatoes)
    • A cooked vegetable
    • Salad
    • 2 whole-grain rolls
    • 2 tablespoons of margarine
    • Fresh fruit or dessert
    • 8 ounces of milk
  • Evening Snack
    • Glass of milk or piece of fruit

You Need to Know

You are not alone… Statistics taken from 2007 health survey show millions of Americans have fatty liver disease in a certain degree and don’t have a clue about it. Research shows that there has been an alarming increase of Americans having an elevated level of fat in the liver in the past decade.

If you think about it more deeply, you are even luckier than most people because you have an idea that you have a fatty liver.

Fatty Liver disease affects all people regardless of age, sex, and nationality.

You can change your life with a proper and effective diet. But, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that it’s not enough to just change your eating habits, but to also maintain that change.