More people than ever are experiencing fatty liver disease. This is increasingly due to the poor diet and lifestyle choices of modern fast-food culture. Modern lifestyles are fast-paced and many people choose fatty junk food over healthy meals. Our sedentary lifestyles also mean most people are not getting enough exercise, which contributes to the build-up of fat in the body. The results of typical modern lifestyles mean that people are overweight and unhealthy. However, there are a number of ways to reduce your chances of developing a fatty liver, including certain foods you should avoid.
In obese people fat accumulates around the liver, increasing strain on the body and challenging the basic functions of this important organ. Fatty liver disease is the result of poor dietary choices and lack of exercise and unless the sufferer changes their lifestyle immediately they could suffer long term, debilitating health issues due to cirrhosis of the liver. If a sufferer adopts a healthy diet and starts to exercise frequently, following a safe exercise and diet plan they can repair their liver and improve their health dramatically.
A healthy liver contains no or very little fat and people in the early stages of fatty liver disease may not notice any symptoms. This early stage is called simply fatty liver or steatosis. However, if nothing is done to rectify a fatty liver at this stage it can lead to fatty liver disease, which can cause fibrosis and eventually cirrhosis and cause permanent damage to the liver.
High fat foods
There are a number of foods which are potentially dangerous for the liver. A fatty liver has problems digesting high fat foods so a sufferer needs to cut back drastically on medium fat foods and avoid high fat foods altogether in order to care for the liver. In addition to liver issues, high fat foods also lead to weight gain which presents even more problems for those with fatty liver disease. The most important foods to avoid include: fried food, food containing high levels of fat or cheese and dairy products. Eating these foods with fatty liver disease is very stressful for the liver and so sufferers should avoid them completely.
The glycaemic index
Other foods that should be limited for those with fatty livers include those foods with a high glycaemic index, such as potatoes, bananas, water melon, raisins, white bread, white rice and white pasta, processed foods, chocolate and ice cream. These foods are all high in simple carbohydrates which cause the blood glucose levels to rise quickly in the body and stress the liver.
People who suffer from fatty liver disease need to avoid processed foods and white grains and opt instead for wholemeal foods, including brown bread, brown pasta and brown rice. These wholemeal foods are high in fibre and low in fat. Fibre controls cholesterol and regulates blood glucose, releasing energy slowly into the body and avoiding sudden spikes in glucose and insulin.
One of the most important substances to avoid if you have fatty liver disease is alcohol. Whether drunken in moderation of in large quantities, any alcohol can lead to fatty deposits around the liver. The tissues of the liver can become inflamed due to the stresses of processing alcohol and the liver’s function is impaired. Blood flow is restricted and the liver could become permanently damaged. For these reasons it is imperative that alcohol consumption is strongly restricted and even avoided altogether. Similarly, smoking severely increases the risk of fatty liver and should be avoided. Stopping smoking also reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke.
The rise of fatty liver disease is due in the majority of cases to a poor diet and lack of exercise. The liver is quite a sturdy organ, yet if a person constantly eats processed food which is high in fat and avoids exercise they are likely to develop problems with their liver. Foods to include in the diet for healthy liver are whole grains, fresh and cooked vegetables, fruits and high fibre foods. Try to avoid salt, sugar and high fat foods, while ensuring you drink 2 litres of water per day and exercise for 30 minutes 5 days per week. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or exercise routine dramatically and get a medical check before embarking in any health or fitness plan.