Ah, what would life be without potatoes? Well, if you’ve just been diagnosed with a fatty liver, you might soon find the answer to that question first hand because potatoes and NAFLD are not best friends – on the contrary. Fortunately, you don’t have to say goodbye to potatoes from your diet, nor do it for a long time if you do it right.
But to make things clear, we’re going to talk about potatoes and fatty liver in this article and answer the burning question that many of us have: are potatoes good or bad for fatty liver?
We have already touched the “potato / NAFLD” subject a little bit in our article recommending the best diet for a fatty liver, but things are actually a bit more nuanced and it’s better to dedicate an entire article to this topic.
When you first start learning about the diet and lifestyle adjustments you have to make after being diagnosed with a fatty liver, you are most likely told that you have to cut on fats. Although this is indeed what you have to do, it is by no means enough: reducing fat consumption is just one of the steps that you have to take. Keeping an eye on carbs (or carbohydrates or sugars) is also extremely important! Why? Well, because excess carbohydrates turn into fat too! And guess who’s high on carbs? Yes, today’s topic: the potato!
Why is the potato potentially bad for fatty liver?
Please, before anything else, note the use of the word “potentially”. We’ll get back to this later! But until then, here’s the bad thing about the potato:
– a single medium sized potato will have anything between 25 to 35 grams of carbs (you can check out all the nutritional values on Wikipedia). Since a healthy adult should consume about 130 total carbs daily, it means that eating a single medium sized potato would already give you at least 20% of the daily carbs a healthy body needs.
However, things become a bit more complicated, because we eat potatoes cooked in an unhealthy way: frying a potato or even eating boiled potatoes with melted butter and cheese also adds to the fat & saturated fat values greatly, plus whatever extra carbs are in the dairy.
In other words, eating French fries, baked potatoes if you add extra oil/cheese/butter or even boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes if you add butter and/or cheese should be considered a big no no in most cases. This simply adds too much fat/carbs to be healthy.
However, as I said earlier, a potato is just “potentially” bad for a fatty liver (and for general health). If you boil or bake a potato and eat it without adding stuff that makes it unhealthy (fats, usually), it shouldn’t be a big problem, on the contrary: you’d get a bit of variation to your diet and a pleasant taste. If you haven’t tried eating potatoes that are just boiled in water or baked, give it a try: you will be surprised to see that the taste is still good. Of course, you can add a bit of salt to improve the taste and all sorts of spices to make it taste better (I usually add paprika powder and turmeric, but you can also add oregano, rosemary or basil – basically, any spice you enjoy!)
You should not eat potatoes daily and you should divide potato consumption in two phases: the strict phase, which lasts for one to six months – the first months of your diet – should only include potatoes every now and then. Afterwards, ideally after you have reversed your fatty liver, you can start adding potatoes to your foods: half a potato in a soup or stew, an entire medium sized potato to your meal – all these are acceptable as long as you don’t eat them too often. Try to only ear once or twice per week and keep the portions as small as possible. Always mix with other vegetables or lean meat in order to have variety.
Just like with most of the foods out there, potatoes and fatty liver follow the same rule: moderation is key. Although potatoes are potentially worse than most vegetables you can eat when on a diet to reverse NAFLD, you can still keep them in your diet and eat healthier versions, so you don’t have to completely stop eating them.