We all know that pork is considered a food of high nutritional value, but at the same time, we all know that we should exclude it from our fatty liver diet. Is that true or not? We’re going to talk about this today!
If you want to keep things extremely simple, I would say that no, you shouldn’t have pork meat if you have a fatty liver. This type of meat is high in fat (especially saturated fat) which is something we don’t need more of.
The strangest finding I stumbled upon during my research is the fact that eating pork may be more strongly connected to alcoholic cirrhosis that alcohol itself! (Read the article here, based on this study and this one).
Pretty shocking, right?
Well, fortunately, it’s not all that bad and pork lovers out there might still have a chance if they want to enjoy a bit of this meat every now and then. But no, no bacon!
What type of pork can you eat if you have a fatty liver?
Not all pork meat is created equal. Bacon and other high in fat cuts are definitely out of the question here. Their high fat content makes them extremely unhealthy. But you can still have pork tenderloin (aka pork fillet).
This is the part of the pork that is similar to chicken in terms of fat content. It only has around 4% fat and just around 1.5% is saturated fat (the unhealthy one). It has no carbs, but lots of protein, as well as solid amounts of vitamin B6, potassium and iron.
As a result, if you want some pork meat – this is the one that you can have with moderation. Remember to eat it grilled or roasted, with no added oils or other fats and with lots of veggies instead.
It still is high in cholesterol (you get around a quarter of the daily recommended amount from just 100 grams of cooked pork tenderloin) so keep portion size under control too.
I personally never stopped eating pork, but I only ate tenderloin even before learning how bad this type of meat is for one’s health. Also, I only had a small slice (between 100 – 150 grams) maybe once or twice per week.
In other words, it’s not the go-to meat if you need some protein. Go for chicken instead or fish, including fatty fish like salmon.
How to cook your pork if you have NAFLD?
Even lower fat options like the pork tenderloin mentioned before still have a layer of fat that you should remove before cooking. The more excess fat is removed, the better it is for your fatty liver.
As mentioned before, the cooking process itself should be as healthy as possible. You don’t want to add extra fat to your meat, so you only have a few options of cooking it:
- boiling it (but really, this is the less tasty option)
- grilling it (without added oil)
- roasting it (again, without added oil or fat)
You can boil the meat and use it in a stew, for example, to make it easier to eat, or you can simply throw it on the grill with some asparagus to the side and enjoy it like that.
Remember: don’t add any dressings or other sources of fat when cooking/eating and keep the portions small too. Don’t eat pork – even if it’s tenderloin/pork fillet – too often. Limit consumption to once per week, or even once every couple of weeks.
You should stay away from pork if you have a fatty liver. The only acceptably type of pork is the tenderloin (pork fillet), but even that should be consumed with moderation because of the high cholesterol content.
While I did not eliminate it from my diet (and still reversed my fatty liver), I only had small amounts once per week or even a couple of weeks.
I think that anything more than that would’ve be recommended, unless you really don’t have any other type of meat or protein (which again wouldn’t be recommended).
Pair it up with fresh or cooked vegetables (not potatoes) and prepare it either by grilling, boiling, or roasting without any added fat.
If you’re having trouble finding varied things to eat, make sure to check out my previous article sharing some NAFLD-friendly recipes.