If you have been diagnosed with a fatty liver, you might know already that there are different opinions regarding the perfect diet to reverse this condition – and we’ll talk about that in a future article. But there are a few common grounds when checking out all the diets recommended to cure a fatty liver: the foods to avoid.
My opinion is that as long as you avoid (or ideally, completely eliminate) the foods on this list, you can consume anything else with moderation. If a food is permitted, it doesn’t mean that you can eat a few pounds of that food per day. Moderation is the key to success, and it’s also extremely important to avoid the following foods:
Fried or deep fried foods
I have a personal saying that goes like this: if you have a fatty liver, don’t even smell the fried foods! That’s how bad they are for your overall health and especially for a fatty liver. From French fries to fried chicken, hamburgers and even fried vegetables, everything that is cooked in oil (no matter how much) should be completely eliminated from the diet. I know that this is insanely difficult: I loved to eat my fried food and the taste won’t be as good, but it’s your health that we’re talking about. I am on an almost 2 months run without eating any fried foods (haven’t touched them since I’ve been diagnosed with a fatty liver) and all I can say is that it’s perfectly doable, even though difficult. But right now my taste buds got used to eating foods that are not fried and I am starting to lose interest in eating anything fried.
Why should you avoid deep fried foods? Because the oil used to fry the foods heavily increases the amount of fat – and especially the extremely harmful saturated fat – in your food. And what one thing you don’t need in excess right now? FAT!
Highly processed foods
Processed foods, although delicious and easy to eat, are also extremely bad for your overall health and especially for your liver. These highly processed foods are usually very high in fat levels or sugar levels (and sugar turns into fat too!) The foods on this list include all sorts of foods you might consider healthy or at least neutral, like white grain flour, white rice and all the snacks and crackers that you can find on the market shelves. My take? If it comes in a bag, it’s bad for you. If there are 40 ingredients, it’s bad for you. If the content of fat or sugar/carbohydrates is too high, it’s bad for you. So always check the label or, even better, stay away from all these products and learn to snack on healthy stuff but not as appealing, like fruits or veggies or nuts.
Why should you avoid highly processed foods? Because usually these are foods filled with chemicals, and our liver doesn’t need any extra damage from these dangerous substances. Also because they are high in fat (saturated fat too) and/or sugar (sometimes labeled as “carbohydrates”) which are also bad for our fatty liver.
I know that this is not considered a food for many, but it’s one thing that you have to completely cut off your diet if you want to reverse a fatty liver. Even though I wasn’t a big drinker, I still feel the need not and then for a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. I have to say no – and for two months now I never touched a drop of alcohol. You should do the same, even if your diagnosis is, like mine, non alcoholic fatty liver.
There are many people and doctors who say that you can still drink some alcohol if you have a fatty liver, but what if they are wrong? What if that one glass of wine turns into cirrhosis ten years from now, because you kept drinking a glass of wine? Are you willing to take that risk?
Foods high in sugar
They usually are part of the “highly processed foods” category, but I want to make sure that you understand that they are not good. So all sweets bought in the store and sugar itself should be avoided as much as possible. Cakes, candy and all foods with sugars that are easily absorbed should be avoided or only consumed a couple of times per month. You can still eat a lot of fruit because the human body is used to handle the sugar intake from fruits (since it’s doing this for millions of years) and fruits are not on the “easily absorbed sugars” list.
I know that this list greatly reduces the number of things you can eat, or at least that’s the impression, because we are so used to consuming all these unhealthy foods. I have completely changed my eating habits since two months ago, I am using very low amounts of fat or not fat when cooking and I can assure you that you won’t starve, you won’t eat the same things over and over again and you can easily do it. The first month is the most difficult, probably after two weeks or so, when your mind starts asking you for the unhealthy foods. Say no and you’re on a path to a better, healthier life! You can do it! So do it for yourself and your family!