When I speak with people diagnosed with a fatty liver / NAFLD, their main complain is that their diet is extremely restrictive and they feel like they don’t have anything to eat.
It’s even worse when it comes to snacks – most of the things we usually consider snacks are not safe for a healthy diet to reverse your fatty liver. But today I am here to share with you my list of snack ideas for those who suffer from a fatty liver.
Having in mind that my recommendation is to eat at least 5 times per day, that could become a problem, as you will have at least two snack times throughout the day. (I admit, I sometimes get a third daily snack as well, but I am trying to quit!)
However, the truth is that when it comes to fatty liver disease, the diet is not as strict as in the case of many other health-related problems and we still have a huge variety of foods that we can eat – knowing them and mixing them up is the real challenge.
I have already shared with some great fatty liver breakfast ideas, but now it’s time to move to an area where people are usually lacking inspirations: snacks for those suffering from fatty liver.
Since you can no longer just grab a bag of chips or crackers or a bar or chocolate or anything that we normally call an easy snack, things might seem a bit complicated at first, but the truth is that we still have options here as well. I am sharing with you below some healthy snack ideas for NAFLD.
Do have in mind that moderation is always important: keep the portions under control and don’t eat the same snack each time you feel like eating. Mix and match – variety helps not only your health, but your mood as well!
With all these in mind, let’s check out all the options that we have for healthy snacks that will help our livers.
Fresh fruits are my favorite snack ever since I was diagnosed with a fatty liver. We need all the vitamins and minerals from the fruits and they make for great snacks.
One banana, one apple, one cup of blueberries, a couple oranges or a couple peaches – just pick your favorite and enjoy the delicious snack!
Don’t overeat and, extremely important, eat only the fruits of the season for an extra punch of vitamins and minerals (and fewer chemicals).
I also know that some (or many) people say that you should stop eating fruits if you have NAFLD. That is not really the case and you can read more in depth about this topic here.
I absolutely love these bars that are extremely healthy (packed with Omega 3 oils too), high in protein and fiber and low in sugar, all while being gluten free. They also taste amazing and they are not expensive.
I used to consume the Health Warrior Chia Bars, but they are no longer available for a while now, so I had to look for alternatives. And the ones I found and love are these:
- RXBAR (I recommend starting with the Variety pack to find your favorite flavors, then order those. I personally like the Peanut Butter Chocolate ones, the Blueberry flavor and Mixed Berries).
- Protein Bars by Emco (I absolutely love the taste, although it’s not the cleanest bar you can get). But every now and then it should be fine.
IMPORTANT: If you choose other protein bars than those I recommended, make sure to read the list of ingredients. You don’t want them to have any added sugars or syrups.
I would say that nothing beats eating the actual fruits instead of going for a 100% fruit bar, but the later come in handy for what I mentioned earlier: some variety and diversity, to keep us going and help us beat dieting fatigue.
Also, since most of us are always in a hurry, it’s usually more convenient to simply grab a bar and have it as a snack later.
I would still not have these daily and opt for fruits instead. But I think I do have fruit bars 2-3 times a week, at least. Here are my favorites:
- Strawberry Apple Chia Fruit bar (Sugar free & Gluten free, amazing taste!)
- Apple + Pineapple Fruit bar (100% fruit).
Important: If you decide to try other brands, make sure that there’s no extra sugar added, not other chemicals or preservatives. I would also stay away from those with added fruit syrups, as these are, in the end, plain sugar.
Also have in mind that these, even though made 100% from fruit (and chia, in the case of my first recommendation), they still have a large amount of carbs. So don’t overeat!
I admit, I don’t eat this snack as often as I should, but raw vegetables could make a great option and I doubt you’ve tried it too often. You can cook them too!
Turn into Bugs Bunny and munch on two carrots for an easy snack, eat a whole pepper or a cucumber – you have nearly endless options here, so go wild!
Just as in the case of fruits, it’s best to go for in-season vegetables to avoid added chemicals (or go for organic food).
Prepare your own chips from vegetables, at home! I tried with potatoes (not too healthy though), but also works with superfoods beetroot or carrots: simply cut very thin pieces (ideally use a mandoline) and place them on a microwave-safe plate.
(Side note: Read more about fatty liver-friendly superfoods here)
Important: make they don’t overlap! It will take some time preparing them this way, but it can’t be done otherwise.
Now set the microwave on high for 1 – 1.5 minutes. When it’s done, flip them around in the plate and do the other side for 1 – 1.5 minutes as well.
Let them cool and you will have healthy, delicious, crispy home made chips that are fatty liver friendly!
You might consider yogurt as nothing but a dressing, but it can also be a great snack!
Go for plain, low fat yogurt without added sugar and only if you want to spice it up a bit add a couple teaspoons blueberries or eat it with a home made cracker.
Dairy is also something that most people are told to stay away from (by other people, usually, not doctors), but low fat yogurt (plain!) is healthy and good.
Nuts and seeds
Again, you can go wild here: nuts, groundnuts, Cajun, pistachio, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds… anything goes and you can mix and match to your liking.
There are two extremely important rules here: don’t overeat as they have lots of calories calories and fats (but at least it’s good fat mostly).
Also, choose roasted (or raw when applicable) and not nuts that are fried in oil. Go for plain ones, so no flavors, additives or chemicals!
Eat no more than a handful per day (no more than 50 grams) and don’t eat them daily as those calories do add up!
Ideally, you will only eat home made graham or rye crackers (here is a recipe, but replace the oil with extra virgin olive oil and use less), but if you’re not the greatest cook in the world (not that preparing crackers is difficult), you can switch to store-made varieties as long as they are as natural as possible and with as few ingredients as possible.
Go for varieties without added flavors, preservatives and other unnecessary stuff: ideally, they will only have rye flour, water, salt and a bit of oil and nothing else.
I personally use the Finn Crisp Crispbread (affiliate link) and I am extremely satisfied with them.
Before you start jumping up with joy, remember: make your own popcorn and use no fat. Just get the corn and prepare it yourself in the microwave or in a pot.
You can add salt, and if you don’t want to prepare it at home and you buy it pre-packed, never eat popcorn with added fat, butter or other flavorings! Also, keep portions small as they are still filled with carbs!
If you want to read more about popcorn, make sure to check out my previous article here.
You can mix your own ingredients into a delicious smoothie, or follow the liver-cleansing one I’m sharing with you here: 1 regular sized beet, 1 carrot, 1 cup leafy greens (like kale or spinach), one peeled lemon, 1 apple for the taste and a bit of water (or as much as you want for that perfect consistency).
Mix those into a deliciously healthy smoothie – or make your own using various healthy fruits, veggies and greens. Choices are limitless here.
Apple slices with peanut butter
I consider this more of a treat than a regular snack, but I’m sure you will appreciate it.
I usually eat one apple, sliced, with a very, very thin layer of peanut butter. It’s extremely important here, though, to make sure that the peanut butter is 100% peanuts and has no added oil and especially sugar (most store-brought one do!).
I know, this qualifies for the larger “Vegetables” category – but as is the case of the apple slices above, I have to mention avocados.
You have a lot of options to creating a tasty treat: use half an avocado and mash it into guacamole or just add a bit of salt and have it on celery sticks or a bit of homemade cracker.
You can use avocados in a variety of shapes for a variety of dishes – make sure you take advantage of it!
Yup, you can start chewing and never stop until it’s evening (I’m exaggerating a bit, but things will get chewy!) And the good news is that I managed to find some healthy beef jerky, safe for our liver!
Most beef jerky offers on the marked are filled with all sorts of chemicals, have added sugars and – believe it or not – many of them are not even 100% beef (they also have pork and chicken).
Anyway, I managed to find a 100% natural beef jerky which has 0 carbs, just 3 grams of fat per serving and 15 grams of protein. Excellent, in other words!
I am talking about the Cecina Jerky by Don Pedro’s Kitchen (affiliate link). There are three flavors available for you to find a favorite.
So there you have it – some fresh and nice ideas for fatty liver friendly snacks. These should offer enough variety not to ever complain about a lack of options when dieting.
Of course, these are not all the options that you have and if you have time to cook at home, you can prepare your own snacks. Just use your imagination and the internet and you’re all set!
Pretty soon you will find out, just like I did, that the fatty liver diet does not limit your options too much and you can still eat an extremely varied diet after throwing away all the trash that you used to eat.
If you want even more recipes for fatty liver, as well as a well laid out plan on how to reverse your fatty liver, make sure to check out my favorite program out there – Reverse Your Fatty Liver.
It is not free, but something you have to pay for, but it is complete and it will guide you through all the steps that you need to follow to reverse your fatty liver (and it includes over 180 liver-friendly recipes!).
If you’re looking for more options on what to eat for fatty liver, make sure to keep on reading my fatty liver-friendly lunch ideas, dinner ideas or start preparing for the holidays (no matter how far away they are) with my fatty liver-friendly Chrisman menu suggestion.
I was diagnosed with a fatty liver back in 2014 and managed to reverse it by mid 2015. Since then, I’ve been studying NAFLD and I have decided to share everything I have learned over the years to help you reverse your condition.
I am also the admin of the Fatty Liver Support Group on Facebook and the Fatty Liver Subreddit.
33 thoughts on “Fatty Liver: Healthy Snack Ideas if You Have NAFLD”
I eat vegetables… but sorry, I don’t view vegetables as a SNACK!
Things have to change when you get diagnosed with a fatty liver, unfortunately and we have to do with what we get. Carrot sticks or cucumber slices actually make up for a great snack!
I agree with Tom. I have just been diagnosed and finding it really hard to find snacks. I have a lot of fruit then i was told to be careful as it has a lot of sugar.
I hate veges and salad, but i have been trying my best. I have tried to cut down on sodium and sugar. I have one cup of bush tea in the morning with no milk or sugar and as much low sugar fresh fruit juice as i can.
not enjoying this diet at all =(
Fruit has natural sugar – it is different. Fruit is very good for you, especially watermelon! It is mostly water. I have cirrhosis and during my long road back to recovery I ate alot of watermelon, also cantelope, honeydew, bananas, pears, cooked apples. I added bananas, strawberries and blueberries to oatmeal and cereal.
Definitely cut down on sodium. You do not need it!!! – use seasonings – garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper, paprika, cinnamon. if baking use 1/2 the amount of salt. also can use applesauce in place of sugar. They even have no salt potato chips that are not horrible. Read you labels on everything – it takes time, but eventually you will find alot of good tasting products. Hope this helps.
Just came back from my doctor discussing diet for NAFLD. He told me my main exclusion should be fats. He suggested I err on the side of carbs rather than fats. Since this is probably a lifestyle diet, it must be sustainable. My first 4 months will be rigid diet and then I will add things in small portions that I find I can’t live without. Make your changes as you are able to sustain. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure.
Just keep looking up things on internet. I was really sick for 2 years and am now on my 2nd year of recovery. As far as carbs, or fat – i never really paid attention. I just read stuff and wrote down what items I could eat. As far as pasta I switched to whole grains (however never really liked it for spaghetti) and brown rice. I ate graham crackers as a snack or whole wheat triscuits (low-salt). Sometimes I would by low fat products, but I had to watch my sodium and low fat is usually more sodium. I read alot of labels. Oatmeal is very good. Bran cereal is a good choice. Best of luck to you
Officesaid: Has your GP been hiding under a rock or something? A high carb diet with liver disease? What a joke.
Listen, go to utube and google advice on liver disease. Follow Dr Berg or Dr Sandra Cabot. Goodluck and ditch your dumbass GP.
Thanks. Every time I read this newsletter it’s WRONG from what my Gastroenterologist advised!
What did they suggest you should eat? Very curious.
Just a thought on what to eat. When the French are making their geese fat for foie gras, they force feed them lots of carbs. They don’t give them healthy fats, fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds. They feed them corn in huge quantities. So it would make sense that smaller portions of healthy, whole foods would help us to get some fat off our body and out of our liver.
I’ve been researching since I was diagnosed with NAFLD. Sugar and carbs in excess are stored. Balance is what we need. High Fructose Corn Syrup must be eliminated and sugars of all sorts need to be closely monitored. I have a very bad relationship with sugar, I love it, it hates me.
It certainly isn’t easy to change from eating whatever I want to whatever is good for me, but I want to be healthier and out of pain.
Exactly, carbs are turned into fat and they’re very bad when dealing with a fatty liver. So it saturated fat.
I’m finding I have the same problem as well. As someone who eats tons of sugar and now not being able to, I’m finding it very difficult. Can I ask what you have done for snack choices now that candy or other sugary products or no longer a choice?
I can only eat so much fruit and vegetables in one day. And salads are starting to become a boar
Fruit has natural sugar. It is different than refined sugar. I have a sweet tooth and had a hard time with less sugar also. But watermelon (mostly water), bananas, pears, cantelope, honeydew are all sweet. I also used to make muffins and use applesauce in place of sugar. They still taste sweet. Peanut butter (I buy Jiff natural) on graham crackers or triscuits. Look up recipies for low sugar desserts. drink flavored tea with honey (I guess natural honey is best – bought locally) but i just used store bought. Dark Chocolate 70% 1 serving if you are good with your eating that day. Good Luck
Packaged bars from the store are not inexpensive – almost $1.50 each from Walmart. The article talks about making crackers (which ARE inexpensive at the store) – why not make your own bars? Not hard to do!
Usually, crackers bought from the store are full of bad things, including sugar and other chemicals. It is, however, better if we can prepare everything at home, indeed, as we have control over the ingredients.
Hey Lynn I am stick to your website and I did not find a blog or a website better than yours. Really I still craving bread after 2 months i mixed quinoa flower and whole grains and turned good but still worry if it is good to eat them or not ?
I watch a vedio of cornflowers bread being added eggs.. is that okay to those who love bread?
Hey hank you for your time.
This means a lot to me, Sara. I am happy to know that I am able to create a helpful website.
Regarding the bread… I think that whole grains and quinoa flower is OK, as long as you keep the number of slices you eat per day to a minimum (1-2 per meal, and a maximum of 4 per day). At least that was my rule and it worked and works fine.
Thanks Lynn very helpful info!!
435 Froom Road
what is your website
No carbs (with the exception of whole grains), no processed foods, no honey, no agave, both are which the exact same blood spike effect as sugar, it’s maple syrup. I just use stevia, be careful that there is no erythritol in it, though. If you have whole grains, you should have only quarter of a cup at each meal, combined with some legumes for a complete protein, or if you’re having fish, then you do not need to combined a grain or a bean, since fish is a complete protein. This is per my nutritionist. she also said that one and a half cups of cooked veggies per meal, or three cups raw veggies. That should encompass your plate. Sunflower butter 2 tablespoons daily, sunflower seeds tablespoon daily, and healthy fats like those are okay in moderation. EVOO and avocado oil are okay. I only use oils after things are cooked to put on food and, since oil oxidizes when heated. I have been drinking warm water with lemon 3 times a day and, and I used to have upper right quadrant pain. And I no longer do. I have lost weight due to my nutritionist recommendations, and am starting to feeling better. I only eat Ezekiel Bread in the morning w/sunflower butter, or mashed avocado spread. Eating out is the most difficult. Restaurants may accommodate with no oil if you ask them, and also will lessen the salt if you ask them.I go to Chinese restaurants because I don’t want to deprive my husband of eating out, and I just get the steamed veggies with tofu, and then just use a little bit of this low sodium soy sauce.
Just an off question, are there any dressings or dips aside from hummus that are ok with fatty liver? And do you have recipes for dressings/dips/sauces that are ok to eat?
What about the following,
Plain Cherrios with one scoop of Plant protein and almond milk?
Shrimp, fish or veggies sauteed in olive oil?
If by “plain Cherrios” you mean something without added sugar (we don’t have Cherrios in my country), then they could work every now and then. The problem with all cereals is that they still have a lot of carbs since they’re made almost entirely of processed flour. So I would suggest Oats instead or cereals made of whole wheat – but not often.
Sauteeing by definition uses a small quantity of oil, so that would be ok.
Thsnk you for all of your help, your information is extremely helpful. Have you ever heard of “NUGO VEGAN Peanut Butter Crunch bars?” Here is the nutritional information.
Protein Blend [Soy Crisp (Soy Protein, Tapioca Starch, Salt), Rice Protein, Soy Protein], Dark Chocolate (Chocolate Liquor, Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter), Chicory Root, Vegetable Glycerine, Peanuts, Peanut Flour, Almonds, Chocolate Liquor, Rice Bran, Natural Flavors, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Peanut Extract, Salt.
Finally, an option for peanut butter lovers that’s low in fat and contains no hydrogenated oils! This delicious indulgence is dipped in REAL Dark Chocolate and is an all-natural gluten-free snack with 17g of Protein, 3g of Sugar, 7g of Fiber, and no maltitol.
Thank you so much for everything!
Good suggestions…any one dealing with hep and living life well
Eating fruit (especially apples) is not a good idea if you have fatty liver. On the other hand regular fats found in foods such as meat is OK. It’s the sugars and frututose which does the damage and fruit is full of it!
There is conflicting information about fruits like apples and bananas out there when it comes to liver disease. You should look into it a bit more , you may be shocked to discover that you’re depriving yourself of the very foods that have liver healing/ preserving properties.
Does anyone have ideas for a diet for someone with liver damage and diabetes.
In this case, you would have to adapt a Mediterranean diet to the requirements of a healthy one for diabetes.
You probably knew about diabetes before being diagnosed, so you already know what you can eat for it. See what is allowed with fatty liver and focus on the common items.
Personally I would see a good nutritionist in this case.
Plain Cherrios have 1 gram of added sugar and 190 mg sodium per serving of 1.5 cups. They are whole grain with no much added, except vitamins, including iron. I indulge in a 1/2 cup once in awhile with unsweetened almond milk and strawberries. Although, I’m having a hard time getting enough calories. Liver healthy foods don’t have a lot of calories. Also, there is a lot of talk about fats. Since trying to lower my intake of carbs, I increased my fat intake to 30-35% of calories. Too much? I read protein should be around 20%. Can I get sone input?
Yes, protein at around 20% is good. I personally didn’t pay that much attention to percentages and just ate healthy. Lots of fruits and vegetables on my side, as well as lean meat. Absolutely no added sugar (or anything alike) and nothing with too much fat. It worked really well, which strongly makes me believe that moderation and balance are key.
I had an iron infusion because my ferritin was very low at 20. Healthy normal is 50-150. Now my ferritin is 848. Has anyone have any experience with anything like this. I’m so afraid the ferritin will damage my liver. My doctor (hematologist), is not that concerned.