When it comes to eating fruits after being diagnosed with a fatty liver disease, you will most likely get mixed answers. Some will say that you have to stay away from them, while others (including myself) will tell you otherwise.
Some say you should eat as many fruits as you want, other say that you shouldn’t eat any because they are high in carbs and sugar is bad for your health.
For somebody who has been diagnosed with a fatty liver and even for those who have been fighting it for a while, this can be pretty discouraging. This is why I have decided to talk about fruits and NAFLD / fatty liver in today’s article.
And most importantly, answer the million dollar questions: What fruits should you eat to help reverse your fatty liver?
Disclaimer: Please note that this article is based on my own experiences, opinions and personal research.
This is not medical advice and you should always talk to a doctor before making a decision. However, I did reverse my fatty liver so you might want to hear what I have to say too.
Can You Eat Fruits if You Have a Fatty Liver?
I’ll start by saying this: there is no fruit that is better than another when it comes to reversing a fatty liver. Although extremely healthy, fruits are not medicine. But…
Absolutely! You can eat fruits if you have a fatty liver disease. Despite the fact that they are relatively high in carbs, they have various other nutrients – vitamins, minerals and other goodies – that are extremely healthy.
While some fruits are said to have better effects on the liver and help it heal faster, you should never think that eating that fruit alone will be the only thing you have to do to reverse your condition.
Fruits should be part of a varied, healthy diet – as that is the foundation stone for reversing your condition. You can read more about my recommended fatty liver diet – the one that I followed to get rid of my NAFLD.
At the same time, in my opinion, there is no fruit that is bad for a fatty liver. This is where many experts tend to disagree: some say that fruits with high sugar content (like bananas, grapes, watermelon and such) should not be eaten, while others say that all fruits are healthy.
I tend to agree with the latter. It is true that if you do have the choice, you should always go for the fruits that offer the least amount of carbs per 100 grams. Without a doubt!
BUT this doesn’t mean that you should totally stay away from bananas, for example.
I’ve written more in-depth about eating bananas with a fatty liver, since they’re usually the first that you’re told to avoid after being diagnosed and you will see that they’re not that bad, actually!
Long story short, even though bananas have a high content of carbohydrates (which are indeed bad for a fatty liver, especially if consumed in excess), one medium banana only has 10% of the recommended intake of carbs for an adult, most of which is dietary fiber. And dietary fiber is actually extremely healthy.
In other words, in theory, you could easily eat 10 medium bananas per day (and nothing else) and still be right on spot with the recommended daily intake of carbs.
Of course, I am not saying that you should only eat bananas to reverse your fatty liver or that you should have more than one per day (maybe two every now and then).
So hopefully nobody will eat 10 bananas per day. We need other minerals and vitamins that these fruits don’t have. A balanced diet is key. But you get the point – even the sweetest fruits are not that sweet.
So one or even two per day won’t be too bad at all as long as you following a healthy, varied diet and you keep track of what you eat and stay within your daily numbers.
I ate one to two bananas every other day as a snack during my fatty liver reversal regime and I had no problems reversing it. I also didn’t stay away from any other type of fruit. All I had in mind was moderation.
All fruits out there can be consumed and considered healthy. It is true that some of them have more sugars than others, but they have what you could call “healthy sugars” (it’s an exaggeration, though so don’t consider them healthy!).
Unlike the refined sugar that our body started to consume very late on our evolution line, fruits have been eaten by humans ever since they appeared on earth.
This means that our body is used to dealing with the fruits and all their carbs better than they are with sugar.
Fruits also have high fiber values and are filled with vitamins, minerals and other goodies for our body and liver.
Therefore, you can’t even compare the carbs in fruits with those in cookies, raw sugar or other processed foods because they are assimilated differently.
And this is exactly the reason why you can safely eat fruits each day – in moderation when it comes to the sweetest ones – in order to reverse your fatty liver.
How much fruit to eat per day with fatty liver disease?
When it comes to my own diet, I have days when I eat a lot of fruits: 2 bananas, 2 apples, some strawberries and blueberries, 1 pear and 1 orange. It happens (on VERY rare occasions) to eat that many, but that represents most of my meals.
I actually try to eat at least two large fruits per day as part of a varied, healthy diet. In cups, that would be 2-3 cups each day. I consider the vitamins, minerals and fiber they contain extremely helpful overall.
And it seems that I am not wrong, since following this approach I did manage to reverse my fatty liver.
So, when it comes to quantity, I would say that anything between 1 – 3 portions (one portion meaning either one larger fruit like a banana, apple or cantaloupe slice or a cup of any type of fruit) should be safe to eat on a daily basis, as long as you keep track of your numbers and keep the calories and carbs under control.
Do have in mind that I am only talking about fresh fruits here (or fresh fruits that were frozen).
Dried fruits are completely different: they have very high carb contents, usually extra sugar added and you should stay away from them or consume with extreme care. They are very sweet and lose most of their fresh counterparts’ benefits.
What fruits are better than others when you have a fatty liver?
While I consider that all fruits are healthy and can be had if you are fighting against NAFLD, it is true that some of them are better choices. These are the fruits that have the lowest amount of carbs per 100 grams.
So, if you have the option to choose, choose these instead of the sweeter fruits out there. Or at least try and mix them with the sweeter ones to keep things under control.
– Avocado (I know it’s not the first thing you think about when we say “fruits,” but they are a fruit so I had to list them, especially since they have a huge amount of healthy fats and pack a very small punch in terms of sugars)
– Lemons (and limes)
You can check out a list of most fruits available to purchase and their sugar contents on Very Well Fit.
The berries are, as you can see, considered the safest bet when it comes to low amounts of sugar and carbs. It’s usually pretty easy to tell simply by tasting the fruits.
I am surprised to see the apricots there though: I thought that they had a lot more sugars than they apparently do. This is great news for somebody who loves eating them (like myself)!
Do fruit juices count as fruits?
Unfortunately, fruit juices do NOT count as fruits as they don’t have all the health benefits eating whole fruits have.
Some people go as far as saying that they are as unhealthy as store bought juices and soft drinks, although I wouldn’t go that far.
But the truth is that most of the beneficial stuff you get when eating fruits disappears when you juice them.
The pulp – the place where all the fiber is stored – is no longer part of the equation and instead you get a delicious liquid full of sugar that is not healthy.
If you really want some sort of variety, go for smoothies instead: as long as the pulp of the fruit remains there, it’s all safe and healthy, as if you were eating the fruits themselves.
Bottom line about this: juices are not safe, smoothies are still good, as long as you kep all the pulp of the fruit.
And now, let’s get some quick answers to some questions that always pop up in my email box, regarding some popular fruits.
Is Cantaloupe Good for Fatty Liver?
Yes, you can eat Cantaloupe if you have a fatty liver disease. It is beneficial due to its high content of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. I cup of Cantaloupe has just around 55 calories and 13 grams of carbs.
Is Watermelon Good for Fatty Liver?
Watermelon is considered good for fatty liver due to its high content of antioxidants (mainly lycopene), and its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. It also has various of other vitamins, minerals and fibers.
Watermelons are low in calories, with just 45 calories per cup and 11 grams of carbs.
However, don’t go with them in excess for the lycopene content alone! Tomatoes are a better source for this important antioxidant.
Is Jackfruit Good for Fatty Liver?
Just like as other fruits, Jackfruit is also safe for those suffering of a fatty liver disease as long as you consume it in moderation.
Due to its high fiber and antioxidant content, as well as the fact that it is high in fiber compared to other fruits (but nowhere near the amounts offered by meat), Jackfruit can be considered safe.
However, it has a higher caloric index, with around 155 calories per cup and a whooping 38 grams of carbs, so don’t have it in excess!
I would say that, in my opinion, things are pretty simple when it comes to fruits and fatty liver. You can eat any fruit without having to worry too much about it.
Keep the quantities under control as part of a healthy, varied diet and don’t eat pounds of fruits per day considering them healthy. Anything in excess is bad for you!
But for regular daily consumption, you can choose your favorite fruit and enjoy it.
If it’s one of the sweetest fruits out there, don’t overdo it – but even with bananas, most people should be perfectly fine with eating one per day as part of a healthy diet.
You can also use – like I started to use recently – a calories and nutritional value counting app.
I am using the popular MyFitnessPal (which is available on iOS and Android) which is perfect for helping you keep track of all the numbers: not just calories, but also fats and carbs and even vitamins and minerals although here they sometime lack data.
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.