Our Blogs

Liver Health and Diet

Liver Health and Diet

When we say “I” we think of ourselves as one person. What we don’t think is we are made of millions of cells which make multiple organ systems. Each organ system in our body has specific functions. We actually don’t need to think about them,they are highly efficient and do their work pretty well.

 Just like, if cotton farmer suffers entire textile industry may suffer. May be not as much as cotton farmer suffered.

Hence, I stand corrected; we need to think about the organ systems. Question arises, how we can do anything about it. They are not under our direct control. Key answer is Good Lifestyle. Like if the government is good most things are smooth. Even disaster management is carefully rehabilitated. If not, even simple things are in mess. Same way, if we have good lifestyle then all organ systems work well. And if a disaster (disease) arrive, disaster management (immunity) is also good.

Like in government, they have to have basic infrastructure for all departments but certain specific things are required for different departments. Same way we need to have good lifestyle for all organ systems to work efficiently, but we need to take specific care for all. E.g. we must watch screen from distance and not read in dim light for eyes. We must take good water intake for kidney health. Same way few important things we can take care for LIVER.

Liver is an important organ in our human body. The liver does many jobs, but here are three big ones:

  1. It cleans our blood.
  2. It produces an important digestive liquid called bile.
  3. It stores energy and certain other nutrients (vitamins and minerals)

We are always so protective of our treasures. We should be protective towards liver too.

Do we know Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is possibly the most common liver disorder in the world, affecting 2.8-24% of the general population. Rates of NAFLD are as high as 90% in individuals with obesity and 50% in people with diabetes. Another concern is these days it is becoming very common among children too.

What do we do now??

Lifestyle modifications are the keystone of therapy, with the only currently proven treatment for NAFLD being “fat loss”. A reduction in body weight of 5-10% (for obese people) is anticipated for the reduction of hepatic inflammation (improvement in liver condition).

Follow traditional dietary patterns

  • Consume a diet that is mainly composed of plant-based foods: legumes, vegetables and fruits. These are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Consume small amounts of meat, especially red meat

Limit excess fructose consumption; we should avoid processed foods and beverages with added fructoseFructose is predominant among highly processed foods and offers insignificant nutritional value.

  • Avoid highly processed foods which contain added fructose, including the ingredients “high fructose corn syrup” and “glucose fructose syrup.
  • Avoid sweetened beverages. For example colas, packaged juices etc.

PUFAs, especially long-chain ω-3 rich foods, and MUFAs should replace SFAs in the diet.

PUFAs (especially ω-3 FAs) and MUFAs are linked with lower incidence and severity of NAFLD and associated risk factors, especially when used as replacements for SFAs.

  • Let us extra virgin olive oil as the main added fat, especially for dressing salads and vegetables. We should not use it for cooking, as heat reduces its qualities.
  • We should consume nuts and seeds as snacks daily
  • If we take non-veg food we can consume fish 2–3 times/wk, especially oily fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, or herring.

WE must replace processed food, fast food, commercial bakery goods, and sweets with unprocessed foods high in fiber, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

These plant-based foods are high in fibre and are nutrient dense. They are also high in phytochemicals (nutrients that help in fighting disease) and antioxidants, which are likely to be protective against the oxidative stress that reinforces the incidence and progression of NAFLD and associated risk factors.

We must eat vegetables with all main meals, ensuring they compose the majority of the dish, and choose a variety of colors.

  • Choose whole grain varieties of breads and cereals
  • Have legumes 2–3 times/wk in place of meat
  • Have fresh fruit daily

Apart from above mentioned key dietary consideration, exercises play an important role in the management of NAFLD.  In the liver, exercise increases fats utilizations, decreases fat storage, and prevents Liver Damage.

Take home message

Fatty liver is associated with number of health problems. Luckily, it can be reversed if addressed properly at an early stage.

Following a healthy diet and increasing physical activity are the proven scientific approach for NAFLD. So, LET’S start modifying your lifestyle pattern now and stay healthy forever.

The Author

The Basic Meals by was founded with the idea of providing quality nutrition support to the society.

Dr Pragati Pragya,PhD (AIIMS). She is a life member of Indian Dietetic Association and has been awarded international travel grant from ICMR, India and Korean Diabetes Association, Korea for her outstanding work on clinical nutrition research.

Dt. Anuradha Sharma- Apart from her Nutrition degree credentials (Gold Medalist 2012 Batch M.Sc. Food Service and Nutrition Management), Ms. Anuradha Sharma is certified in Nutrition Support (Critical care) by IAPEN (Indian Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition).

For More Health Tips and Updates, you can follow us on;

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/healthynutritionbasics/

Insta handle: thebasicmeals

Website: www.thebasicmeals.com

Call Now Button