In case you may wonder, if you are diagnosed with fatty liver, should you stay away from fat? Do high-fat foods really cause fatty liver?
Here are some tips to clear your doubt.
Fatty liver is a dangerous disease and it’s highly misunderstood. For those who have heard of foie gras, it is a type of French delicacy made from fat-filled duck or goose liver as a result of over feeding. The fatty liver that some of us may have is essentially the same as foie gras. There are about 70 to 90 million Americans suffering from fatty liver and it is also the number one cause of liver transplants.
Fatty liver is a major cause of chronic disease, inflammation, and heart attacks. Foie gras is made by force-feeding the ducks or geese with not fat but sugar in the form of corn and starch. The sugars that enter the body then turn on the fat production in the liver, a process known as lipogenesis.
Fatty liver creates a whole cascade of issues. It causes inflammation in your body and this inflammation creates insulin resistance and pre-diabetes. These cause your body to deposit fat not just in your liver but also around your organs and your belly, which also called organ fat or visceral fat.
Such dangerous belly fat then creates even more problems such as high triglycerides and low HDL (good cholesterol), high dangerous LDL which are the major factor of heart attacks. Therefore, having a fatty liver actually puts you at great risk for developing a heart attack which most people are oblivion about.
Protein and dietary fat, unlike sugar and refined carbs, do not prompt the pancreas to secret insulin, making sure that the fat gets burned and not stored. However, this is not the case with sweet fat, which refers to fat eaten with carbs such as bagel with butter or doughnut.
Consuming the right fat actually boost the speed of metabolism to stimulate fat burning, which also turns off hunger as well as lipogenesis in the liver. This is also why boosting the saturated fats and removing carbs from the diet may be part of the solution to fatty liver. As a general guideline, the government advise us to limit the intake of saturated fats to 7 to 10 percent of our calories while at the same time controlling the sugar up to 25 percent of our calories. Bear in mind, that is ¼ of our total calories, and is definitely unhealthy
In fact, based on the 2015 dietary guidelines, ideally, we should reduce sugar to less than 10 percent of our calories. Saturated fats consumed with a low refined carbs and low sugar diet can lower inflammation. Moreover, diet high in fibers such as veggies and omega-3 fats like sardines and fish oil are also important to maintain a healthy liver.
Fatty liver can be detected via blood tests or ultrasound scan.
Ultrasound scan is more sensitive for the detection, as a liver function test does not always indicate a fatty liver.
The bottom line is, if you eat a lot of sugar and flour, have some belly fat and high cravings for sugar and starch, it is probably an indication of some degree of fatty liver. This is crucial and precautions must be well taken care of, otherwise, you may end up needing a transplant or taking tons of medications to fix the complications of fatty liver. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and bad cholesterol. In any circumstances, we should always focus on the root of the problem, which is why you should consider practising the following habits.
This includes high fructose corn syrup, where it is mostly seen from the label of salad dressing, ketchup, tomato sauce or yogurt. In truth, a serving of tomato sauce contains more sugar than two Oreo cookies. It is important to remove all the high fructose corn syrup 100% from the diet with no exceptions.
Avoid white processed flour or even whole grain flours. It is common to find too much of these starchy foods in the classic American diet and there is the main cause to a fatty liver.
Good quality vegetables, non-starchy nuts, seeds and fruits are beneficial for our liver. Focus on the broccoli family of foods by having at least a cup of two a day of kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, arugula, daikon and radish.
Other than that, animal protein like chicken, fish, grass-fed meat are also important to heal a fatty liver. You should also look for good oils like olive oil, macadamia nut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut butter and fish oil. Coconut oil is especially important because the MCT oil that is contained inside had been shown to reverse fatty liver in animal studies. The MCT has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to repair your liver.
The perfect way to reset your body for optimal health is by improving the metabolism through exercise. It is also a fabulous way to improve resistance and reduce fatty liver.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifying compound that your body makes, and you can help to make more of it when you take certain supplements including N-acetylcysteine, lipoic acid, milk thistle and some of the B vitamins. B vitamins and magnesium help repair and heal your liver through detoxification.