Fatty Liver Diet: How to Help Reverse Fatty Liver Disease

These 10 foods are central to the fatty liver diet, with science backing up what they can do to reverse fatty liver disease, decrease liver fat buildup, and protect your liver cells from damage.

Liver disease comes in two major types: alcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. About a third of American adults are affected by fatty liver disease, and it’s one of the primary contributors to liver failure in the Western world. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is often associated with obesity and is frequently caused by highly processed food diets and a sedentary lifestyle. Treating fatty liver disease by eating a fatty liver diet can help reduce the amount of unhealthy fats in your food and restore your liver to its optimal functioning so that it can go on producing digestive bile and detoxing the body.

Top 10 fatty liver diet foods.

Top 10 Foods for the Fatty Liver Diet

A fatty liver diet includes high-fiber plant foods like whole grains and legumes, very low amounts of salt, sugar, trans fat, saturated fat, and refined carbs, absolutely no alcohol, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Eating a low-fat diet like this goes a long way in helping you lose weight, another factor in fatty liver disease. Reducing body fat and consuming less dietary fat help reverse fatty liver disease before it leads to dire health consequences, so consider these top 10 foods to be part of a fatty liver cure.

Top 10 fatty liver diet foods.

1. Green Vegetables

Eating green veggies like broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, etc. can help prevent fat buildup in your liver. Broccoli, for example, has been shown to prevent liver fat buildup in mice models, and eating a diet full of green leafy vegetables is well-known for helping to encourage weight loss and better overall health. Try this recipe for Tuscan Vegetable Soup from LiverSupport.com to find out just how tasty vegetables can be when you include them in your diet.

2. Fish

Fatty fish like trout, salmon, tuna, and sardines are not bad for you just because they’re fatty—healthy fats make a world of difference. Fatty fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can actually improve your liver fat levels and reduce liver inflammation. Check out another low-fat recipe from LiverSupport.com for Cornmeal and Flax-Crusted Cod or Snapper to get an idea for fish dishes that could improve your health.

3. Walnuts

Walnuts are also a good source of healthy fat full of omega-3 fatty acids just like fish. Research confirms that including walnuts in one’s diet helps treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, improving liver function tests and bettering the health of patients.

4. Milk and Dairy

Low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt contain whey protein, which is not only a popular supplement for muscle growth among bodybuilders, but has also been shown to protect liver cells from damage sustained due to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to this 2011 animal-based study.

5. Olive Oil

A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids and can be used in cooking to replace butter, shortening, or margarine for much healthier meals. Olive oil can help bring down your liver enzyme levels and body weight. Start cooking with olive oil with this recipe for a Healthy Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry.

6. Green Tea

The science behind green tea is extraordinary, leading researchers to believe that it can literally help you live longer. Studies support the conclusion that green tea can help enhance liver function and decrease liver fat storage as well.

7. Coffee

Speaking of beverages, coffee can help lower high liver enzymes. The Mayo Clinic points out that studies have found coffee drinkers with fatty liver disease experience less liver damage than those who don’t drink any caffeine at all, and further studies show that the amount of abnormal liver enzymes in those at risk for liver disease can be reduced by caffeine intake. If you were ever looking for an excuse to drink more coffee, now you have a really good reason.

8. Tofu

Soy protein like the kind found in tofu has been found to reduce fat buildup in the liver. Not only that, tofu and other soy products provide a plant-based protein that can help other areas of your health when eaten regularly, including reducing the risk of heart disease.

9. Oatmeal

Whole grains like oatmeal help lower blood sugar spikes and other risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and also contribute to weight-loss efforts and improve your liver health and function. Including oatmeal as part of a healthy diet can aid your digestive health as well. Check out these various oatmeal recipes from Yumma at FeelGoodFoodie.

10. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are full of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help fight off free radical damage in the body and protect the liver. This 2016 review of studies details vitamin E’s ability to protect the liver and avoid the development of liver cancer. A regular habit of snacking on sunflower seeds may just help save your life.

Fatty Liver Foods to Avoid

Now that you have some idea of what you should eat to combat fatty liver disease, let’s quickly review the foods that should be avoided.

  • Alcohol: It may seem obvious, but if your liver is at all compromised, alcohol is too dangerous to consume.
  • Fried foods: High in calories and trans fats, commercially fried foods should be avoided (if you love fried foods too much to say goodbye, try an air fryer instead as a healthy alternative).
  • Salt: Bad for your blood pressure and for water retention, try to keep salt intake under 1,500 milligrams each day.
  • Added sugars: Added and refined sugars in prepackaged products like cookies, candies, sodas, and fruit juices spike your blood pressure and contribute to fatty liver buildup.
  • White bread, pasta, and rice: White instead of brown or whole grain carbs are highly processed and stripped of their valuable nutrients, so they can raise your blood sugar without even contributing healthy fiber—hard pass.
  • Red meat: While fish and lean meat like poultry can help you gain muscle and lose excess fat (which leads to a healthier weight), red meat should be avoided.

Other Ways to Fight Fatty Liver Disease

In the hopes of avoiding chronic liver disease or even a liver transplant, first seek medical advice from a trusted health care professional to get blood tests done and evaluate your specific circumstances. Then, outside of perfecting your diet, these other avenues can help:

  • Lower your cholesterol levels. An improved diet will go a long way toward lowering your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but so can medications or (if you prefer) natural remedies for optimizing your cholesterol ratios.
  • Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day makes a massive difference in your health and your energy levels.
  • Prevent/manage type 2 diabetes. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes often go hand-in-hand. If you’re prediabetic, making the above lifestyle changes could help you avoid the chronic condition that is diabetes. If you already have diabetes, staying on top of managing the disease can help you avoid a number of other painful health conditions and adverse results.

Livers for Life

Incorporating the 10 foods listed above into your diet and replacing unhealthy foods with better alternatives can help you lose weight and better the health of your liver before it’s too late.

Fatty Liver Disease: Essential Amino Acids and Other Natural Fatty Liver Treatments Revealed

Fatty liver disease is a serious health condition marked by fat accumulation in the liver. It is often associated with alcoholism and obesity; however, fatty liver disease doesn’t discriminate. Essential amino acids and other natural fatty liver treatments are effective alternatives to prescription drugs that come with adverse side effects.

Fatty liver disease is a serious health condition marked by fat accumulation in the liver. It is often associated with alcoholism and obesity; however, fatty liver disease doesn’t discriminate.

Types of Fatty Liver Disease

Alcoholic fatty liver disease, or alcoholic steatohepatitis, is the result of years of alcohol abuse damaging the liver. If caught in the early stages, abstaining from alcohol can help the liver clear out the fat and resume normal function. If not treated and excessive alcohol consumption continues, then cirrhosis (chronic liver disease which results in the loss of liver cells and irreversible scarring of the liver) is a likely consequence.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects an estimated 80 million to 100 million Americans, and many of them don’t even know it. NAFLD can manifest as simple fatty liver with little or no liver cell damage, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which can cause liver cell damage, inflammation, and fibrosis (scarring) of the liver.

Metabolic Duties of the Liver

The liver is the largest organ in the body and has an impressive list of duties. Its most important job is the detoxification and purification of blood. The liver also helps in processing and metabolizing the food we eat. All nutrients go through the “central processing plant” of the liver to be broken down, converted, stored, or repackaged for delivery to other tissues and organs, depending upon the body’s current needs. The liver also produces bile, which is secreted into the small intestine after you eat a meal and promotes the absorption of fats.

One of the liver’s primary responsibilities is to regulate blood glucose levels. During digestion, the carbohydrates you eat are digested down to their simplest form. The liver takes up the absorbed carbohydrates and converts then either to glucose or to glycogen (basically a compact package of connected glucose molecules) for storage. The storage of glycogen in the liver dampens the increase in blood glucose concentration that would otherwise occur after eating carbohydrate. When glucose is no longer being absorbed, the liver releases the stored glycogen into the blood as glucose to keep the blood concentration constant. When stored glycogen is all used up, the liver makes new glucose, mostly from amino acids released from muscle. In a variety of clinical states, most prominently diabetes, the liver fails to do its job of regulating blood glucose levels.

The Emergence of Fatty Liver

The liver clears fatty acids from the blood and stores them as triglycerides (the storage form of fat). Normally only a small amount of triglycerides are stored in the liver. A healthy liver repackages the triglycerides into another type of fat (very low density lipoproteins, VLDL) and secretes it back into the blood to be delivered to fat cells for storage. An increased storage of fat in the liver occurs in situations of impaired liver health, such as in individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol or who are obese. Even the process of normal aging is associated with increased liver fat. Excess fat in the liver is a sign of metabolic dysfunction.

Fatty Liver Symptoms

It is hard to know if you have fatty liver. The problem is that there are often no symptoms in the early stages of fatty liver, and getting your liver fat measured is expensive and involved. Sometimes a routine check-up will reveal elevated liver enzymes in the blood, which is a general indication that the liver isn’t working up to its full potential. But you can have fatty liver disease even with perfectly normal liver enzymes. Symptoms that may appear as the condition progresses include fatigue or vague abdominal discomfort. If your liver is enlarged, you may feel pressure in or near its location, or your doctor may be able to detect a problem during a physical exam. If your liver becomes inflamed, this condition leads to poor appetite, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Compromised liver function can result in physical weakness and mental confusion, and ultimately hepatitis and scarring of liver tissue. While liver cells can regenerate to some extent, repetitive damage usually ends in liver failure.

Fatty Liver Treatment

Fatty liver leads to metabolic abnormalities, including diabetes, and can progress to more serious liver diseases, including cirrhosis. Fatty liver disease is difficult to treat with traditional medicine. The most commonly prescribed pharmaceutical is fenofibrate, which is effective but results in adverse side effects in more than 10% of people who take it, and much more in older individuals. There are alternatives.

1. Regular consumption of an essential amino acid supplement is a proven natural and effective treatment for fatty liver. A clinical trial in older individuals found that essential amino acids were equally as effective as fenofibrate and caused no adverse responses (unlike fenofibrate). Other nutritional factors, including nicotinamide and caffeine, can work in concert with essential amino acids to reduce liver fat to a greater degree than when essential amino acids are given alone. Take a look at the results of the study below.

Fatty liver disease is a serious health condition marked by fat accumulation in the liver. It is often associated with alcoholism and obesity; however, fatty liver disease doesn’t discriminate. Essential amino acids and other natural fatty liver treatments are effective alternatives to prescription drugs that come with adverse side effects.

2. If you are overweight and diagnosed with fatty liver disease, it would behoove you to lose weight regardless of your pharmaceutical or supplementation treatment. Weight loss helps lower fat in the liver, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of scarring.

3. Implement lifestyle changes; for instance, if you are a heavy drinker seek the professional support you need to help treat your addiction. Limit salt and sugar intake, and bump up your consumption of fruits and vegetables. If you have chronic liver disease you are more vulnerable to infections. Ask your doctor about vaccinations for hepatitis A, B, the flu, and pneumococcal disease.