Monday, September 27

Obesity and fatty liver: 6 dietary habits to combat them


Following a Mediterranean diet, consuming omega-3s, avoiding sugars, processed and alcohol, are basic dietary measures to reduce the risk and symptoms of fatty liver.

Photo: Photo of Ella Olsson in Pexels / Pexels

There are no doubts: the relationship between fatty liver and obesity is direct, not in vain losing weight is one of the main recommendations in medical treatment. The liver is the largest organ within the body and is associated with fundamental functions such as digest food, store energy and eliminate toxins. The truth is that the liver is very prone to saturation, which significantly affects its functioning and as a result, liver diseases arise. Undoubtedly one of the most common and recurrent in modern Western society is fatty liver, which is characterized by excessive accumulation of fat in the liver.

The data do not lie, there is information that supports that non-alcoholic fatty liver is a condition that it affects approximately 25% of the world’s population. It is also associated with higher rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. It is the most common chronic liver disorder in the United States and usually presents symptoms such as: fatigue and weakness, mild pain or a feeling of fullness in the right or central abdominal area, elevated levels of liver enzymes, insulin and triglycerides, jaundice, body pain, gas, nausea and mental confusion.

The truth is that every day the references in which it is confirmed the close connection between lifestyle and diet with the development of fatty liver disease and therefore making a change in daily eating habits is part of the solution. Based on this, we set about compiling the best recommendations from experts to make sustainable changes in daily habits.

1. Make diet adjustments and lose weight

The only way to lose weight healthily and sustainably in the long term is making dietary adjustments that guarantee a lower caloric intake and that in turn provide all the nutrients that the body needs to function properly. It will probably be interesting to you to know that the guide of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, stated in its last edition that weight loss is an essential part of improving the progression and characteristic symptoms of fatty liver. The guide explicitly recommends that people lose between 3 and 5% of body weight, it is a great measure to reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver. Better still lose between 7 and 10% of body weight, to reduce inflammation, fibrosis and scarring.

2. Bet on a Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be the most recommended nutritional scheme to help reduce liver fat and lose weight with nutrition. It is also a dietary guideline that is associated with great qualities to control most of the conditions associated with fatty liver: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Another great advantage of the Mediterranean diet is that it focuses on a wide variety of plant-based foods and healthy fats.

– Fruits and vegetables. Bet on consuming all kinds of colorful variants, the best recommendations are: berries, apples, oranges, bananas, dates, figs, melons, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, cucumbers, aubergines and tomatoes.

– Legumes. They are a magnificent ally of the Mediterranean diet and a magnificent source of fiber, including: beans, peas, lentils, legumes and chickpeas. They are low in calories and incredibly filling.

– Healthy fats. The consumption of healthy fats is a fundamental aspect of the Mediterranean diet, not in vain olive oil is the fat par excellence. It also integrates foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and other vegetable oils.

– Fish and lean meats. Opt for fish twice a week. Eggs and lean poultry, such as chicken and skinless turkey, are fine in moderation.

– Whole grains. Eat unprocessed grains and cereals, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole oats, couscous, whole wheat pasta, or quinoa.

3. Drink coffee

Coffee is one of the most powerful stimulants in nature, it is associated with immense antioxidant power and studies have proven its protective benefits for the liver. There is a study from 2016, in which it was found that coffee has the power to stimulate liver enzyme productionIt’s believed to fight inflammation. And it was concluded that people with fatty liver who regularly consume coffee, reduce overall liver damage. The consumption of two to three cups of black coffee a day.

4. Avoid added sugars

It is no secret to say that a diet rich in sugary foods deteriorates health on all levels and is associated with an increased risk of a long list of degenerative diseases. Specifically, it has been shown that a high intake of fructose and sucrose is associated with the development of fatty liver disease. Research from 2017 describes how these sugars contribute to the accumulation of fat in the liver. It is known that Main culprits are the wide range of processed foods such as: baked goods such as cakes, cookies, donuts and pies, desserts, candy, ice cream, sugary cereals, sweetened beverages such as sports and coffees, sweetened dairy products. Bet on the consumption of natural foods and always check the labels, to identify if a packaged food contains added sugar: all the words that end in “ose”, including sucrose, fructose and maltose, are sugars. Similarly, it is important to avoid the consumption of products made with: sugar cane, high fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate and molasses.

5. Avoid liver irritants

The liver fulfills the important function of filtering toxins and everything that the body does not need, however that does not mean that certain substances put excess stress on the liver. Therefore it is very important avoid alcohol, over-the-counter medications, fatty foods, irritants, and some vitamins and supplements. In fact, there are studies in which it has been proven that it is better to avoid alcohol completely, when you suffer from fatty liver or any liver condition.

6. Take omega-3 supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with great health benefits, especially cardiovascular. These are polyunsaturated fats found in foods such as oily fish, nuts and seeds, which exert a protective effect on the liver. It has been proven through a review of studies that the consumption of foods rich in omega-3 and supplements, reduces liver fat and improves cholesterol levels. The recommended daily dose according to experts is between 830 and 9,000 milligrams.

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