In cases where liver fat is present, also known as hepatic steatosis, it is important to make some changes in your eating habits, as this is one of the best ways to treat and improve the symptoms of the condition, especially loss of appetite, abdominal pain on the side right and swollen belly.
Fatty liver is the result of poor eating habits associated with weight gain and obesity diseases such as pre-diabetes, diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and hypertension. So, this diet aims to eliminate fat accumulated at the abdominal level, so try to progressively reduce fat in the liver.
Diet advice for fatty liver
One of the main recommendations for gradually eliminating fat accumulated in the liver is to lose weight if you are overweight. That's because when you lose at least 10% of your current body weight, liver enzyme levels increase and help eliminate accumulated fat.
Below you will find the foods allowed and the foods you should avoid:
- Consume 4 to 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, such as zucchini, eggplant, lettuce, tomato, onion, carrot, apple, pear, peach, papaya, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, orange, lemon, plums, among others;
- Increase consumption of fiber-rich foods daily, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread or whole noodles;
- White meats (low in fat) such as turkey, chicken or fish;
- Skimmed milk and yogurt;
- White cheeses;
- 1 tablespoon of raw olive oil.
The type of fat that can be consumed, but in small amounts, are polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and foods rich in omega 3. Some examples of these types of fat are: olive oil, avocado, nuts such as peanuts, nuts, almonds; and fish such as salmon, trout, sardines or mackerel, for example.
Foods that should be avoided
The foods that should be avoided so that fat doesn't accumulate in the liver are:
- Foods with saturated fats: yellow cheeses, cream cheese, curd cheese, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, sausages, sauces, butter, coconut, margarine, pizza or hamburger, for example;
- Sugar-rich products, especially industrialized and processed, such as biscuits or juices;
- Fast, ready or frozen meals;
- Alcoholic beverages.
In some people, fat in the liver can cause abdominal pain and, therefore, the consumption of foods that produce gases, such as beans, can cause greater discomfort, so they should also be avoided. Check out a list of foods that cause gas.
Menu example to reduce liver fat
In the table below is a example menu for 3 days, to help reduce liver fat:
|Meals||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||2 slices of whole grain bread + 2 slices of white cheese + 1 glass of unsweetened orange juice||1 yogurt + ½ cup of whole grain cereal + 1 pear|
2 scrambled eggs + 1 slice of white cheese + 1 slice of whole grain bread + 1 glass of unsweetened strawberry juice
|Morning snack||1 medium peach||2 whole-grain toast with ricotta cheese||1 banana|
90 g grilled chicken breast + ½ cup rice + 1 cup lettuce, carrot and corn salad, seasoned with a lemon drops and salt + 1 pear
1 hake fillet in the oven with pumpkin puree + 1 cup of beet salad with cooked carrot, seasoned with a few drops of lemon and oregano + 1 banana
1 medium-grain wheat tortilla + 90 g turkey breast cut into strips + tomato, lettuce and onion salad, seasoned with lemon drops and a tablespoon of olive oil + 1 peach
|Afternoon snack||1 sugar-free gelatin pot||1 apple||1 skimmed yogurt with ½ cup of granola|
It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters a day. It is also possible to ingest teas that favor liver cleansing to eliminate the toxins that are accumulated, such as thistle, marlin or artichoke.
In cases where you do not drink a lot of water it is possible to add lemon because besides giving some flavor to the water it also contains vitamin C which can help to detoxify the liver. In addition, you should always make at least 3 main meals and 2 snacks throughout the day, avoiding staying too long without eating.
In this diet it is still important that foods be prepared in a simple way, without many condiments or fat, and should be cooked preferably as grilled, steamed or in the oven.
By following these guidelines correctly it is possible to gradually eliminate fat accumulated at the abdominal level, as well as accumulated in the liver, and results can be seen in about 2 months. However, ideally you should see a nutritionist to adapt the menu to your individual needs.