What type of diet is best if you have a fatty liver? Many people think the answer is low fat, but research shows cutting the carbs is what really works.

Researchers found that just two weeks of a diet that excludes bread, pasta, rice and other carb-rich foods already reduces liver fat levels and leads to other metabolic improvements. Results were published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

The study involved 10 adults who were obese and diagnosed with NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease). For two weeks, the participants were put on a lower carbohydrate, higher protein diet. The researchers then measured differences in liver fat levels, as well as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This is relevant because people with a fatty liver are at higher risk of heart disease.

Just 14 days of a low carb diet led to significant improvements in fatty liver, and interestingly also reductions in blood levels of the inflammatory chemicals interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Higher levels of those chemicals are associated with a more severe form of fatty liver that can progress to cirrhosis.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and will have a major impact on the health care requirements of many countries in the future.  NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. The liver possesses remarkable properties of repair and renewal and it is possible to completely reverse NAFLD if it is detected early enough. We are seeing NAFLD in a much younger population and it is not uncommon in overweight children.  This is worrying because the earlier in life you develop a fatty liver, the more likely you are to develop complications.

What should you be eating if you have a fatty liver?

  1. Raw plant food, especially raw vegetables. A maximum of 2 pieces of fruit daily are allowed while you are trying to lose weight. Most fruits are fairly high in sugar.  Vegetables contain very little sugar, therefore you can eat unlimited quantities.
  2. Cooked vegetables of different varieties including some starchy vegetables (except potatoes); this will compensate for the fact that you will not be eating bread, biscuits and sugary desserts.
  3. First class protein from one or more of the following choices –
    – Any seafood, canned or fresh (not smoked or deep-fried)
    – Poultry
    – Lean fresh red meats
    – Eggs – organic or free range
    – Legumes (beans, chickpeas or lentils) & raw nuts & seeds
    – Protein powder – make sure it does not contain sugar; ideally use Synd-X Slimming Protein powder which is sweetened with the herb stevia. You can use this powder to make delicious smoothies.

Take a good liver tonic to support your liver function. Livatone Plus contains all the nutrients your liver requires for efficient phase 1 and 2 detoxification. It also contains the herb St Mary’s Thistle, which helps to repair damaged liver cells.