Treatment of fatty liver
It is important to take a pro-active approach and not allow the disease of fatty liver to progress. Not all doctors realise just how serious the problem of fatty liver can be and the patient can be left wondering what to do. If you have been diagnosed with a fatty liver it is vital that you follow a specific and effective program to reverse the fatty changes in your liver. The liver is able to repair itself and grow new healthy liver cells and over a variable period of 6 months to several years you will be able to reverse the fatty damage to your liver and achieve a healthy normal liver. If you are overweight you will lose significant amounts of weight within several months; however the liver will take longer to completely repair itself, but do not panic as by healing your liver you will add many years to your life.
Vital principles to reverse a fatty liver
1. Follow a low carbohydrate diet
This excludes sugar, refined and/or bleached flour and foods containing these things. Avoid all foods with added sugar (we will be covering food labels and how to read them in later editions of this newsletter). If you are overweight and find it very difficult to lose weight, it is more effective to exclude ALL grains for at least 3 months and be on a “no grain diet”. You can replace these grains with legumes (beans, lentils & chickpeas), seeds and nuts.
Grains to exclude are wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice and corn.
Carbohydrates to avoid –
These include table sugar, foods with added sugar or maltodextrin, fructose, polydextrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, honey, golden syrup, molasses, jams, preserves made with sugar, candies, sweet desserts, ice-cream (but we will be including low carb healthy ice cream recipes in future editions), muffins, donuts, pizza, pretzels, chips, pastry, cakes and biscuits. The best types of chocolate for those with a fatty liver are the new low-carb guilt free range of chocolates or dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa.
Carbohydrates to minimize-
Include flour, breads, packaged cereals, crackers, pasta, noodles, and spaghetti.
If you crave sugar try to replace it with stevia, the naturally sweet herb, which has no effect on blood sugar and is calorie free. Stevia is available in the form of powder, tablets and drops and can safely be used by diabetics. Xylitol or Agave sweet cactus are not as slimming as stevia, but are much less calorific than regular sugar.
2. Increase the amount of raw plant food in your diet
Raw vegetables and fruits are the most powerful liver healing foods. These raw foods help to cleanse and repair the liver filter, so that it can trap and remove more fat and toxins from the blood stream. Eat an abundance of vegetables (cooked and raw salads) and fresh fruits. Eat a large salad everyday, or better still twice a day and use a nice dressing made with cold pressed oils and apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Add fresh herbs to your salads and stir fries – such as coriander, oregano, rosemary, basil, mint, parsley, dill, chives etc – as these have liver healing and anti-viral properties. Some people only eat salads during summer as this is the way they have been educated. Forget this habit, as your liver needs raw food everyday!
3. Eat first class protein with every meal
Good sources of protein include –
- Biodynamic unflavoured plain acidophilus yogurt (it does not have to be low-fat variety)
- Free range eggs
- All seafood, fresh or canned (avoid smoked or deep-fried seafood). Sardines are great, as being small fish they are not contaminated with mercury or other heavy metals. Avoid farmed fish that are raised in fisheries, as they are fed commercial pellets; I have noticed that these fish taste strange! I personally buy the Brunswick sardines from Canada and the Paramount Wild Alaskan Salmon as it’s harvested from the ocean.
- Certain cheeses – cottage, feta, pecorino, ricotta, cheddar, parmesan are the best but don’t overdose on cheese
- Free range poultry – remove the skin
- Lean fresh meat – I prefer lamb
- Whey protein powder, like Synd-X Slimming Protein powder
- A combination of legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) and raw nuts and seeds. You need to combine the legume with the seed and nut at the same meal or the same time; this will provide first class protein which contains all the essential amino acids. If you just eat a bean, or a nut, by itself, you are not getting the first class protein you need to control your hunger and blood sugar levels. This is why it is not uncommon for strict vegans to struggle with their weight and suffer with unstable blood sugar levels and sugar cravings.
- You do not have to eat huge amounts of protein, as the magic key is to eat the protein regularly – at least three times daily. If you have a sudden attack of hunger or cravings, the Synd-X protein powder is great to quell cravings and it tastes great too.
Most people need around 45 grams of protein daily, but this can vary a lot, so be guided by your doctor. Those with severe liver and/or kidney disease will have special requirements for protein and must be guided by their medical specialist. If you are very physically active you will need more than this amount. So don’t be confused – you don’t need huge amounts of protein; you need to eat protein regularly and some folks will only need to eat small amounts of protein.
The benefits of protein include-
- It does not elevate insulin levels and therefore does not promote fat storing
- It satisfies hunger for a long time
- It reduces cravings for carbohydrates
- It builds muscle