Have you been told that you have a fatty liver and are wondering what to do next?
You are not alone.
Many of my clients have digestive issues that they believe may be related to a particular food they are eating. Some opt for allergy testing, while others elect to get blood work or an ultrasound to determine if there are any serious problems.
More and more of my clients are being diagnosed with a fatty liver. And the question to me: “Now what do I do?”
What is a fatty liver?
A fatty liver is the result of excess fat in the liver. Fat builds up in the liver when a person’s diet contains more fat than their body can handle. Having a fatty liver can lead to fatty liver disease, which in turn leads to chronic illnesses. Those who are overweight, have belly fat, are insulin resistant, pre- diabetic and who crave sugars and starches are likely to have a fatty liver. However, many people who are ultimately healthy but are not overweight are learning that they too have a fatty liver.
The liver is one of the most important organs in the body. It is located in the upper right part of the tummy and its functions include:
- Helping to process or remove alcohol, medications and toxins from the body.
- Storing fuel for the body. The food we eat is broken down into a type of sugar called glucose that is used for energy. Excess glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen to be released at a later time when we need the energy.
- Making proteins that are essential for blood to clot.
- Making cholesterol.
- Making bile, which digests fat.
Non- alcoholic fatty liver disease
Most people have no symptoms of a fatty liver. However, some experience persistent pain in the upper part of the stomach, digestive issues and fatigue. Having a fatty liver is not due to drinking in excess, but directly related to the foods that we eat.
70-90 Million Americans have a fatty liver and don’t even know it.
What causes a fatty liver?
A fatty liver is not caused from eating healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds; rather it is the result of consuming sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, sodas, fast foods and pre- packaged foods. These foods cause inflammation in the body, which leads to insulin resistance and pre- diabetes. Inflammation also creates belly fat around the organs and in the liver.
Did you know that:
The Standard American Diet is what is causing so many to have a fatty liver.
Having a fatty liver puts one at high risk for having a heart attack.
Sadly, we are now seeing young children with fatty livers – these kids have been drinking soda daily and are at risk for liver failure and even heart attack.
- Cut out sugar and high fructose corn syrup (sodas, pops, ketchup, cookies)
- Read labels
- Reduce starch (processed flours, processed foods)
- Eat more vegetables
- Incorporate healthy oils such as olive oil, macadamia nut oil and avocado oil into your diet
- Eat raw nuts and seeds
- Eat wild fish and wild meats or grass fed beef or bison
- Take Fish Oil Supplements
- Eat Cruciferous Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts
What can you do if you have a fatty liver?
All of the above. Additionally, the following supplements have been found to be helpful:
- Milk Thistle
- Lipoic Acid
- N- Acetyl-l-Cysteine
- B Vitamins (Including Choline and Inositol.)
For additional information about the connection between choline and the development of accumulated fat in the liver (non-alcoholic fatty liver) check out the following article written by Dr. Michelle Kmiec: Animal Feed Has More Nutrition Than FDA Approved Nutrition for Humans.
You also might want to check out The Gluten Free Sugar Free Way, an online program where you will learn how food plays an integral role in your health. Learn how to change your diet for the better by simply removing 3 foods that cause inflammation in your body and that can lead to a fatty liver.