The cause of fatty liver disease is a build-up of fat in the liver.
There is alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Both types are common in people who have conditions such as, obesity, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Currently, there are no drugs yet to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Diet and lifestyle changes are some of the best ways to manage this condition as follows:
1. Try the Mediterranean diet
A 2017 research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may be a good remedy for reducing liver fat, even without weight loss. The diet also helps conditions commonly linked with NAFLD, for instance, high cholesterol, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
The diet includes fruits and veggies such as:
- leafy greens
- sweet potatoes
Try to include:
Also eat fish and lean meats like:
Eggs, lean poultry, skinless chicken and turkey.
Whole grains such as:
- whole-wheat bread
- whole oats
- brown rice
- whole-wheat pasta
2. Lose excess weight
According to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)’s 2017 guide, people living with obesity and NAFLD should lose between 3 and 5 % of their body weight in order to reduce fat buildup in the liver.
This guide also encourages a weight loss of between 7 and 10 % to improve other symptoms of NAFLD, for example inflammation, fibrosis and scarring. The fasting and intake have to progressive and extreme to avoid making it hard on your liver.
3. Drink coffee
According to research, coffee is one of the most effective protective remedies for the liver. It stimulates the production of liver enzymes for fighting inflammation.
Regular coffee consumption also reduces overall liver damage among people with NAFLD. Black coffee is more effective and 2 to 3 cups a day are enough.
- Get active
Stay active if you suffer from NAFLD. Dedicate at least 150 minutes for moderate-intensity exercises every week.
Even a brisk 30- 15 minute walk 5 days a week is enough depending on your age and general health condition.
If you want to start a new exercise routine, consult your doctor for safe options.
- Avoid foods with added sugars
Don’t go for dietary sugars like fructose and sucrose as they lead to NAFLD via fat buildup in the liver over time.
The main examples include store-bought and processed foods like:
- baked goods such as doughnuts, pastries, cookies, cakes, and pies
- ice cream
- soft drinks
- sugary cereals
- energy drinks
- sports drinks
- Sugary dairy products such as flavored yogurts
Also avoid corn sweeteners, cane sugar, honey, high-fructose corn syrup and other sweetened products.
6. Target high cholesterol
Limit your consumption of certain types of fats to help you control your cholesterol and treat NAFLD. Limit the following fats:
Saturated fats from red meats and trans fats which are processed crackers, baked goods and fried foods.
7. Avoid known liver irritants
Liver irritants include alcohol, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, some vitamins and supplements. Consuming alcohol even in moderation is bad for the liver.
If you’ve fatty liver disease, be sure to work closely with your doctor to develop the best personalized home treatment plan that works for you.