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Liver is not only the largest organ of the body but also one of the most vital. It filters blood, detoxifies chemicals, metabolizes drugs, secretes bile and also makes proteins necessary for blood clotting. Fatty Liver has become one of the most common causes of liver disease worldwide and has been recognized as a major health burden.
What is fatty liver?
Fatty liver or steatosis is the term that describes the buildup of fat in the liver. While it’s normal to have some fat in liver, more than 5 to 10 percent of liver weight is fat in case of fatty liver.
The prevalence of fatty liver has grown proportionally with the rise in obesity, sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle, improper dietary pattern, and metabolic syndrome. Subjects with significantly higher value of body mass index, waist circumference, percent body fat, total cholesterol and above normal blood pressure have more chances of having a fatty liver.
Currently, there is no drug therapy that can be formulated for treating fatty liver. A combination of dietary modifications and increased physical activity remains the mainstay of fatty liver management.
Diet to be followed:
People with fatty liver are encouraged to eat a variety of foods, choose from several food groups, and include predominantly whole grains and their products in the diet. Consuming high quality protein like eggs, lean meat like fish and chicken will help regenerate the liver cells. For the vegans complementary proteins like low fat dairy products, beans, legumes and pulses would enrich their diet. A daily serving of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended. Unsaturated vegetable oil like safflower, sunflower or olive for cooking can be used. Plenty of water needs to be taken everyday which would help flush the liver of toxins. Combination of vitamin D, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids show promise for the treatment of fatty liver.
What to avoid:
- Fried foods
- Saturated and trans fats like butter, cheese and red meat
- High fructose and high glycemic index foods like soda, potatoes, white bread etc
Fatty liver is reversible if proper adequate steps are taken and a healthy liver goes a long way in enhancing the quality and longevity of life of an individual.