Fatty liver disease is more common than you might realize. This disease, which occurs when someone has too much fat accumulating in the liver, affects many Americans without showing symptoms. Unfortunately, if left untreated, fatty liver disease can progress and contribute to liver damage.
It is important to note that there are multiple types of fatty liver disease, and the two main types are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcohol-induced fatty liver disease. Those with alcohol-induced fatty liver are usually heavy drinkers and according to the Cleveland Clinic, about 5% of American adults have this. Nonalcoholic fatty liver results from other problems, often related to diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
Fortunately, fatty liver disease can often be prevented and even cured with the right medications, diet, and other lifestyle changes. To find out more, we spoke with a registered dietitian at Eat this, not that! medical expert council, Lauren Manaker, MS, RDNauthor A first-time mommy-to-be cookbook And the fueling male fertilityabout her recommendations for the worst drinking habits you want to avoid for fatty liver disease.
Read on, and for more tips on healthy drinking, check out the 6 best teas to slow down aging.
Your diet is closely related to liver health, especially when it comes to preventing fatty liver disease. Of course in the case of alcohol-induced fatty liver disease, reducing your alcohol consumption can make a big difference. With nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, researchers are still discovering the exact causes.
What they do know is that for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, things like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol can play a role in increasing your chances of developing it. Making dietary choices about preventing these health problems can help you prevent liver disease, too. To start, here are some drinking habits that you should avoid.
Sodium may not be associated with the health of the liver, but this mineral is related to the health status of this vital organ.
“Excess amounts of salt should be avoided in case of fatty liver disease. While many of us believe that excessive sodium is an ingredient that can cause negative effects on the health of our heart, the lesser known fact is that it can negatively affect the health of the liver as well through” It causes some serious damage to the organ,” says Manker.
If you’re craving some hot broth or soup, try choosing something lower in sodium or making your own so you can control the salt content.
It’s time to leave those cans and bottles of sweet soda on the shelf.
“Added sugars can increase fat buildup in the liver. Since sugary soft drinks contain a large amount of added sugar, drinking this drink frequently with fatty liver disease is not a habit that people should have,” says Manker.
In a six-year follow-up study published in Clinical gastroenterology and hepatologyfound that a higher intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (such as soda, for example) was associated with increased liver fat and an increased likelihood of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
“Alcohol and fatty liver disease don’t mix,” says Manaker. “Drinking alcohol can contribute to the accumulation of fat in the liver.” Not only can drinking excess alcohol lead to potential liver damage, but drinking alcohol if you already have fatty liver disease can speed up the progression of the disease.
According to a study published in Localized Gastrointestinal and Liver DiseasesParticipants who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol had a higher chance of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.