Liver disease is a broad term used to describe many liver conditions like fatty liver, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and liver damage. If diagnosed with a liver disease, you need to follow a diet for the liver to function properly.
Diet for Liver Disease
You need to reduce the intake of sodium in the diet as excess sodium leads to water retention in the body. This can exert pressure on the liver and cause swelling. Secondly, the intake of protein and carbohydrates also depends on the liver function. Liver damage prevents the proper breakdown of protein, which leads to building up of waste in the body. At the same time, liver disease affects the blood sugar level. Similar is the case with fats. The intake of fat depends on the function of the liver. Fats do not get digested completely if the liver does not function properly.
The following is a list of foods that can be consumed:
- Fruits, vegetables
- Whole wheat products*
- Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs*
- Milk, yogurt, cream, cheese (containing low sodium)
- Nuts and seeds (unsalted)
- Rice, potatoes, beans
- Unsalted butter and margarine*
- Unprocessed grains
Those marked with asterisks (*) contain high amounts of either fats or proteins or carbohydrates. Following is a list of foods to be avoided:
- Fried foods, salted foods, salted nuts
- Processed and canned foods
- Sweets, desserts, concentrated sugars
- Whole milk, butter, salted cheese
- Deli meat, cured meats, sausages, cold cuts
- Soups, ketchup, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce
- Chips, pretzels, popcorn, bread, biscuit mix
- Pickles, pickled vegetables
- Canned gravy mix, salad dressings, seasonings, salsa, licorice
- Liquids like alcohol, sodas, beverages, coffee, tea, sports drinks
The diet plan varies according to the type and severity of the condition. It is strongly recommended to consult the doctor before making following any diet or making changes in your daily diet.
In the cirrhosis diet, one should avoid foods having high amounts of carbohydrate, fats, and sugar. One should rather go for home cooked vegetables, lean poultry, fruits, etc., as natural and fresh fruits can reduce the pressure on the liver.
It is advisable to have freshly made meals at home, rather than going for processed and fast food. If you are buying food from outside, check the labels and avoid buying foods high in salt, sugar, fats, and sodium content. Following a proper diet can also help in the prevention of several liver diseases to a great extent.
Lastly, note that there may be variations in the diet, depending on one's liver condition and overall health. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information, and should not be used as a substitute for doctor's advice.