Fat in your Liver?

Ever hear of NAFLD – nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?  It is actually the most common chronic liver disease in America and coincidentally has almost nothing to do with fat.

Many days my clients will bring me in a copy of their blood work and say “my doctor says I have fatty liver” and in the next sentence will ask me “do I need to cut out all fat in my diet?”

I normally answer no and then go on to answer the more complicated part of what fatty liver is and how to treat it.

The liver plays a vital role in many processes in the body, including regulating the body’s blood sugar. 

In fact there is a strong link between NAFLD and type 2 or adult onset diabetes.

“80% of people with diabetes have fat in the liver” states Kenneth Cusi, MD, an endocrinologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Fatty liver is hard to diagnose except via biopsy, MRI or ultrasound but if you have a high cholesterol and triglyceride level on your lab work there is a good chance you have it.

If you are consuming more carbs than your body can process, they can get shuttled to the liver and stored there.  If the liver becomes saturated with carbs/sugars that’s where the connection comes with elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The best way to reverse fatty liver?

  • Reduce carbohydrates

Dr. Cusi states, “reduce carbohydrates and that reduces fat in your liver very quickly.”  The best way to reduce carbohydrates is cutting down on the filler ones – bread, pasta, rice, cereals, etc.  Eat your carbohydrates in the form of veggies/fruit, nuts/seeds, low-fat dairy and unprocessed non man-made carbohydrates such as yams, squash, quinoa and brown rice. 

  • Lose weight with these 3 Additives

Rather than taking something away why not add a few things?  Increase your protein to increase your metabolic rate, do something active 30 minutes per day and slowly work on increasing your sleep time to at least 7 hours.

NAFLD does not have to be in your present or future and is very controllable with the above lifestyle changes.  Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body and taking good care of it can save you from diabetes, heart disease and even save your life.