World Liver Day 2019 is being observed around the globe today. The annual observance is aimed at spreading awareness about this crucial organ of the body and how to take care of it. The liver's function is to process food and medicines as well as to detoxify the body by flushing out toxins through blood. The main function of the liver is to filter the blood that comes from the digestive tract and to make proteins important for clotting of blood during cuts and injuries, among various other functions. There are a number of afflictions that may hamper smooth functioning of the liver and these include hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, gallstones as well as fatty liver disease.
What Is Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver diseases are getting more and more rampant around the world. The condition affects 10 million people in India every year. The condition results in accumulation of fat in the liver. There are two types of fatty liver diseases - alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The causes of alcoholic fatty liver disease include excessive consumption of alcohol, while the cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unknown. Some of the common risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease include obesity, type-2 diabetes and high levels of cholesterol in blood. Chronic fatty liver may affect a person's life and usually doesn't have any symptoms, which is what makes the disease more dangerous.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may also be linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. In both types of fatty liver diseases, it is crucial that the patient makes some lifestyle changes, in order to manage the condition and it is very important to keep diet and nutrition under check. Consultant nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Datta says, "Both the types of fatty liver diseases affect healthy liver cells that are replaced with fat cells. Diet therapy is recommended in either case." She suggests some dos and don'ts to manage fatty liver.
Dos And Don'ts To Manage Fatty Liver Disease:
1. Don't Drink Alcohol
Patients of fatty liver must avoid alcohol consumption as it may worsen the condition. It is important for those suffering from chronic fatty liver disease to steer clear of alcohol completely.
2. Do Consume Complex Carbs
Dr. Datta says that although it is advisable to restrict consumption of carbs while suffering from fatty liver disease, one must focus on replacing simple carbs with complex carbs like fibre-rich foods.
3. Do Consume Adequate Protein
Dr. Datta says that in a diseased liver, the protein metabolism is affected. Therefore, it is important for people with fatty liver disease to consume adequate proteins in their diet.
4. Don't Do Away With Fats Completely
According to Dr. Rupali, a lot of fatty liver patients tend to remove fat-rich foods from their diet. However, she says that patients should consume healthy fats in amounts that are healthy for their respective age and weight.
5. Do Include More Omega 3 Sources
Dr. Rupali says that foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids may help the liver recover. Some common dietary sources of omega 3 include fish and seafood, nuts and seeds, and plant-based oils like soybean, canola oil, etc.
6. Don't Drink Sugary Fruit Juices
Dr. Datta advises patients to steer clear of sugary fruit juices as well as foods and drinks with excessive sugar in them. She also advises people to keep away from fried foods.
Dr. Datta says that an ideal liver-friendly diet must be rich in anti-oxidant-rich foods like lots of veggies and fruits as well as whole grains. "Basically, just eat clean and fresh food and stay away from processed foods. Also include vitamin A and beta carotene in your diet," she adds. For those suffering from digestion troubles, Dr. Datta says that having small frequent meals may help. Additionally, she says that fatty liver patients must attempt to lose weight, as that can also help regulate the condition.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Sakshita KhoslaSakshita loves the finer things in life including food, books and coffee, and is motivated by self-indulgence and her love for words. When not writing, she can be found huddled in the corner of a cosy cafe with a good book, caffeine and her own thoughts for company.