Food and lifestyle changes can make a big difference in preserving your liver health over time. In fact, if nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is diagnosed early, reversal is even possible.
Some of the most important factors to consider when eating for liver health is to eat plenty of plant-based foods, to select healthy fats and avoid simple carbohydrates (such as refined grains) and trans fats (found in packaged products like margarines, popcorns and fried fast food). For more specific information on planning a liver-healthy eating plan, read How to Eat Well for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
Putting it into practice
This sample one-day plan below, designed by a dietitian, takes into account all these considerations and adds liver-supportive foods such as green tea to the mix, which has been connected to decreased fat absorption and lowered levels of abnormal liver enzymes.
One day of eating for NAFLD
|Breakfast||1 serving Toast with Sweet Potato, Egg & Avocado
8 oz coffee or green tea without sweetener
8 oz water
|Lunch||1 serving Cuban Style Rice & Beans with Turkey
16 oz water OR 16 oz iced unsweetened green tea
4 cups fresh spinach, steamed or wilted, tossed with 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt
|Snack||1 oz (¼ cup) whole raw skin-on almonds
3 dried figs
16 oz water
|Dinner||1 serving Sesame Tuna & Mango Salad
16 oz water
Daily Totals: 1,716 calories, 90 g total fat, 14 g saturated fat, 296 g cholesterol, 1,007 mg sodium, 152 g carb, 40 g fiber, 51 g sugar, 89 g protein
Eating for liver health uses many of the same principles as eating a healthy, Mediterranean-style eating plan. For a one-week plan including shopping list and recipes, try reading Go Mediterranean for 1 Week.
Jessie Shafer is a registered dietitian, team member at The Real Food RDs, former magazine editor, avid cyclist, and busy mom of two who loves to share her enthusiasm for eating well.
For more condition-related nutrition information, read How to Eat Well for High Blood Pressure.