This week I would like to discuss “Fatty Liver Disease”. I seem to be seeing a lot of this lately; must be the season for physicals
What, Exactly, is a Fatty Liver?
Fatty Liver Disease is a condition where cells that act as garbage bags to contain toxins and waste products in the liver engulf large amounts of fat (lipids). The cells enlarge and begin a “take over” of the liver which disrupts normal functioning. Fat accumulation in the liver is a direct response to injury to the liver caused by malnourishment, overload of toxins and a lack of anti-oxidants. The good news is that it is reversible!
What Causes a Fatty Liver?
Excessive alcohol consumption is the number 1 contributor. The body views alcohol as a dangerous toxin to be removed immediately. When large amounts of alcohol are consumed the liver has to give up normal functions to deal with these “toxins”. Therefore consumed fats are not converted into glycogen; instead the fat globules accumulate within the liver which becomes swollen. Ie fatty liver disease
Excessive consumption of fatty foods. Lipids are slow to digest so when we consume large amounts at a time the body has to place them somewhere to be dealt with later. If we continue to ingest large amounts of fats they begin to build up; all around and in the liver.
Very fast weight loss. Crash or yo-yo diets do not allow time for the body to deal with the quickly released toxins and fats; therefore they accumulate around the liver.
Ingestion of unnourishing foods. Fast food, packaged foods, foods with excessive sugar, preservatives, artificial colourings….if you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is; it probably contributes to a fatty liver in some way!
How to Prevent Fatty Liver Disease
Cut back on alcohol consumption, better yet eliminate it all together! Yes it is true that a glass of wine is good for you but when it comes to this old saying less is definitely more!
Watch your fat intake. The body needs lipids to stay healthy however it does not need a double bacon cheese burger daily…or even weekly J Healthy fats, in smaller quantity: coconut oil, extra virgin olive oils, nuts and seeds are some “good for you” fats that do a body good.
If you want to loose weight find a knowledgeable practitioner to help you through it. Aim for 1-5 pounds a week. It may be slower but trust me your body will thank you! Also studies show that people who experience slower weight loss are healthier overall and tend to keep the weight off.
I Have a Fatty Liver…Now What?
Ahh the real reason for writing this article! Fatty liver disease is correctable with some dedication. First of all follow the recommendations above.
Next a slow detox which includes healthy eating, adequate water consumption and exercise.
Increase your ingestion of brightly coloured vegetables. Eat a rainbow! (not the skittles kind). Each colour has its benefits, just remember the brighter, dark or more vibrant the natural colour the more nutrients and anti-oxidants the food contains.
Decrease your consumption of red meats as they tend to be on the fatty side when compared to poultry and fish. Consider becoming a “weekday vegetarian”. This means that 4 or 5 out of 7 days you go meat free.
Water, water and more water. I can’t stress this enough! Water helps the body flush out
toxins, adequate water intake allows for proper functioning of the kidneys, one of the bodies main detox organs. When the body is hydrated the entire system is primed to work more efficiently. Think engine oil in your car.
Increase fibre. Fibre binds to fats to help move it through the intestines, which is the final dumping place as the body detoxes. If lipids are left in the intestines it gets reabsorbed back into the system to accumulate on the live once more.
Finally Exercise: get things moving! Increasing exercise helps the body move fats through and out quicker so that accumulation does not occur; and once it has helps the body use the accumulated fats as energy.
If you have more questions or concerns about your health I am always happy to receive your emails!