The #1 Best Diet to Avoid Fatty Liver Disease, New Study Says — Eat This Not That

The liver plays a major role in keeping the body healthy, and the food choices you make can help or hinder the functioning of this vital organ. For example, choosing foods with plenty of dietary fiber and vitamins C and E can help keep your liver healthy, while drinking a lot of alcohol or eating foods rich in saturated fats may have a real effect on it.

New evidence points to this Sticking to a Mediterranean diet may help fight a common liver disease: fatty liver disease. In the study published this month in the journal, NutrientsIn the study, researchers screened a group of more than 1,400 participants aged 65 and over, assessing their liver fat content and adherence to the Mediterranean diet. (Related: The 100 Most Unhealthy Foods on the Planet)

Not only did they discover that sticking to this diet was associated with lower liver fat content, but also that eating more red and processed meat and drinking more alcohol were associated with higher liver fat content. Therefore, sticking to white meat and vegetable proteins and reducing alcohol can have a positive effect on the liver.

Fatty liver disease (known to scientists as hepatic steatosis) is oftenSilent disease with few or no symptomsAccording to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the US Department of Health and Human Services, part of the National Institutes of Health. If you have symptoms, fatty liver disease may cause abdominal pain or fatigue. Those with this condition are more likely For heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, among other health problems.

Related: What Happens to Your Body on the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet includes all the nutrient-rich superstars such as beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. According to the American Heart Association, it also includes getting fat primarily from olive oil, as well as eating dairy, eggs, and poultry in moderation and very little, if any, red meat.

“One finding of our analysis was that, in the elderly in our study, the greater the adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the lower the risk of fatty liver,” said first author Luisa Lampignano. Eat this, not that! On behalf of the lead author, Rodolfo Sardoni MsBE, AuD, MPH. However, we showed that, [even when they had] Good adherence to the Mediterranean diet, people who ate more red meat and wine were more likely to have fatty liver.”

Lampinano added that more longitudinal (i.e. long-term) studies and randomized trials are needed to confirm these findings.

“Permanent lifestyle changes rarely happen overnight,” said Kelly Topps, MLA, RD, LDN, director of nutrition for the nonprofit Oldways. Eat this, not that!. “Take things one step at a time — cooking with olive oil instead of butter or margarine, or incorporating more whole grains, for example — and let the delicious flavors of Mediterranean cuisine lead the way.”

For ways to start exploring the Mediterranean diet at home, check out 15 Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes. And to get the latest food and health news delivered straight to your inbox every day, don’t forget it Register to get our latest news!

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