Fatty liver disease is a condition caused by excessive fat within liver cells. The result is an overgrown liver, which causes pain or discomfort on the upper, right-side abdominal area. Fatty liver is the most common liver disease caused by alcohol abuse, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If induced by alcohol, the liver often repairs itself once the person abstains from alcohol. Whether caused by alcohol or not, fatty liver disease may be reduced with the help of a healthy diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide an array of valuable nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that strengthen the body's immune system and fend off infection and disease. The American Liver Foundation suggests a healthy diet, which is rich in fruits and vegetables, to reduce symptoms of fatty liver disease. Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients yet low in calories, characteristics that help support healthy weight management, which also may help prevent or help treat fatty liver disease. Incorporate a variety of fresh, colorful fruits on a regular, consistent basis for best potential results. Fruits and vegetables particularly high in antioxidants include blueberries, cherries, raspberries, oranges, grapefruit, papaya, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, kale, mustard greens and bell peppers.
Whole grains provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Intake of whole grains is associated with reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and other serious conditions. Foods high on the glycemic index, or those that affect blood sugar levels dramatically, may exacerbate symptoms of fatty liver disease, while a diet rich in low-glycemic foods may help prevent or help treat the disease. Whole grains are low-glycemic, nutritious carbohydrate sources. If you have or are at risk for fatty liver disease, replace enriched, processed carbohydrate foods, such as white bread, sugary cereals and processed snack foods, which offer little nutritional value and may disrupt blood sugar levels. Valuable choices of whole grains include oats, bulgur, spelt, barley, brown or wild rice and rye. Incorporate a variety of whole grains into your diet routinely to reap the most nutritional benefits.
Unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, promote positive heart health, brain function and overall physical wellness when consumed in appropriate amounts. Saturated and trans fats, commonly found in deep-fried foods, red meat and high-fat dairy products, increase risk for diseases and may be harmful to those with fatty liver disease, according to the September 1, 2012 issue of the "American Journal of Physiology." Healthy fat choices include olive oil, canola oil, walnuts, almonds, avocado and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats that the body can't produce on its own, are found in salmon, tuna, mackeral, sardines, walnuts and canola oil. Incorporate a variety of healthy fat sources into your diet regularly to reap the most benefits. Because dietary fats aid in nutrient absorption, enjoy healthy fats as additions to nutritious meals that include vegetables, fruit and/or whole grain to heighten nutritional results.
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.