The liver is an important organ that regulates blood chemicals, secretes bile, metabolizes food, stores glycogen, vitamins and minerals, and processes drugs. These are just some of the main functions of the liver, and without a healthy liver, any number of these functions can be impaired. Compared to other organs, the liver has the ability to regenerate after damage. While this is a happy fact, you don’t want to rely on the liver’s unique regenerative abilities, rather you want to take care of it from the start.
Your eating and drinking habits can have both positive and negative effects on how well your liver functions, so it’s important to make choices that are in the best interest of your liver and your body as a whole. Here are the four worst eating habits for your liver to help keep your body in tip-top shape.
The health effects of processed sugars added to foods and beverages may surprise you. Added sugar can raise blood pressure, increase chronic inflammation, lead to weight gain, diabetes and fatty liver disease, all of which increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to Harvard Health. You may be surprised to learn that the added sugar you consume can actually increase the production of fat in your liver, leading to fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.
Not all sugars are created equal, and it’s important to distinguish the sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables from the added sugars found in many processed foods and beverages that are not harmful to liver health. In fact, one study found that participants who drank fructose-sweetened beverages had twice as much fat production as those who drank glucose-sweetened beverages. Another finding of the study was that sucrose, the most common type of sugar in humans, increases fat synthesis slightly more than the same amount of fructose.
Eat this! Type: To reduce the burden on your liver and other organs and tissues in your body, try to limit sugar to 25 grams a day for women and 36 grams for men, according to the American Heart Association.
It is a broad food and beverage category and includes many packaged, shelf-stable, frozen and chilled items. Many of these drinks and foods contain sugar, which we know is bad for your liver health. Processed meats such as hot dogs, pepperoni, cured meats, and breads, pastries, cereals, and desserts also contain harmful ingredients.
A recent study found that high consumption of ultra-processed foods is linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and additional studies point to high sodium intake, often found in processed foods, as well as NAFLD and advanced liver fibrosis.
Eat this! Type: A healthy diet may contain a small amount of processed foods, but it’s best to look for those without added sugar, nitrates, and nitrites, and choose varieties that are lower in sodium and less processed. For example, whole-wheat bread contains important nutrients like fiber compared to white bread. Focus more on whole foods and use herbs, vinegars, sauces and low-sodium and low-added-sugar seasonings for extra flavor.
Potatoes, chips and scones, oh my! Although many of your favorite foods fall into this category, the high fat content of these foods can put your liver into overdrive. Fried foods are often made with low-quality fat sources such as corn oil, which are heavily processed and contain high levels of omega-6 fat, which is thought to increase inflammation in the body when consumed in large amounts and imbalanced with omega-6 fats. 3 admissions.
Fried foods are often high in sodium, another risk factor for liver damage, and are often enjoyed with sugar-laden sauces, toppings, and dips.
Eat this! Type: It’s best to limit your use of fried foods, and if you’re planning to fry at home, consider using a good quality oil. Peanut and avocado oils are good for frying because they have a higher smoke point than other common oils like olive and contain better quality fats than other frying oils. Olive oil is a great option when cooking at low temperatures, rich in healthy fats.
The product contains valuable nutrients not often found in other food sources, such as antioxidants and fiber. In addition, certain fruits and vegetables may contain compounds that protect the liver and even enhance its detoxification function. For example, cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts increase the activity of detoxifying enzymes in the liver. In addition, antioxidants found in berries, grapes, grapefruit, and cactus pears show liver-protecting abilities.
Eat this! Type: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. Specific recommendations may vary slightly by age and gender, but this is a great goal for most adults. Fruits and kale, shaved Brussels sprouts for lunch, steamed broccoli for dinner, and steamed broccoli are examples of a simple meal plan that includes nutrients that are good for your liver.