Your liver has over 500 functions to keep you alive and healthy, so it deserves your care and attention. Although there is always a small amount of fat in the liver, certain lifestyle habits can cause the liver to accumulate too much fat, which can lead to liver damage or other problems.
According to Johns Hopkins, you may have excess fat in your liver, but that doesn’t necessarily mean liver damage. However, excess liver fat can cause inflammation and cell damage over time, which can be severe.
So what causes fatty liver? Things like a high-fat diet, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heavy drinking can cause too much fatty liver. To learn more about how to prevent this, we talked to several nutritionists about their tips for the best drinking habits to reduce fatty liver.
Read on and check out the 9 worst drinks for your body for healthy drinking tips.
“Consuming too much sugar can cause your liver to produce more fat. Reading the nutrition label can help people determine if a drink has added sugar,” he says. Lauren Meneker, MS, RDNAuthor of First Time Mom Pregnancy and Male Fertility Enhancement.
Too much added sugar may not cause fatty liver or liver damage over time, but research suggests it may affect healing. One study found that diets high in sugar can slow the recovery process, especially in people with alcoholic fatty liver disease.
“Drinking too much alcohol can cause fat to build up in the liver. While it’s nice to have a drink once in a while, it’s important to avoid overdrinking,” says Manaker.
When looking at the two types of fatty liver disease, alcohol is expected to be one of the main causes of fatty liver disease. But research shows that heavy drinking also affects non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Protecting your liver goes beyond limiting certain beverages. It can also be about incorporating some healthy foods and drinks into your daily diet. And one way you can do this is by making smoothies with liver-healthy ingredients like broccoli!
“There is a compound in broccoli indole It helps reduce liver fat. Adding frozen broccoli to smoothies can be a simple way to increase your intake of this cruciferous vegetable,” says Manaker.
As mentioned above, too much added sugar can affect liver fat levels over time. And one of the sneaky ways people overindulge in sugar calories is through energy drinks.
“One drinking habit that can contribute to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is overconsumption of energy drinks. People often drink energy drinks to get a boost, but they don’t always realize how much sugar they contain. Leading energy drink brands have can have around 27 to 28 grams of sugar, so a healthier option is to choose low-sugar varieties or drink unsweetened or lightly sweetened coffee or tea for a caffeine boost,” she says. Stephanie Wells, MS, RD.
Fruit juices, even though the sugar is natural, can be loaded with sugar. While giving too much “added” sugar isn’t an issue with a juice cleanse, it can provide a heavy dose of sugar without any fiber or protein to help slow digestion.
“Juices, especially those with heavy fruits and vegetables, flush out fructose. When too much fructose overwhelms the liver, the liver turns it into fat. Consuming too much fructose can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” he says. Whitney Stewart, MS, RDN, CDCES, nutritionist and diabetes educator at Whitness Nutrition. According to Stewart, juices don’t use the skin of the fruit, which is where it has the most fiber.