The American Liver Foundation and Diet

The American Liver Foundation and Diet

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The American Liver Foundation advocates a healthy diet for a healthy liver.

Millions of Americans have undiagnosed liver disease, and some liver diseases require special dietary guidelines. A diet containing unhealthy and high-calorie foods can promote the development of liver disorders, and as many as 25 percent of American adults may be afflicted with diet-related conditions such as fatty liver and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. According to the American Liver Foundation, a healthy diet promotes a healthier liver.

American Liver Foundation

The American Liver Foundation is America's leading non-profit organization that provides support to people with liver-related diseases and education and research to the general public for promoting liver health and disease prevention. The organization offers educational seminars on latest research findings, support groups for patients and families, disease-screening programs and a library of informative materials. The American Liver Foundation contributes funding toward scientific research and helps to educate medical professionals about the importance of good liver health. Advocating the use of healthier dietary guidelines to lower public risk of liver disease is a current focus of the foundation.

Diet and Fatty Liver

Avoiding extra calories can help to protect your liver from overwork. Some of the extra calories that you take in, especially from high-calorie and processed foods, are converted into extra liver fat and may produce a fatty liver, which in turn may contribute to NAFLD. People who are overweight or obese or who have Type 2 diabetes and people with high blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels are at increased risk of NAFLD. The American Liver Foundation recommends regular exercise in conjunction with a nutritious dietary plan to help prevent overweight, fatty liver and NAFLD.

Special Diets for Liver Diseases

Healthy food choices and body weight control are needed to help prevent or treat any form of liver disease. Healthy food makes it easier for the liver to do its work and even repair itself. Some types of liver and liver-related diseases have special dietary recommendations. For example, people with too much iron stored in the liver have to limit iron intake, and people with Wilson's disease, a disorder of too much copper storage, have to limit copper intake. Bile is required for fat digestion, and people with bile duct disease must limit fat intake.

Healthy Eating for Your Liver

A diet that is good for your liver is essentially the same diet that is good for your entire body. The American Liver Foundation recommends a balanced diet containing all the food groups including meat, dairy, grains, fruits and vegetables and fats and oils. Eat a variety of fiber-rich fresh produce and whole-grain breads, rice and cereals. Avoid uncooked shellfish, fried foods from fast food restaurants and foods containing a lot of sugar, salt or fat. Drink plenty of water and limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

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