What is Fatty Liver?
The liver is responsible for several metabolic functions in the body, one of the most important being the storage and breakdown of nutrients that is then utilized as energy. When we overly consume food and beverages it forces the body to turn what it can’t utilize into stored body fat. While it’s normal for the liver to store minimal amounts of fat, when the liver is 5% or more fat the individual has developed a fatty liver. This is caused by consistent, excessive alcohol or food and beverage intake. Individuals that have Diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and/or are obese are at a higher risk for developing fatty liver.
How can you reverse or minimize the damage of Fatty Liver?
Luckily, most can reverse this process with simple lifestyle changes, including:
- Eliminating alcohol from the diet
- Achieving a 10% weight loss by consuming a more balanced diet
- Limiting overindulgence of food and beverages
- Limiting salt intake
- Drinking coffee regularly
- Exercising most days for at least 30 minutes at time
If lifestyle changes are not made, fatty liver can progress to cirrhosis, liver cancer and/or end-stage liver disease. Working with a Registered Dietitian to monitor your diet, food selections and weight loss progress is the most effective way to prohibit further health complications.
What types of nutrition changes can you implement?
The main goal for any individual attempting to lose weight is to control the amount of food you are consuming. As stated previously, overconsumption of carbohydrates, fats, and protein can all be stored as body fat, therefore learning the amount of food that your body can utilize without storing anything as fat is ideal for a successful weight loss journey. Selecting better quality food items is also extremely important in weight loss for satiety and overall health benefits.
Here are some tips on how to clean up your diet and achieve your goals:
- Select more fresh food options than processed items.
- Eliminate items that are high in fat and added sugar.
- Consume items higher in fiber to keep your bowels regular and for satiety purposes.
- Keep a food journal to keep track of what and how much you are eating, this is a great way to hold yourself accountable and learn the nutrient content of items you regularly consume.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily to limit water retention and promote the breakdown of stored body fat.
- Prepare for your next day of meals the night before so that you can get easily get through your day without steering away from your goals.
- Exercise regularly.
We offer the Ideal Protein weight loss program overseen by our Registered Dietitian, Andrea Marincovich, R.D. that is a highly effective, turn-key nutrition program. This program is a low fat, low carbohydrate, moderate protein, ketogenic protocol that is suitable for individuals with Fatty Liver to achieve the weight loss necessary to decrease the amount of fat stored in the liver. Click here to learn more about this program!
How can you monitor your Fatty Liver?
At Long Beach Gastroenterology Associates we are excited to announce that we now offer FibroScan. FibroScan is a noninvasive scan performed at our office that evaluates the amount of fat in your liver. This is a great way to assess how effective your diet is in improving your fatty liver and the progress you are making. A FibroScan is commonly covered by insurance every 6 months.