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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Liver Disease Diet

The liver is an important organ in the body, and when liver failure occurs it can cause havoc on your body. However, there are certain foods that can help sustain the liver for as long as possible and ease the stress of the disease.

Value of the Liver

    The liver is responsible for metabolizing the food you eat into useful energy to function through daily life. If the liver is diseased, the nutrients in the foods you consume will be lost.

    A healthy liver will use protein to repair tissue in the body. An unhealthy liver will cause fat to be accumulated on it.

Suggestions for the Liver Disease Diet

    First recommendation is to increase carbohydrates and limit protein intake. Carbohydrates like bread, pasta and whole grains are good choices. Carbohydrates to avoid are of the junk food variety like salty chips and buttered popcorn.

    You should also invest in multivitamins and supplements, particularly glucosamine chondroitin, vitamins B, C, D and E.

    Also make sure to drink plenty of water, since 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water are recommended for those with liver disease. Water may help with the dehydration that many liver diseases patients experience.

What to Avoid

    First on the list is complete abstinence from alcohol. Also stay away from caffeinated drinks.

    Avoid eating too much unhealthy fat in your diet; fat can often prevent protein from being properly digested. Also try to stay away from too much sodium; sodium can cause bloating and retaining fluid in the body.

    Do not consume too much protein from fatty foods, instead opt for lean protein like fish, poultry and beef.

    Surprisingly not all vitamins are recommended especially vitamin A, vitamin B3 and too much iron. Going along with avoiding vitamin A, avoid foods rich with it like egg yolks, dairy products high in fat and fish oil.

    Do not bother strolling down the frozen food aisle since processed food usually contains too much salt for those with liver disease.

Sample Menu

    A sample menu courtesy of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute website:

    For breakfast try a citrus fruit loaded with vitamin C, oatmeal or whole grain cereal with a little milk, a slice of wheat toast with jam and glass of juice or water.

    For lunch, lean fish, poultry or beef, one nonprocessed starch food like potatoes, a serving of a vegetable or salad, two slices of wheat or whole grain bread with a bit of margarine no more than two teaspoons with tablespoon of jelly or jam, a piece of fruit and a glass of milk, water or juice.

    A healthy treat like graham crackers or piece of fruit would both be good options for afternoon snacks.

    For dinner another four ounces of beef, fish or poultry, another starch, vegetable or salad, two whole grain slices of toast or rolls, a piece of fruit or healthy dessert. If you are still hungry later on in the night, try another piece of fruit for an evening snack.

    Of course, before going on any diet please consult a doctor beforehand. Certain forms of liver diseases require avoidance or addition of specific foods and vitamins.

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