Fatty liver: With the 10-point plan, you can go back to eating healthy

More than every fourth adult in Germany has one fatty liver. Hardly any disease can be cured as well with the right diet as fatty liver in its early stages, says Dr. Jörn Klasen. “It is true that this requires personal initiative and a change in diet initially requires a high degree of discipline. But it’s worth it in several ways: It’s not just your liver that benefits from a healthier lifestyle. You will also feel fitter in general and it will be easier for you to lose weight,” writes the nutritionist in his new book “Tschüss Fettleber”, which has just been published by ZS-Verlag.

What the liver especially likes is a balanced diet with “green” proteins, lots of fiber, high-quality fats, little sugar and few carbohydrates, which prevents obesity and has an anti-inflammatory effect, explains Klasen. As a guide for day to day, in his book he recommends these ten golden rules to combat fatty liver:

Rule 1 against fatty liver: eat a lot of vegetables

The number one basic rule for a healthy liver is: eat lots of vegetables. Whether beans, peppers, mushrooms, cabbage, spinach or courgettes: the colorful and fresh products from the vegetable department contain almost everything that the (liver) cells need to work with all their might. The vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals have an anti-inflammatory effect, keep the intestines healthy, strengthen the immune system and fill the stomach without overloading it with too many calories.

It is best to divide a pound of vegetables between two or three meals a day. Give preference to products from local regions. Many superfoods, such as cabbage, chard or beets, grow almost on our doorstep and arrive directly from the field to the plate without having to travel long distances. Fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, miso) are good for the gut.

Anti-Fat Rule 2: Moderate Fruit

No one denies that fruit is healthy. It contains valuable vitamins, fiber, and trace elements, but should be consumed with caution when it comes to liver health. This is due to fructose, which is mainly found in sweet fruits, juices and smoothies. The warning about this seems wrong at first, because apples, pears and Co. are natural foods.

The trick is in the details: Since fructose is twice as sweet as glucose and particularly cheap, the food industry likes to use it, under the guise of natural sweetness, as a cheap sweetener for soft drinks, convenience products and many other products. other foods and drinks. . This excess makes fructose dangerous because our bodies are not designed to process large amounts. The liver is stressed because only it can metabolize fructose.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop eating fruit. Follow four rules:

  • Give preference to fruits with low sugar content (for example, sour apples, apricots, avocados, berries, grapefruit, lemons) and reduce the consumption of sweet fruits such as pineapples, bananas, pears, grapes or mangoes.
  • Eat fruit for breakfast or for dessert at lunchtime, because then the metabolism is especially active.
  • Stick to the beginning: the fruit is eaten and not drunk. Avoid dried fruit unless your liver is healthy.

Read more on the subject here: The Apple Dilemma Promotes Fatty Liver and Diabetes: What Does Too Much Fructose Do in the Body

Rule 3 against fatty liver: Avoid sugar

The main problem today is that we eat too much, too often, and mostly the wrong thing. We take in far more calories than we need for our daily activities. High sugar intake plays a central role in this. At an average of 100 grams per day, it is now four times what it should be. (…)

A currywurst can be sweetened like a frozen pizza, canned fruit, or prepared coleslaw. Therefore, it is important for liver health to not only avoid sweets as much as possible, but also to recognize sugar traps, such as fruit juices. (…) To recognize sugar in the list of ingredients on the package, pay attention to the end. If an ingredient ends in -ose, you should avoid the product. Sugar substitutes such as xylitol (E 967) and sorbitol (E 420) are as little alternative as sweeteners (steviol glycosides, E 960) from the stevia plant or aspartame (E 951), a synthetic sweetener . The latter have a sweetening power of 30 to 3000 times greater than table sugar and make you even more dependent.

Rule 4 against fatty liver: look for good sources of fat

Avoid fat to combat fatty liver? This may sound obvious, but it’s the wrong approach. You can eat fat for the sake of the liver, but you need to choose the right one. Healthy fats are important building blocks for the body. They protect organs and vessels, help keep blood sugar levels under control, inhibit inflammatory processes in the body and keep it slim.

The best fat is in the form of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in vegetable oils (flaxseed oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil, hemp oil, and algae), nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts), and fish sea ​​fat such as salmon. or mackerel. You should definitely avoid so-called trans fats, which are produced during the industrial processing of fats and are found in many finished products.

Rule 5 against fatty liver: eat “green” protein

(…) For every kilogram of normal weight, an adult should eat 1 to 1.2 grams of protein throughout the day. It’s best to build your protein plan from few animal sources (eggs, meat, poultry, fish, dairy) and plenty of plant sources (legumes, oats, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, seaweed). Plant protein tends to contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates, and good fats, while animal protein contains too much saturated fatty acids.

Anti-Fatty Liver Rule 6: Give preference to whole grain varieties

The role of carbohydrates is often underestimated. Anyone who eats a lot of white bread, pasta, rolls, rice and the like is really fattening up the liver. Because our metabolic center stores excess easily digestible carbohydrates in the form of harmful fats. On nights in particular, you should avoid the classic filling dishes and “dinner” in the form of buttered toast and sausage. If carbs are put on the plate, then they should be complex carbs from whole grain bread, pasta, or rice.

Rule 7 against fatty liver: eat fiber

Fiber is an essential part of a liver-healthy diet. They ensure that the blood sugar level rises slowly and stimulate the metabolism of fats in the liver. They are mainly found in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grain products. Major suppliers include Jerusalem artichoke, black salsify, chia seeds, flaxseed, and wheat bran. (…)

Rule 8 against fatty liver: Reduce your meat consumption

Do you get the feeling that dishes without a piece of meat on the plate are not “real” meals? Then you should rethink your eating habits. You don’t have to go vegetarian right away, but for the sake of your liver you should avoid meat if possible. This applies in particular to red meat (beef, pork, veal, and lamb) and to processed meat in the form of ham, hot dogs, hot dogs, or meatloaf. (…)

Rule 9 against fatty liver: avoid fast food and processed foods

Highly processed foods like fast food or prepared meals are convenient and mostly taste good because they are loaded with unhealthy artificial additives that we can’t get enough of. But the aftertaste is rancid: this “industrial fodder” does not fill you up in the long run and makes us eat more and more in an unnatural way instead of being satisfied. (…)

Rule 10 against fatty liver: drink properly

Prefer drinks without calories and without sugar, tap or mineral water is ideal. If the latter is high in magnesium, it also has a beneficial effect on sugar metabolism. General rule: drink 0.03 liters per kilogram of normal weight per day. If it’s hot outside or you do a lot of sports, it can be more.

It’s best to have the right bottles or cans ready in the morning and drink the planned amount throughout the day. If the water is too boring for you, you can flavor it with herbs, lemon slices or ginger. Also recommended: infusions and coffee without sugar, which should always be in the cup without milk or sugar. And very important: Minimize alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, milk shakes and fruit juices.

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