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Best Dietary Practices for Liver Disease

The liver is one of the major organs contributing to the digestive process as well as detoxifying process in the body. It provides necessary enzymes, chemicals, environment as well as efficient network to transport blood and waste products to maintain the proper functioning of the human body. For this reason, the organ is considered to be one of the ‘vital organs’ and its failure can certainly lead to death.

When a person suffers from liver disease it is vital for such persons to know what is best and what would be harmful for their liver. This will help in maintaining the existing liver function as well as to halt the damage causing processes.

We will consider several aspects in our diet which needs to be considered especially at times when a person is suffering from liver disease.

Salt :

Salt or in other words ‘sodium chloride’ is a substance which is essential for the water balance in the body. Thus, if the body contains more sodium, it will invariably hold more water leading to worsening of existing complications such as ‘ascites’ or ‘feet swelling’. Thus a person should be careful not to consume excessive salts but to take in adequate quantities. In this regard, following tips will be useful.

1. Avoid adding table salts as much of the sodium requirements can be met with foods that we take.

2. Remember that canned foods, sauces, pre made soups, certain meat products, cheese, butter and nuts…etc can contain salts and further additions might push it over the limits.

3. Select foods which are labeled ‘un-salted’, in order to control your salt intake.

4. Avoid certain beverages which will have added salt.

Proteins :

The liver is the main site in which the protein breakdown take place and thus produce toxic wastes such as ‘ammonia’. In a normal liver, it would neutralize these products through various means but when it’s diseased, the ability for detoxifying will be diminished. Thus, its best practice to avoid large amounts of meat consumed in a single meal and reduces the consumption to 1 or 2 servings per day of small amounts of protein. Eating lean meat would also support the liver condition as it contains less fat. It should also be remembered that vegetable proteins will produce less toxic wastes and thus could make up the bulk of the protein requirement. Avoiding custards and pre mixed gelatin products will also support good liver function.

Fluids :

As was mentioned earlier, a person with liver disease will have associate conditions such as ‘ascites’ or collection of fluid in the abdomen as well as feet swellings. Thus, a person needs to restrict the intake depending on medical advice and restrictions should come on all types of liquids including milk, tea and other beverages.

Alcohol :

Alcoholic beverages should be avoided altogether in order to prevent further liver damage and depleting the liver enzymes which otherwise would be useful in detoxifying the waste products.

Fats :

The fat content should be minimized in your diet and avoiding fast foods as well as fried meals would greatly benefit in this regard.

Vegetables :

Adding vegetables would do no harm except taking vegetables which can worsen the blood sugar levels.

The best advice that can be given to prevent further complications in liver diseases is to obtain professional advice from a dietician with regard to your own medical problems as well as your current liver condition.