Atlantic Coast Chiropractic

Fatty Liver and Dietary Fat

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is quickly becoming a fairly common, dangerous, and often misunderstood condition. It is estimated that 80 million Americans, including up to 17 percent children, may have fatty liver, and as the disease can develop slowly and silently, some may not know it.

Currently, fatty liver is the most common cause of liver transplants in the U.S. Fatty liver increases heart attack risk, and triggers the chronic inflammation that promotes insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Surprising to most, but not the well informed, research shows that it’s not dietary fat but fructose that’s responsible for the buildup of fat deposits in the liver. Overall fat consumption, whether it be saturated, unsaturated, or polyunsaturated fats have had no effects on the increased rate of fatty liver disease.

When we consume sugar either as glucose, fructose, or sucrose, we may not notice a taste difference, but the body processes and uses these sugars differently. The majority of dietary carbohydrates are processed into glucose, which circulates as blood sugar to be used immediately for energy or stored in the muscles or liver as glycogen for later use. Insulin is secreted in response to high glucose levels, which facilitates the intake of energy supporting glucose into the cells. This does not occur with fructose!

Increasingly, evidence shows that it’s not dietary fats, nor the fructose found in whole fruits and vegetables that’s causing the high levels of fatty liver disease, but rather the refined simple sugars and high fructose corn syrup abundant in the standard American diet! Fructose, found naturally in fruits and vegetables are slowly metabolized by the body when eaten in its whole form.

Processed fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, and is not a preferred energy source for either the muscles or the brain. This type of fructose is lipogenic (fat producing), and is regulated by the liver. Excess amounts of fructose are stored in the liver as fat molecules, which can lead to increased blood lipids, high triglycerides, elevated cholesterol levels, and fatty liver, increasing the risks of developing metabolic syndrome.

It is important that close attention be paid with regards to sugars, differentiating between those that occur naturally in foods and those that are added as sweeteners. Eating fruits and vegetables is a great way to get healthy sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins that will contribute to overall health. If eating packaged foods, choose foods that have added fruit, rather than fruit flavoring, without extra sugar or sugar coatings.

Historically, alcohol has been considered the livers worst enemy, as consuming too much alcohol on a consistent basis can lead to fatty liver, severe inflammation and eventually cirrhosis. Now, although added sugars may not be the only culprit, it does play a significant role in the development of fatty liver disease.

There are effective strategies that can reverse or prevent fatty liver, including dietary changes, exercise, and proper supplementation. Reducing sugar consumption will not only help to manage weight, it will protect your overall cardiovascular and liver health as well.

Start by cutting way back on sugar consumption, with the exception of fruits. Read labels and avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup and added sugar in any form except honey. (Yes even stevia!) Avoid most liquid beverages including juices as they have hidden added sugar. Stick to water, tea, and coffee without adding sugar.

Increase healthy fat intake, such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, wild caught fish, grass fed beef, nuts/seeds, and whole eggs. These fats will help reduce inflammation and stimulate fat burning, protecting the liver!

Eat liver detoxifying foods such as leafy green veggies, cruciferous vegetables (kale, cauliflower, and broccoli), onions, and garlic.

Eat protein with every meal. Protein is digested slowly which helps regulate blood sugar levels and also keeps you feeling fuller, longer. Protein is also vital for optimal liver function.

Exercise regularly to improve insulin resistance and reduce fatty deposits in the liver. If you are having issues with fatty liver, I would recommend exercising in the morning in a fasted state to help burn glycogen reserves.

Lastly, milk thistle and grape seed extract are great for cleansing the liver and aiding in healing. A B-complex and lipoic acid also helps in liver support. Follow these simple steps and reap the rewards of optimal organ function.

Sign up now for a free consultation!

Monday

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Tuesday

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Wednesday

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Thursday

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Friday

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Saturday

Closed

Sunday

Closed

Monday
8:00 am - 12:00 pm 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 12:00 pm 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Location

Find us on the map