We know the liver is vital to health and wellness, and diet is one easy way to optimize liver health and function. A healthy diet, high in fiber and nutritious food choices and low in sugar (carbohydrates) and fats (lipids), is optimal for a healthy liver. Here are 5 of the worst foods for your liver, one of the hardest working organs in your body. Eliminating these foods will not only keep your liver safe, but can improve your body’s overall health and may allow you to shed a few extra pounds.
Trans fats have no nutritional value. These are often the prepackaged goods, prepackaged baked goods, candies and most fried foods. A 2010 study conducted by the University of Cincinnati founds that consuming excessive amounts of trans fats can lead to fibrosis.
Alcohol, especially red wine, has been known to have several different health benefits. However, just like any other good thing it should be consumed in moderation. Excessive amounts of alcohol strains and stresses the liver. The liver is already responsible for removing toxins from your body and adding excessive stress on it can lead to disease. The key factor to know here is what is excessive? Most people know that a night of heavy drinking will slow down the liver’s process and put added stress on it, but what most people don’t realize is what is considered too much? For women, anything over one serving will start to add stress onto to the liver, and for men it is anything over two servings.
Foods that are very high in sodium, like canned soup, tax your liver. A normal amount of sodium helps to regulate fluids in your body and blood pressure. But if you’re prone to fluid retention, try to avoid high sodium foods as too much salt can create excess fluid in your liver, too.
Sugars or Syrups
Natural sugar is not as much of a concern here compared to the added sugars (although excessive amounts of natural sugar can have its own problems too). When you eat an excessive amount of added sugar your blood sugar takes a massive spike, along with your insulin levels, and in order to balance these levels your liver has to go into hyperdrive, which causes added stress on it. Fructose (added fructose not natural fructose), or any sugar additive ending in “ose” are even worse as they cause direct stress on the liver because these sugars are converted into fat in the liver.
White grains are modified in a way to remove the fiber, or drastically reduce the amount of fiber, in them. So, these grains have almost no nutritional value and work as a simple sugar by drastically spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels. As mentioned above, this puts strain on the liver to balance these levels.