World Liver Day 2024: Is your diet damaging your liver? - Hindustan Times
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World Liver Day 2024: Is your diet damaging your liver?

By Ismat Tahseen
Apr 19, 2024 10:47 AM IST

Here are diet dos and don'ts for a healthy liver.

Today is World Liver Day. Let's take the time to understand how a mindful approach to diet can greatly enhance liver health. There are various ways to do this - fasting, selecting nutritious foods and avoiding detrimental ones, can all go towards supporting your liver carry out its vital functions well. And you can start small, even a little step of change in the diet can lead to significant improvements in liver health and in turn, your overall well-being.

Dr Bipin Vibhute, Head of Liver & Multi-organ Transplant Dept, Sahyadri Hospitals, Pune, shares more. He says, "Many of us have limited knowledge of the liver. For instance, did you know that the liver has the ability to regrow even after being sliced and it plays between a 30% and 40% role in bodily functions. The liver is rightly referred to as the body's powerhouse or battery. It provides other organs with strength or energy, so that they increase their efficiency. It plays a significant role in numerous bodily functions including metabolism, detoxification, and digestion also. Therefore, if any other organ is injured or diseased, it can affect the liver. This makes liver health crucial.

WHAT TO DO
Heed these diet tips

Eat right for better liver health(Shutterstock)
Eat right for better liver health(Shutterstock)

Consume vegetables that are rich in nutrients and high in fibre (Shutterstock)
Consume vegetables that are rich in nutrients and high in fibre (Shutterstock)

 

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Adopt low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets: Low carbohydrate diets paired with high protein intake help reduce the stress on the liver by minimizing fat accumulation. Proteins are essential for repair and growth, making them crucial for liver health.

Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting (IF) is beneficial for liver health. Fasting helps the body initiate cellular repair processes that are crucial for a healthy liver. It's suggested to practice fasting intervals ranging from 12 to 18 hours, which allows the liver to rest and regenerate.

Incorporate healthy fats: Moderate amounts of healthy fats, such as those found in fish, nuts, and avocados, are beneficial. These fats help build cell membranes, including those in the liver, and avoid the build-up of excess fats in the liver cells.

Consume fiber-rich vegetables: Vegetables, both from above and below ground, are rich in fiber and essential nutrients. They aid in stabilizing blood sugar levels and provide a necessary balance of complex carbohydrates, which do not cause sharp insulin spikes.

Select fruits wisely: While fruits are healthy, their fructose content can be harmful if consumed in excess. Opt for fruits lower in fructose and consume them in moderation to prevent fat accumulation in the liver.


WHAT TO AVOID
From sugary foods and desserts to excessive alcohol, here's what to stay away from:    

Lessen the consumption of sugary dishes and desserts(Shutterstock)
Lessen the consumption of sugary dishes and desserts(Shutterstock)

 

Avoid Frequent Eating: Spacing meals allows the liver to process nutrients without being overloaded. Frequent eating can lead to continuous liver activity, preventing essential repair processes.

Reduce the intake of sugary and processed foods: Foods high in refined sugars and processed carbohydrates can lead to liver damage over time. Avoid foods like aerated drinks, sweets, and packaged snacks that contribute to fat build-up in the liver.

Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol is a major cause of liver damage. It's important to consume alcohol sparingly or avoid it altogether to prevent conditions such as fatty liver disease, fibrosis, and cirrhosis.

Be wary of toxins in cooked foods: Avoid foods cooked in degraded oils or those prepared at high temperatures for long periods. These can introduce toxins that the liver must then filter out, which can cause stress and damage.

Always read food labels: Understanding food labels can help avoid hidden sugars and fats. Opt for whole foods with minimal processing to keep your liver in good condition.

 

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