Our liver, which is the second largest organ in our body, performs many major functions. It secretes enzymes that play a vital role in digestion. The liver filters toxins from our bodies. It also secretes bile juice, a fluid that emulsifies fat and aid in its digestion. However, there are also many diseases that can affect the liver. Hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disorder are some common diseases affecting the liver. The secret to keeping your liver healthy lies in your diet. Here is a list of 20 foods you should avoid if your liver health is a priority.
The worst offender when it comes to liver health, alcohol causes a deadly disorder called liver cirrhosis. Our liver filters out toxins from our bodies. So aren’t they supposed to filter alcohol as well? Yes, they do filter alcohol. But each time the liver tries to do it, some of its cells are damaged. Eventually, this damage causes fibrosis, followed by liver cirrhosis.
Foods high in sugar are the worst for your liver. Most sodas and colas have no nutritional value. They are carbonated water with massive amounts of sugar. If you consume sodas regularly, it can spell disaster for your liver. If you are thirsty, reach for a bottle of water, not soda.
3. Red Meat
Goat and cow meat is considered red meat. Although high in protein, they are also meats high in fat that damage the liver. The liver finds it hard to digest the protein found in red meat. Over time, this can lead to protein accumulation in your liver, causing fatty liver disease. So, it is advisable to limit red meat consumption.
Baked items high in sugar are very harmful to the liver. Cakes and cookies usually have sugar as one of the main ingredients, which harms the liver over time. Also, cakes are made with refined flour. Processed flour can damage the liver if consumed in excess.
5. Ice Cream
Ice cream is a popular dessert that has very high levels of sugar in it. Overeating ice cream can compromise your liver health. Ice creams also have high levels of trans fat that can eventually cause fatty liver.
These fast food items usually have no nutritional benefits for the body. Overeating burgers can deteriorate your liver health. Made with oily patties and loads of cheese, burgers can destroy your liver. They are high in cholesterol that can cause fatty liver. Limit their consumption when possible.
Highly-processed foods like pasta do nothing for the body. They are low on nutritional qualities and have trans fat. The liver has a hard time digesting them. Gradually, this leads to inflammation of liver cells. In due time, it causes cirrhosis of the liver.
Another fast food that is extremely common these days, pizza destroys your liver. To make it more delicious, chefs usually add large amounts of cheese. Excess amounts of cheese will elevate your body’s cholesterol levels, which can cause the fatty liver disorder. The refined flour used in making the pizza dough might also cause inflammation of liver cells.
Any kinds of processed or cured meats are high in salt. Too much sodium is quite harmful to your liver. They are also high in saturated fats. Pepperoni is the worst cured meat and should be avoided at all costs if you are concerned for your liver.
10. French Fries
Not having many nutritional qualities, french fries can damage your liver. They are high in trans fat, which increases harmful cholesterol levels in your body. They also contain high amounts of salt that can cause inflammation in your liver.
11. White Bread
Processed foods are always low on nutrition and bad for your liver. If you love toast for breakfast, consider switching them to whole grain bread.
Most dairy products can cause liver damage if eaten in excess. Butter is a food high in cholesterol. Consider replacing it with healthier oils, like olive oil.
13. Ricotta Cheese
There are wide varieties of cheese, but among them, ricotta has the highest levels of saturated fats. Switch them with nuts if you are worried about your liver.
14. Whipped Cream
Often used to decorate a cake, whipped creams genuinely do nothing for the body. If you are caring for your liver, it is better to give up on them.
15. Coconut Oil
Not everything plant-based is good for your body. Plant-based oils like coconut and palm oil are high in trans fat. Consider switching to healthier options like olive or avocado oil.
16. Ready-to-cook soup premix
If you are thinking about making a quick and “healthy” dinner and reaching for that store-bought soup packet, feel again. Packaged soups often have high levels of salt in them. Salt is a natural preservative, but it is also harmful to your liver. Excess salt can cause inflammation and fibrosis of liver cells.
This might sound ironic, but eating too many fruits can harm your liver. Fruits that contain high amounts of natural sugars can do the same damage to your liver as processed sugar. If you are caring for your liver, limit dry fruits like apricots and raisins high in fruit sugars.
18. Packaged Fruit Juice
Ready-to-drink fruit juices are marketed as healthier alternatives to Coke and soda. But did you realise that they mostly contain enormous amounts of sugar that can create havoc for your liver? If you want to drink fruit juices, it is best to make them at home, without adding sugar.
19. Egg Yolk
They are high in cholesterol that can create problems for the liver. Eggs are considered nutrient-dense foods. But if you suffer from fatty liver disease, consider eating an egg without the yolk.
While painkillers might not be a traditional food item, they can be highly harmful to the liver if taken in excess. We are all guilty of popping that over-the-counter painkiller pill when having a sore throat or a headache. Overdose of painkillers can damage your liver. So always ensure that you consult with your doctor before popping that pill.