Liver Disease Information
In Your Area
American Liver Foundation
39 Broadway, Suite 2700
New York, New York 10006
Do you realize that your liver is depending on you?
It’s true. Even though you can’t see it hidden away under your rib cage, if your liver could speak to you, it would say: “I’m working hard, doing my best to process what you eat and drink into energy and nutrients. Hey, I’m also your filter! I’m trying to remove harmful substances from your blood. So, won’t you at least help me?”
A talking liver—sounds odd, doesn’t it? But actually, your liver does communicate with you.
If you eat a healthy diet, your liver “tells” you that you’re doing a great job. You get the message because your liver is able to function properly and, provided your overall health is good, you feel in great physical shape.
If, on the other hand, you aren’t careful with your diet, your liver is defenseless. When you consume fatty or fried foods, and pile on the salt, your liver literally is under attack.
If you don’t help your liver, it can’t help you. The result: Liver disease and, possibly, disorders that could affect other organs. Of course, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. In addition to eating a healthy diet, exercise regularly.
So, what should you eat to ensure that your liver can function normally?
If you’re a liver patient, your diet is adjusted to meet your individual needs. Talk to your doctor about what’s best for you. Still, here are some general food tips for a healthy or healthier liver:
• What to avoid: Don’t eat foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Stay away from a lot of fried foods including fast food restaurant meals. Raw or undercooked shellfish such as oysters and clams are a definite no-no.
• Talk to your doctor about alcohol and your liver health: Depending on the state of your liver, you should avoid alcohol. If you’re allowed alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman and two drinks a day if you’re a man.
• Eat a balanced diet: Select foods from all food groups: Grains, fruits, vegetables, meat and beans, milk, and oil.
• Eat food with fiber: Fiber helps your liver work at an optimal level. Fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals can take care of your body’s fiber needs.
• Drink lots of water: It prevents dehydration and it helps your liver to function better.
• As we said, some liver diseases have specific diet recommendations, including certain restrictions: Find out more about specific liver diseases and diet.
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