Keto: The Best Fatty Liver Diet

The ketogenic diet is a good diet for reversing nonalcoholic liver disease. It is improved by following these guidelines:

  1. Restrict Carbohydrates to 5% of Your Daily Calories
  2. Eat High-Fiber Foods With Every Meal
  3. Eat Liver Healing Foods such as oily fish, nuts avocado and olive oil.
  4. Use Liver Healing Supplements such as spirulina, betaine, milk thistle and probiotics.
  5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
  6. Exercise Everyday – brisk walks, resistance training.

There are two main types of fatty liver disease:

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLD)
  • Alcoholic fatty liver disease (alcoholic steatohepatitis)

There are five conditions that are commonly associated with NFLD: type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, dyslipidemia (abnormally elevated cholesterol levels), and metabolic syndrome. Scientists believe that they are intimately linked because they can all be caused by a combination of lifestyle, genetics, and gut health issues.

In epidemiological studies including people with type 2 diabetes, 62 to 69% of them also had NFLD. Another study found that 50% of patients with dyslipidemia (abnormally elevated cholesterol levels) had NFLD.

Blog June 14 Liver image.png

NFLD usually causes no signs and symptoms. When it does, they may include:

  • Enlarged liver
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen

Possible signs and symptoms of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and cirrhosis (advanced scarring) include:

  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)
  • Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface
  • Enlarged breasts in men
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Red palms
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

What Causes Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

  1. Lifestyle – Eating Too Much and Exercising Too Little
  • Insulin resistance is a common side effect of eating too much and exercising too little, and it is one of the main reasons why fat builds up in the liver.Many researchers agree that improving insulin sensitivity is a key strategy in the treatment of NFLD.
  • The quickest way to increase fat build up in the liver is by overfeeding on carbohydrates.Fructose, especially, will lead to the most fat accumulation in the liver.
  1. Genetics — Gene Variants, Gender, and Ethnicity
  • Genetics can play a role in the development of NFLD. It is important to develop healthy lifestyle habits if your parents and grandparents struggled with NFLD.
  1. Gut Health Issues — Your Microbiome and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Studies done on the microbiome of obese patients have increased abundance of the bacteria called Firmicutes. This increase leads to an increase in lipopolysaccharide absorption that triggers a potent inflammatory response in the body.

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis – When The Bad Gets Worse

The increase in lipopolysaccharides absorption caused by a poor diet and an obesity-causing microbiome can disrupt the liver so much that NFLD progresses to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

This form of NFLD affects 20-30% of patients with NFLD, and it occurs when the build up of fat in the liver leads to inflammation that can result in liver cell damage.

The fat cells eventually become overloaded and begin to secrete inflammatory cytokines. These inflammatory cytokines increase inflammation levels and cause reactive oxygen species to accumulate (oxidative stress). As poor lifestyle choices continue, so much fat builds up in the liver that it leads to lipotoxicity (accumulation of fat in non-fat cells). The combination of lipotoxicity and oxidative stress can cause hormonal disturbances and liver damage.

In the gut NFLD promoting lifestyle changes the microbiome. This increases inflammation, oxidative stress, and lipopolysaccharide absorption, which causes more liver damage.

You are not doomed to get nonalcoholic steatohepatitis because like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, NFLD is reversible with the same lifestyle changes.

How To Reverse Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

The key to disrupting the vicious cycle of NFLD before it damages the liver is exercise and diet.

Many scientific papers agree that the treatment of NFLD should be focused on controlling diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperlipidemia. We should only focus on treating the liver in those with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

This means that the best way to reverse NFLD and prevent liver damage is with a diet that has been proven to control diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperlipidemia.

The Ketogenic Diet May Be The Best Fatty Liver Diet

Weight loss is essential when reversing NFLD. The best way to achieve this weight loss, however, is not with caloric restriction.

The ketogenic diet has been proven to be more effective than a calorie-restricted diet at reversing type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hyperlipidemia and NFLD.

A recent pilot study put five patients on the ketogenic diet (less than 20 grams per day of carbohydrate). Each patient underwent a liver biopsy, and four of the five patients showed a reduction in liver fat, inflammation, and fibrosis. This provides preliminary evidence that the ketogenic diet can reverse NFLD and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

NFLD is so intimately associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease that it is believed to be caused by the same factors. These factors are an unhealthy lifestyle, genetics, and gut health issues (an obesity and inflammation causing microbiome).

The combination of the ketogenic diet and exercise makes a great treatment for NFLD.

This Post has been condensed from the Keto: The best Fatty Liver Diet

To learn more please read, How Do I Do the Ketogenic Diet?

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Yours truly,

Lydia Polstra




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Author: 2healthyhabits

My goal in life is to experience the exuberance of true good health by returning my body to the healthy state it was meant to have.

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