An important element in the treatment of liver diseases is a healthy diet that takes into account the patient’s caloric needs and at the same time does not burden his digestive system. According to its principles, some products should be completely excluded from the menu, while others – strongly limited. The right way of preparing meals is also important.
From the text you will learn:
- why diet is so important in the treatment of liver diseases,
- what are the rules of the liver diet,
- which products in the diet with a diseased liver are allowed and which are excluded.
The liver is the largest gland in the human body that performs many different functions. It controls the body’s carbohydrate and fat balance, produces 85% of plasma proteins, neutralizes toxins, and also produces bile, and is an important part of the immune system.
The liver is harmed not only by drinking alcohol and long-term use of drugs, but also by an unhealthy diet. Although this organ has the unique properties of self-regeneration, it is damaged over the years. It is significant that the liver does not hurt, even when it is sick – its diseases are manifested, for example, by a change in the color of urine, skin problems, loss of appetite, chronic diarrhea, edema or weight loss.
Sick liver – diet is essential!
Most liver diseases lead to disturbances in the metabolism of nutrients, hence frequent symptoms of the digestive system – flatulence, nausea, feeling of fullness, lack of appetite. Therefore, the key to treating diseases of this organ is the liver diet – it should be an easily digestible diet , not burdensome for the digestive system, and at the same time taking into account the current stage of the disease, the patient’s general health and his individual culinary preferences.
Diet for a sick liver – general rules
The general dietary recommendations for liver diseases should be followed by all patients suffering from this type of disease:
- You should regularly eat 5-6 small meals during the day, and the last one – at least two hours before bedtime. As a result, the digestive system will start to work more efficiently and the body will systematically receive the necessary nutrients.
- It is important to strictly limit the consumption of fat, especially of animal origin. However, vegetable fats such as margarine, olive oil, as well as rapeseed or sunflower oil are recommended. Red meat should be replaced with poultry and fish of good quality.
- The implementation of a hepatic diet implies an absolute ban on alcohol consumption – it is a poison to the liver: it causes irreversible damage to its cells.
- It is contraindicated to eat fried foods, especially in deep fat. It is allowed to boil (in water and steam), bake in foil or an ovenproof dish and stew.
- Eat each meal calmly, slowly chewing each bite thoroughly.
Diet with a sick liver – what to eat and what not?
The liver diet is a specific list of foods that the patient can eat without fear. They include, among others pale bread, oatmeal, white rice and thin noodles. Skim milk, yoghurt, kefir and low-fat cottage cheese are allowed. You can also eat chicken and turkey, as well as poultry cold cuts and lean and fatty fish. Acceptable fats are rapeseed, sunflower, soybean oil and olive oil. You can safely reach for carrots, cauliflower, beets, young green peas, baked or boiled apples, apricots, peaches, raspberries and currants. As a dessert, it is worth eating fruit mousses, jellies and skimmed milk puddings. Still mineral water and weak tea are the best to drink.
What about prohibited products? They include, among others wholemeal bread, thick groats, fatty cheese and milk, fatty beef and pork meat, lard, bacon, bacon, cruciferous vegetables, onions, chives, peppers, cucumbers, pears, plums, cherries, creams, ice cream, donuts, coffee, strong tea and carbonated drinks.
Liver diet – menu for the whole day
Here is an example of a liver diet for the whole day.
- Breakfast : two slices of light bread with margarine and lean cottage cheese, peelless tomato, cereal coffee.
- Lunch : natural yoghurt, baked apple.
- Lunch : steamed chicken breast with herbs, white rice, boiled beetroot.
- Afternoon tea : skim milk pudding.
- Dinner : fish in any form, boiled carrots.
Your doctor or dietitian will help you develop a menu for a long time.