Keeping Yourself Healthy and Nourished with a Liver Disease Diet

Keeping Yourself Healthy and Nourished with a Liver Disease Diet

People with Liver Disease may experience different symptoms. Some may not feel anything amiss during the early stages of the disease. But without proper medication, healthy diet, and a healthy lifestyle, a Liver disease can progress and when it does, it’s usually when a patient can feel its most adverse symptoms.

Our Liver’s main function is to absorb and break down the nutrients we take, and store it for our body’s future use. When we go about our daily routine, the liver sends out the calories we need to keep us going. And yes, that even includes basic routines like walking, sitting, and even breathing!

The most basic nutrients that our Liver manufactures are protein, glycogen (this is stored glucose used for energy), bile (to digest fat and be used also as energy), and cholesterol to carry fat throughout the blood. Our liver also does its part when it comes to the disposal of wastes and toxins in our body. It metabolizes drugs and alcohol, and send harmful bacteria out of our body.

When the Liver stops functioning, or is not in its best shape as before, our body can be in danger of malnutrition, severe weakness, and sickness.

How can it be malnourished?

Since the Liver cannot produce the needed nutrients anymore, our body has no choice but to look for other energy sources. And our body resorts to get it from our muscle tissue—but it can only do much. Soon after, our body tends to weaken and fat storage depletes rapidly. If the patient won’t adjust to a Liver disease diet, simple tasks like sitting and walking would be impossible to do.

Second, the toxins that build up in our body and are not released can be detrimental to our overall health. As a patient who suffers from Liver disease, the first thing you have to change is… Your diet.

What’s the first thing I can do?

The first and most important thing you should do is adjust your mealtime or snack time. With a Liver disease diet, you need to take in as much food every now and then so your body can have an ample supply of the needed energy and nutrients to keep you functioning daily.

This means you have to eat at least every 2 to 3 hours. That’s still 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and snacks in between those.

But wait, you can’t just take in any kind of food or drink, you have to follow a strict set of guidelines—because that’s what a Liver disease diet is all about.

The most important things to remember in this diet are:

  • this is a low sodium diet (only 2000-2400mg is allowed per day)
  • avoid salt and processed foods at any cost
  • avoid eating out as much as possible

The most basic thing to remember is to keep your sodium intake low. This may be a bit hard because most of our food nowadays are prepared with preservatives and other flavor enhancers—which contain high amounts of sodium.

This is why you are advised to avoid eating out and start cooking your own, healthy meals at the comfort of your own home. However, you have to make sure that everything you prepare are made from fresh, unprocessed ingredients.

You may also experience loss of appetite; that’s normal given your current condition. However, it’s not an excuse to not eat anything. Even if you are not hungry, keep your body conditioned and hydrated with the right food and drink. Remember that you need it more than ever if you want to keep on doing your daily routine.

Should I avoid putting salt in my dishes?

As much as possible, yes! But we do know most dishes would taste bland without a little sprinkle of salt. There’s a solution to that, you can replace salt with fresh herbs and spices to enhance your cooking. Herbs like rosemary will do. Better yet, you can try adding lemon juice to your meat dishes, especially in fish!

Am I still allowed to eat meat?

By all accounts, yes. Meat is a good source of protein, and your body needs that more than ever with a Liver disease condition. However, there is a certain restriction: it’s only 4-5oz. of meat a day for women, and 6oz. a day for men.

White meat is the better choice compared to red meat. Most common examples of white meat are chicken and fish. Red meat includes beef and pork—these are not very much recommended since they contain usually high amounts of cholesterol which can complicate your disease. The best kinds of fish to eat are salmon, mackerel and tuna because they aren’t just good sources of protein, but are good sources of Omega 3—a good fatty acid that is beneficial to your condition and overall health.

For alternative sources of protein, you can have cheese, milk, and eggs. These are also good as snacks in between your meals.

What other snacks can I eat in between meals?

It’s still important to be picky even when it comes to your snacks. No burger, fries, or milkshakes this time. Just toast, crackers, bread, oats, fruits or fruit juices, steamed vegetables, or milk.

How can I flush the excess toxins in my body?

The truth is, your body would have a hard time flushing them out now that your liver is not doing its proper function. So the best thing you can do is to essentially AVOID any kind of food and drink that can build up as toxins in our body. Most common of that is alcohol and drugs (not just illicit drugs, but even over-the-counter ones). You also need to avoid smoking and any other vices since it can introduce toxins in your body.

You also have to be careful with the preparation and storage of your food: make sure they are not uncooked or half-cooked, see to it that leftovers are refrigerated and are thrown away after a day (bacteria multiplies if food is kept for too long), and of course, see to it that you observe proper hygiene before eating.

Another program you can try to help your liver flush those toxins out is by a liver cleanse diet. They are juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables that contain the needed nutrients and fiber that can help your body cleanse.

If you need to know more about liver disease, or need to read a comprehensive liver diet guide plan, you can visit the blog here for more helpful information.

 

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article does not come from a professional dietitian. Any material information specified on this article is for general guidance only and should not be taken as a replacement for a consultation to a professional.

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