What Everyone Needs To Know About Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Updated: Jun 1
This topic is something that runs near and dear to my heart. Over the years, I have personally worked with many clients in need of help with weight loss and nutrition coaching because they have recently been diagnosed with Non-Alcholic Fatty Liver Disease. (NAFLD)
NAFLD is an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. As the name implies, the main characteristic of NAFLD is too much fat stored in liver cells.
It is important to know that for some individuals NAFLD can develop into Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) an aggressive form of fatty liver disease, which is marked by liver inflammation and may progress to advanced scarring (cirrhosis) and liver failure. This damage is similar to the damage caused by heavy alcohol use.
While there is still more research to be done to find out exactly what causes NAFLD, why some people are prone to this disease and others are not, I would imagine if you think like I do, you want to know how to prevent it in your life if at all possible.
Here’s a few tips that may prove helpful in prevention that you can incorporate today in your everyday routines and habits:
Choose a diet rich in healthy Omega 3 fats, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Omega 3 fats can be found in foods such as Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon, Walnuts, Flax seeds, and Chia Seeds. For another great resource on healthy Omega 3 Fats click here.
Antioxidant rich fruits and veggies such as red berries, and dark green veggies such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens are great for lowering high cholesterol (one of the risk factors commonly linked with NAFLD) For a great resource on 10 Antioxidant Super foods, click here.
Sources for whole grains would be found in foods such as brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, and 100% whole grain bread. For more information on whole grains, click here.
Make a plan to reach your ideal body weight.
If you are overweight, which is another common risk factor for NAFLD, then it’s time to look at calories in, and calories out.
In order to lose approximately 1 pound a week, you need a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day while maintaining a well balanced diet. This means you either need to reduce your food intake by 500 calories below your recommended daily allowance, or you exercise to burn 500 calories a day, while staying within your recommended daily allowance, or a combination of both. Long story short, you need to burn more than you eat.
If you are not sure what your daily caloric intake should be, here’s a simple calculator that will estimate the number of daily calories your body needs to maintain your current weight, click here. Take that number, and reduce it by 500 calories if you are trying to lose weight. Men, do not go below a minimum intake of 1500 calories per day, women, do not go below a minimum of intake of 1200 calories per day.
American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for the average healthy adult. Please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. If you need help getting a new habit started, contact me and I will gladly help by coaching you into a healthy habit routine that fits your interests and abilities.
In closing, this information is intended to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle, resulting in an overall sense of well-being. I hope it has been helpful to you!
I encourage you today to pick one new habit today that you can add into your daily rhythms that will direct you towards a healthier version of you!!
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“Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 22 Aug. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354567.
“Calorie Calculator.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/calorie-calculator/itt-20402304.