A fatty liver diet should focus on shedding pounds and reducing excess fat in the body. By reducing excess fat consumption, the opportunity for fat congestion in the liver is greatly reduced. It is generally recommended for people with fatty liver disease (FLD) to follow a 1200 to 1500 calorie diet. No more than 30% of the calories should be composed of fat.
To explain this in a more tangible way, we can do a little bit of math to figure out how many grams of fat you should be consuming each day. If no more than 30% of a 1200 calorie diet is to be made up of fat, then that means no more than 360 calories should be fat calories (1200 calories x 0.30 = 360).
One gram of fat is equivalent to 9 calories. Therefore, no more than 40 grams of fat should be consumed each day (360 calories/9 calories per gram = 40 grams).
A 1200 to 1500 calorie diet should target high amounts of complex carbohydrates with limited protein and fat. A diet such as this can help FLD patients lose as much as 2lbs per week. Here is how this diet should be broken down.
- 6 ounces of protein (stick to lean white meats such as fish, turkey, and chicken or get protein from vegetable sources such as beans)
- 4 or more servings of vegetables (greens, leaves, legumes, or others high in folate)
- 3 servings of fruits (citrus fruits high in vitamin E and vitamin C are recommended)
- 5 servings from foods high in starch such as potatoes or whole grain breads
- 3 servings of fat (try to stay away from saturated fats and instead opt for unsaturated fats in limited quantities)
- 2 servings of dairy (focus on low-fat and non-fat alternatives)
It’s important to not miss any meals. Calories should be broken down and consumed throughout the day. For example, 300 calories for breakfast, 100 calories for a morning snack, 300 calories for lunch, 50 calories for an afternoon snack, and 450 calories for dinner.
These numbers serve only as a guideline and are not set in stone. You may find it easier to eat less for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and have a few more small snack times throughout the day.
The important part of this type of diet plan for fatty liver is to not exceed the 1200 to 1500 calories per day limit. Eat small meals regularly rather than one huge meal all at once to keep your body from going into starvation mode and producing fatty acids that can lead to further fat congestion in the liver. For the same reason, strive for gradual weight loss of a pound or 2 per week rather than trying to shed dozens of pounds at once.
Many diet recipes for fatty liver exist that will keep your taste buds from getting bored.