Fried Food To Alcohol, 7 Foods To Avoid If You Have Fatty Liver
Image Credit: Pixabay

Whether you are in your 30s or 40s, one of the earliest signs of ill health is getting a diagnosis of fatty liver. A 2022 study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology estimated that in India, the prevalence of fatty liver among adults is at a whopping 38.6% while 52.8% are at a high risk of developing the disease—proving that though it seems like a small issue, the repercussions can be quite dire.  

For those who may not be aware, fatty liver disease is a condition characterized by the accumulation of excess fat in the liver cells. Also known as hepatic steatosis, it can be caused by various factors, such as obesity, insulin resistance, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain medications. The most important thing to remember is that if fatty liver disease is not controlled or treated promptly, it can progress and lead to more severe liver conditions.  

Fatty liver can cause inflammation in the liver, leading to a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH can result in progressive liver damage, scarring (fibrosis), and ultimately liver cirrhosis, which is irreversible and can lead to liver failure. Fatty liver is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart disease and stroke. What’s more, individuals with advanced stages of fatty liver disease, particularly those with cirrhosis, have an increased risk of developing liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). 

Video credit: YouTube/Green Healthy Cooking

Early detection, lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet, weight loss and regular exercise, and management of underlying risk factors are key in preventing the progression of fatty liver disease. A healthy diet plays a crucial role in managing and potentially reversing fatty liver disease. One of the first steps one needs to take, however, is to cut off foods that worsen fatty liver. Here’s a closer look at seven such foods and food groups to avoid if you have fatty liver. 

Remember, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized advice based on your specific condition and needs. 


Alcohol is a leading cause of fatty liver disease because it is very difficult to digest or break down. What’s more, alcohol also limits or impairs the production of key enzymes that the liver produces. Further, alcohol can interfere with medications you might be taking to reduce the risk of fatty liver. It's crucial to completely avoid or significantly reduce alcohol consumption to prevent further liver damage. 

Added Sugars

While excessive consumption of sugar in any form can cause fatty liver or worsen it, one must beware of added sugars that creep into our diet through certain foods. Foods and beverages high in added sugars, such as sugary sodas, sweetened juices, candies, cakes, and pastries, should be limited. Excessive sugar intake contributes to fat accumulation in the liver. 

Saturated And Trans Fats

Limit foods high in saturated and trans fats, including fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, fried foods, processed snacks, and commercially baked goods. These foods don’t just impact your weight, cholesterol and heart health, but these fats can also increase inflammation and liver damage. 

High-Fructose Corn Syrup 

You might assume sugar substitutes can’t do you any harm—at least not as much as excessive sugar consumption can, but this is not entirely true. Foods and drinks containing high-fructose corn syrup, a common sweetener, should be avoided or minimized. This includes many processed foods, sweetened beverages, and certain condiments. 

Processed And Fried Foods 

They might taste great, but highly processed foods, such as fast food, packaged snacks, and deep-fried items, often contain unhealthy fats, excessive sodium, and additives that can worsen liver health. Not only are these foods more difficult to digest, but also lead to unnecessary weight gain, high cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease. 

Salt And High-Sodium Foods

No, it is not only people with hypertension or high blood pressure who need to watch their sodium intake because sodium can impact your liver health too. Excess sodium intake can lead to fluid retention and liver inflammation. Limit your consumption of salty snacks, processed meats, canned soups, and fast food, and be mindful of added salt in cooking and seasoning. 

Refined grains

Foods made with refined grains, such as white bread, white rice, and pasta, can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and contribute to liver fat accumulation. Opt for whole grain alternatives instead, like quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, millets, etc. In fact, instead of using flours made from these whole grains, you could focus on consuming cooked whole grains.