If you have been affected by any type of liver disease, diet is an important part of your recovery. The liver helps your body use nutrients in food, by turning them into energy. Liver diseases can change the way in which your body uses the nutrients found in food. These nutrients include minerals, vitamins, fat, protein and carbohydrates. Oftentimes, people who suffer from liver disease don’t get enough nutrients, and they will lose weight because of this.
A liver disease diet will provide you with the correct amount of liquids, nutrients and calories for your body. It may encourage your liver to work more efficiently, and it can help prevent other issues. The changes in diet that you need to make will depend on what type of liver disease you have. Your nutritionist or dietitian will set you up with the diet that is best for you.
Changing the foods you eat and the liquids you drink may seem hard, initially. You need to try to make these changes just another part of your typical daily routine. If you follow the diet, it may help you to feel better. Select different menu items from the diet so you won’t get tired of eating and drinking the same thing all the time. Make sure you keep a list of allowed foods at home and in your wallet, so you will always know what’s best to eat. Be sure to ask your dietitian any questions you have regarding your new diet. She will work with you to find the right diet for you.
The foods you can and cannot eat will depend on the types of liver damage you had, and any other health issues you have. Here are some of the changes in diet that you might need to make:
You might need to decrease the sodium or salt in your liver disease diet. Salt causes your body to retain fluids, and it can cause swelling. Some foods you will need to avoid are frozen dinners, soy and teriyaki sauces, salt, soups, pretzels and chips, canned vegetables and vegetable juices, and bacon, sausage and other deli meats. If you’re in doubt, check the sodium content of any food you are selecting.
Drinking less fluids may also be a part of your new diet. This will keep you from developing more swelling, if this is an issue for you already. The list of fluids to be avoided in high quantities includes soda, juice, milk and water. This rule also includes any foods that are high in the content of liquids, like jell-o or soup. Alcohol is to be omitted from your diet at all cost. It can only make your condition worse.
You will be instructed to eat a variety of foods every day, to help your liver function as well as it can. You also want to maintain a healthy weight. If you don’t feel hungry often, or you feel full quickly, you might lose weight. Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day, and no large meals. Make sure you are getting enough calories by reading nutritional information on food packaging. Have a talk with your dietitian about any other changes in your liver disease diet you might need to make.
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