Foods to Avoid with Hepatitis C and Liver Disease
Good nutrition can help the liver form new cells and healthy tissue. Just as good nutrition helps the liver, there are foods to avoid when you have hepatitis C and liver disease; These foods can harm the liver and the immune system. Fortunately, we are in control of what we eat, drink, and expose our body to.
Diet and the liver
The liver is the powerhouse of the body. In fact, the liver is the second largest organ. It helps with many important functions. When the liver is unhealthy, the whole body is affected, even the immune system (which fights disease).
With cirrhosis, liver function is impaired and certain foods can be hard for your liver to process. Toxins can build up and interfere with brain function, and make thinking “foggy and confused", also known as brain fog.
Foods to avoid
Some foods to avoid with hepatitis C and liver disease include...
- Alcohol: Alcohol accelerates liver damage. For hepatitis C and liver disease patients drinking alcohol is like throwing gasoline on a fire.
- Raw oysters and shellfish: These can carry bacteria that leads to serious infection and harm the liver.
- Salty foods: Foods that contain high sodium can cause excess fluid to accumulate in your abdomen and legs, for cirrhosis patients, this can cause further problems with side effects.
- Processed foods: Processed foods are loaded with excess sodium, chemicals, and additives which can stress your liver and create fat deposits which are harmful to your liver.
- Hydrogenated oil and trans fats: These are harmful to the liver. It is refined and hardens when cold. It is best to use oils that are healthy like flaxseed or extra virgin olive oil.
- Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners are very hard for the liver to process. Hepatitis C and liver disease make it harder for your liver to detoxify the blood and impairs liver function. Artificial sweeteners add byproducts which need to be removed from the blood, thus causing stress on the liver.
- Sugar: Sugar can be harmful to your liver. Excess refined sugar and foods with high-fructose corn syrup can cause fatty buildup which leads to liver damage. Excess sugar also raises blood glucose levels.
High fatty and sugary foods, alcohol, processed foods, and overeating can lead to excess fat which builds up in your liver cells and leads to liver damage like with non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD). The liver can swell, and over time develop scarring which impairs liver function. Hepatitis C patients can also develop fatty liver (NAFLD), which causes further liver damage.
Typically, a balanced diet with vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, seeds, nuts, quality proteins (such as poultry and fish), and low-fat dairy is best for your liver. Eating a healthy diet is a vital proactive step in helping your body fight liver disease.