Everything you eat and drink passes through your liver. Your liver changes food into stored energy and chemicals necessary for life. Your liver makes nutrients available so your body can use them to build cells, give you energy, and maintain normal body functions.
If diet provides too many calories, you will gain weight. Being overweight is linked to building up of fats in the liver, called as an ailment – Fatty Liver. Having a fatty liver when you already have hepatitis C will make it more likely to develop cirrhosis.
A good diet, by contrast, can actually improve liver health in a person with hepatitis C. A balanced diet can lead to the better liver functioning and lowered risk of cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. It also can help the immune system stay strong and fight off illness.
Ingredients to Limit for a Healthy Liver:
Sugar and unrefined carbohydrates
Soda, many fruit drinks, and sweetened energy drinks and teas
Most bakery goods such as pastries, doughnuts, cookies, white bread, white pasta
Trans-fats, saturated fats, and high-fat foods
Butter, cream, and full-fat cheese
Bacon, beef, ham, lamb, sausage, organ meats
Trans fats are being phased out, but check ingredients for partially hydrogenated oil in foods such as microwave popcorn, frozen desserts, crackers, and stick margarine
Processed food, frozen foods, canned foods, and deli meats
Snack foods with empty calories (potato chips, candy, etc.)
Nutritious Choices to include for a Healthy Liver:
Eat vegetables — Lots of them and in as many colours as possible.
Consume fruit and whole grains in moderate amounts.
Eat plants – Eat plant-based or lean protein choices, such as egg whites, nonfat yoghurt or milk, beans, nuts, fish and poultry.
Choose healthy fats, such as canola and olive oil.
Eat a fibre-rich diet.
Reduce sodium intake. Avoid processed foods, which are often high in sodium and other additives.
Don’t overdo it. A serving of nuts is healthy; a can of nuts is not.
Fruit Juices– These beverages are high in concentrated sugar. Sugar is a shock to the liver, stresses the digestive process, stresses the pancreas, and it feeds the Hepatitis C virus.
Hydrogenated Oils– Hydrogenated (they are refined) oils are another product that is hard for the liver to handle. This includes any type of oil or fat that hardens when cold. A better choice would be flaxseed oil or virgin olive oil.