Foods that Are Bad for Liver Function
The liver is an organ that plays a fundamental role in our body, as it's the one in charge of filtering and discarding toxins that enter our body through the digestive system. Not only that, the liver is also in charge of carrying out the synthesis of proteins or cholesterol.
Severe damage to the liver such as fatty liver or conditions such as hepatitis and cirrhosis deplete the liver's ability to get rid of toxins, thus putting our health at risk. That's why, in the following oneHOWTO article, we'll talk about foods that are bad for liver function, so you can keep this organ in the best conditions.
Alcohol and the liver
As you probably know, alcoholic beverages are one of the worst things you can give your liver. We do not include it in any of the food sections as alcohol does not have any nutritional values, what it does have is the ability to cause different liver diseases and to make the liver work in a harmful way.
In excess, alcohol slowly damages the cells of the liver, finally making it unable to produce all the substances it should, synthesizing vitamins or minerals or making our body work normally.
In addition to alcohol we can also include tobacco. Cigarettes not only have harmful effects on the lungs and respiratory tract, but their harmful consequences can also be seen in the liver and anywhere in our body.
Foods that are bad for liver function: Fats
Animal based fats
The liver suffers a lot to be able to digest fatty foods, especially when these are animal based. Anyone suffering from liver problems, or any healthy person who wants to prevent their liver from suffering problems, should limit the intake of fatty products to the maximum. Within this food group we can find some of them are as widely used as:
- Red meats
- Some dairy products.
If you still want to eat red meat and dairy products, it is always preferable to choose those products that have a minimum amount of fat such as lean meats or low-fat dairy products. Moreover, it is advisable to choose natural and organic products with an ecologic origin than to eat products that are raised extensively, as they have a great deal of chemicals and toxins that our liver must then filter. To sum up, any type of saturated fat can affect the liver negatively.
On the other hand, not all fats are bad, in fact in many cases they are essential and irreplaceable for good health. Among the healthy fats that you should introduce without any fear in your diet are:
- Olive oil
- Blue Fish
Salt and liver function
When a person has a problem in the liver it is common for them to have fluid or water retention. If we consider that sodium is an element that favors this condition, we can conclude that if you want to take care of this organ it is important to you limit the amount of salt you eat. This not only means not adding much of salt to your food, in fact, most of the sodium we consume is not eaten as a conscious action, but it is eaten as part of certain processed products. So some foods that we should be careful with are:
- Processed meats
- Salted products
- Salted nuts
Foods that hurt the liver
In order to know what foods are bad for liver function, we not only have to take the origin or nature of products into account, there are other features that will influence greatly when it comes to knowing if a food is bad or good for our liver. Among these things, we should highlight the cooking method used, as a product that may seem innocuous at first sight, can become dangerous depending on the way we cook it:
As we have explained before, both precooked and processed foods are bad for hepatic health. This type of products carry a lot of preservatives, sugars, fats and other additives that, once inside the body, the liver must filter and eliminate. Within this group we could include products as popular and varied as:
- Precooked dishes
- Canned products
- Instant soup
As you can see, in this list there are also many products that are very rich in refined sugar, a product that is harmful to the liver, as this is the organ in charge of synthesizing it. In addition to liver damage, these products cause changes in insulin and are very dangerous for people with obesity, metabolic problems, hypertension or diabetes.
Whether grilled or baked, roasting too much food causes meat to generate toxins that the liver needs a lot of work for in order to get rid of it. When meat is burned, it releases acrylamide, a substance that has been shown to cause cancer, according to the latest WHO reports. The best ways to cook are steamed, boiled or grilled.
Just as cooking meat too much can make this product dangerous, so does not cooking it at all or not doing so properly. We should never eat fish or raw meat or, at the very least, we should not do so unless we are fully aware of its origin and wholesomeness. Semi-hard or raw meat can contain microorganisms that cause us infections.
Bad eating habits for the liver
It's not only the actual products that are bad, the way we eat is also very important. The way we treat the product, cook it and eat it is essential not to overwork our liver, preventing it from developing any alteration:
Eating too much
Regardless of the type of food, however healthy it may be, eating too much is bad for the liver as it is forced to do an overexertion that can end up affecting it. The recommendation is to eat little at every meal, but do it very often, instead of eating a lot on each plate.
Do not chew
Gulping instead of chewing is a very damaging activity for the liver, causing innumerable indigestion and digestive disorders. Proper chewing before swallowing not only facilitates the work of the liver and other organs involved in digestion, but also shortens its time and improves the absorption of nutrients.
Since the normalization of appliances such as the refrigerator or microwave in every household, it has become a very common practice to cook more food than you're going to eat, thinking that you can then store it and eat it later. However, re-cooking food can cause it to become contaminated and can thus affect our liver. Whenever possible, it is preferable to cook what is necessary.
Not washing vegetables and fruit
We are often unaware of the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals with which fruits and vegetables are often sprayed. If we do not wash these products before eating them, as well as not washing our hands, these chemicals will pass into our digestive tract and must be filtered by the liver.
We have just discussed the dangers of ingesting chemicals, but these can not only reach our system through food, but we can be the ones to carrying them too. If you work with heavy metals or a potentially toxic element you should wash your hands consciously before eating or handling food.
Harmful habits for the liver
Beyond food there are a number of aspects in our day to day life that can cause harm the liver and must take into account if we want to keep this important organ in full shape. Some of the factors that may be most dangerous are:
- Self-medication or uncontrolled intake of drugs and medication.
- Having unprotected sex.
- Sharing syringes or utensils like toothbrushes or shaving razor blades
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Foods that Are Bad for Liver Function, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.