Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFL) is the most common type of fatty liver disease worldwide. NAFLD puts you at greater risk of other diseases such as heart disease and can progress to more serious conditions such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cancer.
NAFLD is increasing at the same rate as obesity and is becoming an epidemic in society. There are many ways you can reduce your risk of this chronic disease, including diet and exercise.
Your liver is vital for detoxification, immune function, and metabolism of nutrients in your body. As the largest organ in your body, you want it functioning optimally. People with NAFLD have a high amount of saturated and monounsaturated fat in their liver but a low amount of omega-3 fat. Having low levels of Omega 3 (which has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect) leads to liver cell damage due to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, cell disfunction, and liver tissue scarring.
Omega-3 fat found in foods like tuna and sardines helps reduce the amount of fat in your liver in people with NAFLD. Omega-3 fat can also help reduce your risk of developing associated diseases and minimize adverse health consequences.
To prevent excess fat from developing in your liver in the first place, the recommendation is to include omega-3 fat from foods. The two parts that make up the omega-3 fat, namely, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can reduce the liver's negative effects on the typical Malaysian diet. The typical Malaysian diet consumes excess red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates, added sugar, and ultra-processed foods. Also, it’s low in fruit, legumes and vegetables, and seafood.
By swapping some red meat meals for seafood 2-3 times a week and adding few vegetable meals like tofu or beans, you will be doing wonders for your liver health.
A healthy lifestyle starts from today!