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  Nutrition Management in Liver diseases

Liver failure:  Nutrition management in the liver failure is important. The liver is largest organ in the body. Liver is responsible for many important functions including the removal of by products from the digestion of food and production of proteins. Important function of liver is the secretion of bile which plays important role in digestion of fats and also helps in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. It also helps in synthesis of cholesterol, lipo proteins and in the oxidation of fats to produce energy. It eliminates toxins from blood.

Liver diseases:

  • Fatty liver
  • Cirrhosis of liver
  • Acute and chronic hepatitis.

Dietary guidelines for Liver disorders:

  • A damaged liver cannot store vitamins and minerals. So diet should provide all necessary vitamins and minerals.
  • Liver damage can lead to high blood pressure. This can result in ascites, fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity, so a diet should contain limited amounts of sodium and limit intake of fluid.
  • A liver disorder cannot metabolize proteins properly and this may cause build up of ammonia which is toxic in blood stream.
  • A consistent supply of carbohydrate is needed in the diet to make sure body get enough energy. As carbohydrates are main source of energy .A healthy liver makes glycogen from carbohydrate. Glycogen is then broken down when the body needs energy. A damaged liver cannot do this.
  • Diet should provide moderate amount of fats. Fat provides fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.
  • Alcohol should be avoided.
  • Moderate amount of fibers are recommended as they promote the uptake of ammonia by intestinal flora.
  • Eat frequent small meals.
  • Hydrogenated fats such as margarine, shortenings should be avoided.

Carbohydrates:  Diet should provide 60 to 70% of carbohydrates. More amounts of carbohydrates should be provided. Simple carbohydrates should be avoided.

Proteins: People with liver disease need to lower the percentage of animal protein, they need to eat mostly vegetable sources of protein. A diet high in animal protein contains lot of ammonia may precipitate an episode of encephalopathy. Around 0.8 gms of protein per kg body weight is recommended in the diet. 20 to 30 percent of calories should be derived from proteins.

Fats: Fat supplies energy. Moderate amounts of fat should be provided in diet. The increased amounts of fats and carbohydrates help preserve the protein in the body and prevent protein breakdown.

Vitamins:  Vitamins are essential. Some people with liver disease are prone to vitamin deficiencies should take vitamin supplements.

Foods to eat:

Brown rice, whole grain breads , whole grain cereals, barley, green tea, oranges, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, onions, garlic, turmeric, mustard, watermelon, salmon, nuts , avocados, caraway seeds, lemon juice, papaya, beet root, cucumber, carrot, tomato, grapes, lettuce, walnuts, flax seeds, tuna.

Foods to avoid:

Saturated fats, alcohol, preservatives, cookies, potato chips, French fries, sausage, bacon, hot dogs, salami, cheese, ice cream, whole milk, caffeine beverages like tea and coffee. White rice, donuts, candy, cakes, limit processed foods.



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