Drinks to ‘stay away from’ to protect against fatty liver – expert

Laura Brown, the Senior Lecturer in Nutrition, Food and Health Sciences at Teesside University, warned of processed and fried foods. “People need to stay away from most things processed and fried like sugary foods, cookies, fizzy drinks and fruit juice,” said Brown. “This is because they increase the amount of fat build-up in the liver.”

The expert continued: “However it’s not just sugar that can be detrimental to liver function.

“Foods high in salt increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

“Processed foods raise the blood sugar content which, ultimately, increases fat build-up in the liver.

“Fatty processed meats that are high in saturated fats should also be avoided to reduce this risk.”

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Foods and drinks to limit:

  1. Cookies
  2. Processed meats
  3. Fizzy drinks
  4. Fruit juice.


The British Liver Trust says fatty liver disease is “closely linked with being overweight”.

A build-up of fat in the liver is also associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and circulatory issues.

Having NAFLD could eventually put a person at risk of developing liver cancer or liver failure.

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“The main treatment for NAFLD is eating a well-balanced diet, being physically active and (if needed) losing weight,” the charity clarifies.

“Research shows these can reduce liver fat and in some cases reverse NAFLD.”

Warning signs of NAFLD

  • Tiredness, fatigue or a general feeling of lethargy or having no energy
  • Discomfort on the upper right side of your tummy.

In most cases, there are “no specific symptoms” even if there is too much fat in the liver.

Any of the following signs should be reported to a doctor “straight away”:

  • Yellowness of the eyes and skin
  • Bruising easily
  • Dark urine
  • Swelling of the tummy area
  • Vomiting blood
  • Dark black tarry poo
  • Periods of confusion, forgetting things, mood changes or poor judgement
  • Itching skin.

To help prevent such symptoms, and to take care of your liver, the charity elaborates on healthy eating.

“There is no magic diet or specific list of foods and drinks that will cure you or to avoid completely,” the British Liver Trust says.

“The aim is to generally eat and drink healthily most of the time and not have too much or too little of anything.”

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