Keto Diet and Liver Health: A Quick Guide
The Keto diet has been gaining popularity recently as a way to lose weight and improve overall health. But what about its effects on liver health? In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the impact of the Keto diet on your liver and provide tips to help you maintain a healthy liver while following this diet.
What is the Keto Diet?
The Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to put your body into a state of ketosis. This means your body switches from burning carbohydrates for energy to burning fat. By doing this, your body can produce ketones, providing energy for your brain and body.
The Keto diet typically involves consuming 70-80% of your daily calories from fat, 10-20% from protein, and 5-10% from carbohydrates. This can be a drastic change from the typical Western diet, which is high in carbohydrates and low in fat.
How Does the Keto Diet Affect Liver Health?
Your liver plays a crucial role in your body’s metabolism, including the breakdown of fats. When you follow the Keto diet, your liver has to work harder to break down the increased amount of fat in your diet.
While this can be beneficial for weight loss and improved overall health, it can also put a strain on your liver. Consuming too much fat can cause fat buildup in your liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
NAFLD is a condition where excess fat builds up in the liver, leading to inflammation and damage. It can also increase the risk of developing other health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
However, research has shown that the Keto diet helps improve liver health in some cases. Studies have found that the Keto diet can reduce inflammation in the liver and improve liver function in people with NAFLD.
Tips for Maintaining Liver Health on the Keto Diet
While the Keto diet can be beneficial for weight loss and overall health, it’s important to take steps to maintain a healthy liver while following this diet. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Focus on Healthy Fats: Not all fats are created equal. Focus on consuming healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Avoid consuming too much saturated and trans fats, which can increase the risk of liver damage.
Get Enough Protein: Protein is important for maintaining muscle mass and supporting liver health. Aim to consume moderate amounts of protein on the Keto diet, such as chicken, fish, eggs, and tofu.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is important for flushing toxins out of your liver and keeping it healthy. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water daily, and more if you’re exercising or sweating.
Consider Supplements: Certain supplements, such as milk thistle and turmeric, may help support liver health. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to determine which supplements are right for you.
The Keto diet can positively and negatively affect liver health. While it may help improve liver function in some cases, it can also put a strain on the liver and increase the risk of NAFLD. By focusing on healthy fats, consuming moderate amounts of protein, staying hydrated, and considering supplements, you can help maintain a healthy liver while following the Keto diet.