The daily diet for a person with NAFLD should be curated as per their health condition. Existing health conditions, allergies should be taken into consideration while setting up a diet. However, certain food items can be avoided regardless.
Research suggests that the energy content is 1000–1200 kcal per day for obese women and 1200–1600 kcal per day for obese men. Energy requirements should be tailored to personal needs. Physical activity, height, and weight should be considered. The energy deficit should be between 500 and 1000 kcal per day. The above-mentioned deficit enables weight loss of 0.5-1 kg per week.
Meal intake is recommended to consume 4–5 meals per day; breaks between meals should not exceed 2–3 hrs. The last meal should be consumed at least 3 h before sleeping. The meals should be consumed slowly. If you are suffering from NAFLD, you should avoid things like alcohol, added sugar, fried food, added salt, highly processed food items, and red meat.
A study says that diet plays an important role in increasing and decreasing the risk of NAFLD; increased consumption of fast foods, diet-rich fats or fructose syrup correlates well with obesity and NAFLD. Whereas, increased consumption of food rich in fibre results in decreasing the risk of NAFLD. Overgrowth of gut microbiota also plays an important role in the development of NAFLD.
The study says that probiotic complementary therapy is good for reducing the risk of NAFLD. However, these results differ between different groups of patients due to, for example, differences in lifestyle, geographic factors, age, and gene variance. Hence, probiotics may be included in the diet.
According to the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, certain diet changes can be beneficial such as limiting your intake of fats. They are high in calories and as a result increase your chance of developing obesity. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats in your diet with unsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, may reduce your chance of heart disease if you have NAFLD.
Similarly, eating more low-glycemic index foods such as most fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods affect your blood glucose less than high-glycemic-index foods like white bread, white rice, and potatoes. Avoid foods and drinks that contain large amounts of simple sugars, especially fructose. Fructose is found in sweetened soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened tea, and juices. Table sugar, called sucrose, is rapidly changed to glucose and fructose during digestion and is therefore a major source of fructose.
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