Fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat builds up in your liver, is a serious health concern that can lead to more severe liver conditions if left unaddressed and has become a prevalent health concern worldwide. While genetics and certain medical conditions can play a role, lifestyle habits also significantly contribute to its development.
It's important to recognize and address these lifestyle habits in order to take proactive steps toward protecting your liver health. By changing some of the key components in your lifestyle, you can reduce the risk of fatty liver and promote overall well-being as small changes in lifestyle habits can significantly improve liver health over time.
Check out these five common lifestyle habits that can increase the risk of fatty liver and understand how you can reduce these risks.
1. Unhealthy Diet
An unhealthy diet high in processed foods, sugary beverages, and excessive amounts of saturated and trans fats is one of the main culprits behind fatty liver disease. Consuming these items regularly can lead to an overabundance of calories and sugars, which the liver metabolizes and converts into fat which after a period of time can overwhelm the liver's capacity to process and eliminate these fats, leading to the accumulation of fat in liver cells.
To reduce this risk, focus on adopting a balanced diet rich in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains and minimize the intake of sugary snacks, fried foods, and sugary beverages.
2. Desk-bound Lifestyle
A lack of physical activity is closely linked to an increased risk of fatty liver. Exercising regularly helps in regulating weight, improves insulin sensitivity, and enhances the liver’s ability to metabolize fats efficiently. On the contrary, a sedentary lifestyle obstructs these processes and makes the liver susceptible to fat accumulation.
To reduce this risk, you should incorporate regular exercises into your routine, such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga. As per the health experts, you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
3. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption is a popular contributor to fatty liver disease. The liver is responsible for processing alcohol, and excessive consumption can overwhelm its capacity, leading to the accumulation of fat. This condition, known as alcoholic fatty liver disease, can progress to more severe forms of liver damage if alcohol consumption continues nonstop.
To reduce this risk, it’s important to practice moderation when it comes to alcohol consumption. If you want to drink, you must do so in moderation and consider alcohol-free days as well, to give your liver a chance to recover.
4. Rapid Weight Gain or Obesity
Significant weight gain, especially when it happens rapidly, can strain the liver's ability to process and store fat efficiently which can lead to this fatty liver disease. Obesity, in particular, is a significant risk factor for fatty liver, as excess body fat can infiltrate liver cells and interfere with their normal function.
To reduce this risk, maintaining a balanced diet and regularly exercising is important. You should aim for gradual, sustainable weight loss if needed.
5. Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome
Insulin resistance, often associated with conditions like type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, can significantly increase the risk of fatty liver. When cells become resistant to insulin, the body compensates by producing more insulin, which can lead to fat accumulation in the liver.
To reduce this risk, managing insulin resistance through a combination of a balanced diet and regular exercising is necessary along with medication, if required.