It is crucial to maintain healthy dietary habits, particularly when you have fatty liver disease, as the liver is your body’s largest and most important internal organ. It performs more than 300 functions, including detoxification, cholesterol production, storing iron, and converting excess glucose into glycogen for storage.
The primary focus of a fatty liver diet plan is to eliminate the fat accumulated in the abdominal area. Hence, most healthcare experts recommend the Mediterranean diet for a fatty liver.
This diet is high in protein and low in refined carbs. But can you eat chicken on a fatty liver diet? Or does eating chicken contribute to a healthy liver? Let’s find out!
Understanding Fatty Liver
Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis, occurs when fat accumulates in the liver. Typically, the liver doesn’t store any fat, but long-term high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides can lead to fat accumulation in the liver. There are two types of fatty liver:
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver
NAFLD is not associated with heavy alcohol use. There are two types of fatty liver:
- Simple fatty liver is when there is only a tiny amount of fat in the liver and no inflammation or cell damage.
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is when there is fat in the liver, inflammation, and cell damage. NASH can lead to more severe problems, such as liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, and can even be cancerous.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Heavy alcohol use can lead to alcoholic fatty liver disease. The liver breaks down most of the alcohol you drink to remove it from your body, but this process can create harmful substances.
These substances can damage the cells in your liver, cause inflammation and weaken the body’s natural defences. The more alcohol you consume, the more damage there is to your liver. If left untreated, alcoholic fatty liver disease can lead to alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
Is Chicken Good for Fatty Liver?
It is one of the best food options if you have fatty liver disease. Chicken is lean protein, which keeps you satiated and full for longer and helps reduce the number of calories you consume daily. Moreover, studies show creating such calorie deficits is beneficial for lowering liver lipids and triglycerides in overweight people with NAFLD.
A major cause of fat deposition in the liver is a low-protein diet. Therefore, eating enough protein can help manage fatty liver disease. In addition, chicken provides biologically active protein, which gets readily absorbed in the body. Hence, lean cuts of chicken can be an excellent addition to a fatty liver diet.
It can be a healthy option for non-vegetarians with fatty liver disease (other than fish) if you cook chicken without butter or unnecessary fats. Grilled or roasted chicken can be super delicious and fulfilling, and it also provides your body with the necessary protein to fight this disease. An additional advantage is that chicken is more prevalent in India and is a common poultry option. It can be a healthful replacement for red meats since they are rich in saturated fats, which can exacerbate the fatty liver disease.
The HealthifyMe Note
Chicken is a good source of lean protein and can be a healthy addition to your diet if you have fatty liver. Chicken, particularly without the skin, is an excellent way to get the protein you need without worrying about saturated fats, which can be hard on the liver.
Ways to Eat Chicken When You Have Fatty Liver
Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts
In just 15 minutes, you can have delicious pan-seared chicken breasts seasoned with a few simple spices. This pan-sauteed chicken is suitable for your liver health and enhances its health.
Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl
This dish is approved for a fatty liver diet because it contains wholesome ingredients. It is a protein-rich quinoa bowl with boneless, skinless chicken, roasted tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, and crumbled feta cheese.
Chicken and Black Bean Salad
This salad is a good option for people with fatty liver who want to increase their protein intake. The chicken, beans, and greens in the salad provide an excellent source of protein, and the fresh veggies help to stabilise blood sugar levels.
To improve your liver health, start by making some dietary changes. Avoid foods that could make your liver condition worse. Chicken is a good option for a fatty liver diet as long as it’s cooked with minimal fat.
Always aim to incorporate healthier cooking methods like grilling, roasting, boiling, poaching or steaming chicken. Talk to a nutritionist to learn how much chicken you should eat based on your needs.