Five Habits to Adopt if You Have NASH
Up to 75 percent of men, women and children who are obese may be at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, also known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH takes place when fat accumulates in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. At its most severe, NASH can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure.
Losing weight and becoming more active can help reduce your risk. Research shows that modest reductions in weight (5-10% of total body weight) can help decrease the amount of fat deposited in the liver. Making healthy, long-term changes is key to success. Make these healthy behaviors habit and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle.
- Start moving. Get physical activity every day, aiming for 30-35 minutes. Don’t let the idea of exercise intimidate you – walking is a great way to get regular activity! Bring a family member or friend along to make the time pass quickly.
- Cut back on eating out. Many restaurant meals are oversized and contain more fat, sodium, sugar and calories than similar foods prepared at home. If you eat out regularly, try cutting back slowly and recreate your favorite restaurant meals at home.
- Snack smarter. Calories from snacking can add up quickly. Swap out any high fat, salty and sugary snacks with fresh fruits and vegetables. Pair with a low-fat yogurt or handful of almonds.
- Stay hydrated. Keep yourself hydrated with water, sparkling or fruit-infused waters, unflavored milks, unsweetened teas (iced or hot) and plain coffee. Reduce your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and alcohol. Both add empty calories to your diet and alcohol is known to be harmful to the liver when consumed in excess.
- Swap your sweets. Avoid desserts and sweets such as cake, ice cream, candy, cookies, pie and pastries. Consider fresh fruits, sugar free gelatin or sugar free popsicles or a small amount of dark chocolate (at least 50% cacao) as desserts instead. For a special, occasional treat, hold onto this recipe for apple-berry cobbler.