Advertisement

'I'm a Doctor Who Treats Liver Conditions—This Is the Snack I Eat Almost Every Single Day'

Woman holding side for liver health

If you’re like most people, you may not give your liver much thought—that is, unless you have a condition that impacts your liver, in which case you likely think about it a lot. Either way, it’s important to take care of your liver, because it’s an organ that performs many critical functions—more than 500 of them, in fact, according to Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

As with our other vital organs, the liver is affected by what we eat, so striving to follow a healthy, balanced diet can benefit your liver health. But that doesn’t mean you need to completely sacrifice snacks or other foods you enjoy. For insight on the best snack options for those concerned about keeping their liver healthy, we consulted doctors who specialize in treating the liver and digestive organs.

Related: Here's How to Tell if You're Dealing With Bloating or Belly Fat—and What to Do About Each

A Liver Doctor’s Go-To Daily Snack

“My first-choice snack is Greek yogurt,” says Dr. Michael Schoech, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a hepatologist at UC Health in Cincinnati. “It is a high-impact snack which is high in protein and lower in carbohydrates and sodium.”

That means this is a snack that checks a lot of important liver health boxes, as the American Liver Foundation recommends avoiding foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt.

Dr. Schoech’s second suggestion might surprise you. “The runner-up is coffee with a splash of cream. There is evidence suggesting a benefit of coffee to your overall liver health. Several studies display an association of reduced liver stiffness and liver cancer with regular coffee consumption. It is important to note that this benefit was associated with black coffee without cream and/or sugar.” The Cleveland Clinic also recommends a daily cup of joe to promote liver health.

Related: This Popular and Delicious Snack Could Zap Belly Fat, According to Registered Dietitians

Dr. Kunal Gupta, MD, Gastroenterologist at Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center, has another suggestion for a snack that’s good for your liver and easy to enjoy on the go. “Nuts and nut bars are great snacks. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and protein.”

These snacks also offer another benefit for those trying to maintain a healthy diet. “Nuts and other snacks high in protein help satiate your hunger and allow you to limit overall weight gain which is important for the health of your liver,” says Dr. Gupta.

Related: 'I'm a Cardiologist—This Is the Afternoon Snack I Eat Almost Every Day'

Other Ways to Promote Liver Health

There are other ways you can make smart choices about what you eat—and drink—to help keep your liver in good shape. The good news is that these are strategies that can have many rewards that benefit your entire body. “What is good for your overall health is what is good for your liver,” says Dr. Gupta. “Maintain a diet which limits your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, which are all part of the metabolic syndrome.”

“Eating a well-balanced diet is by far the most important consideration for liver health including a diet high in fiber and protein with fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Dr. Schoech. “Healthy proteins for your liver include fish and chicken, like what is recommended in the Mediterranean diet.”

Many people are already aware of the link between alcohol consumption and liver health, so this is another reason to keep your alcohol consumption in check. “It’s important to remember to limit alcohol to one drink daily for women and two for men,” says Dr. Schoech.

Next up, find out the one snack you should eat every day if you want to combat metabolic syndrome.

Sources: