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7-Day Meal Plan For Fatty Liver: What To Eat And Avoid

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7-Day Meal Plan For Fatty Liver: What To Eat And Avoid

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Fatty liver disease means fat cells are inside the liver, which disrupts normal organ function. It’s a prevalent health condition affecting up to 24% of Americans annually. 
  • Most people don’t experience physical symptoms of mild fatty liver and aren’t aware of their condition until they complete blood testing or an ultrasound. 
  • Our 7-day meal plan for fatty liver includes a variety of fresh, delicious foods that can help you heal.

The liver filters blood and breaks down harmful substances (such as drugs and alcohol) into smaller, manageable molecules the body can more easily eliminate through waste.

It also produces bile—which helps with fat digestion, synthesizes protein, aids with blood sugar control, and stores vitamins and minerals. 

In some people, fat can accumulate inside the liver, impairing function and possibly injuring the organ.

Fortunately, many people can improve liver health by making diet and lifestyle changes, including eating fiber-rich foods, following the Mediterranean eating pattern, and increasing physical activity. 

Keep reading to learn more about liver health, and start following our delicious 7-day meal plan for fatty liver today. 

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What Is Fatty Liver?

A fatty liver can be categorized into two subgroups

  1. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): fat cells are inside the liver, which might enlarge the organ and cause mild pain to the touch (but usually, there are no symptoms). 
  1. Steatosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): fat cells in the liver, inflammation, and damage to liver cells. 

Researchers confirmed that NAFLD is more common, and they estimate the condition affects approximately 24% of US adults, compared to 1.5-6.5% who have NASH.

It’s unclear why NAFLD is more common in the two subgroups. 

A primary intervention to treat both types of fatty liver disease is dietary and lifestyle changes.

Physicians must closely monitor people with NASH because they’re at higher risk for liver complications, including cirrhosis or liver cancer. 

Who’s At Risk for Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver is prevalent in people living with metabolic syndrome, obesity, and conditions affected by weight—such as type 2 diabetes.

Certain ethnic groups are also at higher risk, including Hispanic individuals, non-Hispanic whites, and Asian Americans (including East and South Asian descent).  

People who drink large amounts of alcohol may develop alcohol-associated liver disease.

After years of high alcohol intake, the liver may become permanently damaged.

People living with this condition must follow a closely outlined care plan by their physician. 

What to Eat with Fatty Liver

You can eat plenty of foods while healing a fatty liver.

Enjoy various vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, beans, lean cuts of protein, nuts, seeds, most plant-based oils, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, trout, etc.)

The Mediterranean diet is frequently recommended to improve liver health because it includes many foods listed above. 

Other general nutrition tips for liver health include: 

  • Filling half your plate with vegetables (cooked or fresh). 
  • Choosing whole grains as often as possible (oats, quinoa, bulgur, wheat berries, amaranth, etc.) 
  • Limiting your intake of saturated and trans fats (bacon, deli meats, marbled meats, etc.) 
  • Increasing your intake of unsaturated fats (salmon, trout, mackerel, walnuts, pecans, avocado, olive oil, etc.)
  • Reducing your intake of foods high in added sugars (juices, sweets, candies, etc.)
  • Drinking water or unsweetened tea and coffee. 

The American Liver Foundation recommends eating more home-cooked meals instead of takeout to decrease your intake of high-fat foods that could aggravate your liver.

Our meal plan has delicious ideas to inspire you to cook more at home. 

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Meal Plan for Fatty Liver

Below is an example of a 7-day meal plan that supports liver health.

The serving sizes may vary depending on your needs, and a registered dietitian can help you build an eating plan that satisfies your nutrition requirements. 

Day 1

Breakfast

Egg omelet with mushrooms, diced tomato, shredded kale, black pepper, and a spoonful of feta cheese.

Serve over whole grain toast. 

Lunch

Chicken breast served over wild rice, topped with mixed greens, green onion, fresh raspberries, cucumber, and tomato.

Sprinkle on toasted sunflower seeds and dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Dinner

Sheet pan dinner with baked salmon, asparagus, and acorn squash.

Season your baked foods with your favorite spice blend (we recommend a simple mix of black pepper and paprika). 

Serve with a fresh salad of sliced tomato, cucumber, sweet onion, and dill.

Dress with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 

Snacks

Fresh carrot sticks with hummus; air-popped popcorn with olive oil and garlic powder. 

Day 2

Breakfast

Oatmeal (made with water or milk) with mixed berries, ground cinnamon, and a handful of mixed nuts.

Nuts are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial to your liver and can be enjoyed in moderation. 

Lunch

Tuna salad mixed with olive oil, fresh basil and parsley, sundried tomato, and green onion.

Serve with a whole grain bun and a slice of cheese. Add fresh vegetable sticks on the side for additional fiber.

Dinner

Three-bean chili with kidney, black, and white beans.

Add diced tomatoes, onions, green bell pepper, corn, and garlic.

Season with chili powder and serve with a whole grain dinner roll.

You can freeze chili in an airtight container for up to six months. 

Snacks

Plain Greek yogurt cup topped with fresh fruit; fresh red pepper with hummus. 

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Day 3

Breakfast

Whole grain English muffin with ½ avocado.

Top with sliced cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, and chili flakes.

Serve with a boiled egg on the side. 

Lunch

Leftover chili salad—make a bed of leafy greens and sliced red onion.

Top with warmed bean chili and a tablespoon of shredded cheese. 

Dinner

Turkey meatloaf (to make, mix, and bake: ground turkey, diced mushrooms, garlic powder, dijon mustard, rolled oats, and an egg) served with shredded kale salad with cucumber, tomato, and green onion.

Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

Snacks

Apple slices with nut butter; cucumber sticks with avocado dip. 

Day 4

Breakfast

Whole grain wrap with scrambled egg, fresh tomato, lettuce, and a slice of cheese. 

Lunch

Chicken noodle soup with whole grain pasta, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, low-sodium stock, and fresh parsley.

Serve with a fresh side salad for extra fiber. 

Dinner

Loaded baked sweet potato with baby arugula, shredded carrot, diced red bell pepper, and tomato.

Top with olive oil, lemon juice, and a soft-boiled egg.  

Snacks

Orange slices and a handful of mixed nuts; celery sticks with avocado dip. 

Day 5

Breakfast

Overnight oats with chia seeds. To make, put ½ cup of quick oats and one tbsp chia seeds in a small jar and top with milk.

Before eating, add fresh fruit to garnish, such as diced apple or berries, and sprinkle with ground cinnamon for extra flavor. 

Lunch

Hearty chickpea salad with fresh pomegranate, mint, lemon zest, cucumber, red onion, and orange bell pepper.

Top with grilled chicken breast slices. 

Dinner

Grilled thin pork chops with a side of sweet potato and grilled zucchini and bell peppers.

Add a grilled pineapple ring if you like natural sweetness with your pork. 

Snacks

Air-popped popcorn dressed with olive oil and garlic powder; fresh apple slices with nut butter. 

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Day 6

Breakfast

Whole grain toast with nut butter and fresh fruits.

Lunch

Baked bean burger (mix mashed black beans, Montreal steak spice seasoning, ½ diced onion, and egg) served on a whole grain bun.

Add lettuce, fresh tomato, red onion, and olive oil-based mayo.

Enjoy a side of fresh fruit. 

Dinner

Baked tofu with broccoli, served with a fresh garden salad.

Dress with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. 

Snacks

Carrot sticks with avocado dip; fresh pear, and a handful of mixed nuts. 

Day 7

Breakfast

Boiled millet with diced plum and a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt for additional protein and calcium. 

Lunch

Flatbread with whole grain pita, sliced tomato, yellow onion coated in curry powder, goat cheese, and chickpeas.

Garnish with fresh mint and basil before serving. 

Dinner

Grilled trout with whole wheat couscous, steamed Swiss chard, and garlicky grilled eggplant.

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds onto your vegetables for extra flavor and crunch. 

Snacks

Whole grain crackers with boiled egg; fresh peach with a handful of mixed nuts. 

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Foods to Avoid with Fatty Liver

Guidelines suggest limiting your intake of high-sugar foods because they increase fat buildup in the liver.

These include candies, cookies, frozen treats, and baked goods. 

Research also recommends limiting your intake of high-fructose foods that can stimulate liver fat production.

These products include sodas and juices. 

Other refined carbohydrates, such as white flour products (pasta, bread, cereal, etc.), should be limited while your liver heals.

They tend to be lower in fiber and are rapidly digested into simple sugar molecules (glucose), which your liver can store as fat.

You don’t need to avoid all carbohydrates to heal your liver, but monitoring your portion sizes may be helpful.  

If you have NAFLD or NASH, you should limit your alcohol intake while the liver recovers.

If you have questions about alcoholic intake, speak with your physician. 

Tips for Meal Preparation

Stay organized in the kitchen by implementing meal preparation techniques like menu planning, batch cooking, and grocery planning.

These methods allow you to buy items that fit your health goals and budget.

To get started: 

  • Dedicate a weekly time to meal preparation.  
  • Invest in kitchen equipment that keeps cooking simple: sharp knives, Tupperware, mixing bowls, mandolin, etc. 
  • Wash and cut your vegetables before storing them in the fridge. 
  • Start with easy recipes, and recycle your favorites in the future. 
  • Keep it fun by playing music, turning on a show, or inviting friends to cook. 

Takeaway

If you have NAFLD or NASH, diet and lifestyle changes can positively impact your liver recovery.

Try cooking at home more often and include fiber-rich foods in your dishes.

Experiment with different beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. 

You don’t need to eliminate fat from your diet when healing a fatty liver, but being more selective about the types of fat you consume can be helpful.

Choose unsaturated sources (plant-based options like nuts and seeds or omega-3-rich fish) more often because they support liver function. 

While healing, you should abstain from drinking alcohol.

You can ask your doctor when it’s safe to drink again. 

Work with a Dietitian

A registered dietitian is a nutrition expert and licensed healthcare professional who can help you manage your health through dietary changes. 

Find a dietitian near you to better understand how nutrition can support healthy liver function.

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