NAFLD is characterized by excess fat deposition in the liver which has two types such as nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Globally it is the most common liver disease. Males are more affected than females. Among them, people with different conditions or diseases such as overweight, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc. are more vulnerable to developing NALFLD. Morbidity and mortality due to the disease is also extremely high. (References: A 47,48,49).
A lot of people are recently becoming aware of the vast prevalence of NAFLD disease in Bangladesh though it’s not a new disease at all. A vast number of them also identified themselves as NAFLD patients. It’s due to increased access to online learning platforms as well as the availability of advanced health services and facilities. Most of them panicked. But do they need to be?
It is not wise to panic. They need to consult with a dietitian or nutritionist to identify the potential causes including food habits and stages of NAFLD in individuals Pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease | QJM: An International Journal of Medicine | Oxford Academic (oup.com).)
NAFLD has multiple causes. If the cause is food habits, especially carbohydrate-containing foods, then the first piece of advice would be to follow a restricted calorie diet as per their daily requirements. The reason is that the excess energy derived from foods will be stored as fat by your liver in the form of triglycerides (Reference: A47). So, they need to focus on their total energy intake and expenditure per day as well as food availability and accessibility.
Excess food availability and accessibility, especially carbohydrates like sucrose, may directly help to develop NAFLD.
Let’s explain the cause and prevention of diet-mediated NAFLD in a practical situation.
For instance, if you buy or get excess food as a gift more food will be available in your home. As a result, you must preserve excess or leftover foods in freezers or refrigerators. Gradually, you may notice that you need more refrigerators or freezers at your home than before. As a result, sometimes you need to distribute or donate those foods to others. So, if you reduce the supply of food by buying less or refusing excess foods as a gift, then you will notice that there is no food left in your refrigerators or freezers to consume.
Similarly, if the cause of your NAFLD is food habits, a less or equal amount of food as per your daily expenditure of total energy helps you to be diagnosed as normal soon. It is a normal body mechanism as exemplified by home refrigerators or freezers. So, it is especially important to know the cause of NAFLD.
It is already mentioned that there are multiple causes responsible for developing NAFLD. Dietary habits are one of them. So, first, we need to know the grounds and risk factors of NAFLD before and after being diagnosed as NAFLD patients. Proper learning, dietary habits, physical activity, etc. will help us to prevent and control the disease progress and associated complication to reduce the burden of that disease (Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for NAFLD & NASH – NIDDK (nih.gov).)
If you are interested to learn more about NAFLD, please visit the following links: