7 Worst Foods for Your Liver

Liver is one of the hardest working organs in your body. It works round the clock to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs, all while guarding you from the toxins you eat and breathe throughout the day.

When your liver isn't operating as well as it could, you may notice that you're sluggish, bloated, moody or even hungrier more often. Your liver is an organ you could easily trash if you don't take good care of it. And once you trash it, it's gone.

There's nothing tricky about keeping your liver in good shape. It's all about a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding these liver-clogging foods can help keep your liver healthy and functional:

Alcohol
It can damage liver cells and lead to the swelling or scarring that becomes cirrhosis, which can be deadly. Chronic alcoholism contributes to the onset of liver damage because it inhibits proper absorption of nutrients, forcing the liver to become toxic. Avoid drinking beer, wine or champagne as well as any form of liquor.

High-Sodium Foods
A normal amount of sodium helps to regulate fluids in your body and blood pressure, but foods that are very high in sodium tax your liver. Canned foods, including soups, meats or vegetables, are high in salt and sugar, which cause abdominal swelling and fluid retention. High sodium foods to watch out for include Deli meat, cheese, pizza, and soy sauce.

Animal-Based Foods
A damaged liver is unable to metabolize proteins properly and break down the amino acids produced in the body from eating animal-based foods. Avoid red meat, such as beef and bison. As well, you should eliminate or limit the eggs and dairy products you eat. Dairy may include milk, cheese and yogurt. Protein is important in overall nutrition, so opt for lean meats from poultry and non-meat protein sources such as beans and nuts. You may also consider trying plant-based products such as soy milk.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Beverages and foods that contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) wreak havoc on your liver. Common foods containing HFCS include soda, single serving lunch snacks (pudding, fruit snacks, cereal bars), yogurt, bread and crackers.

Fried Foods
Fried foods, particularly those from fast food restaurants, have a negative effect on your liver. Eating French fries, extra crispy chicken or deep fried cheese-filled wontons actually has an effect on our liver that's very similar to hepatitis. Eating fried foods has also been shown to elevate bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. Watch out for French fries, mozzarella sticks, fried appetizers, and doughnuts.

Sugary Foods
Avoid sugary foods such as candy, ice cream and cake and salty foods like potato chips, which are simple carbohydrates with high levels of sugar and sodium, respectively.

Fatty Foods
French fries and burgers are a poor choice to keep your liver healthy. Eat too many foods that are high in saturated fat can make it harder for your liver to do its job. Over time it may lead to inflammation, which in turn could cause scarring of the liver that's known as cirrhosis.

photo: healthrill.com

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