There is a lot of confusion around eggs. Are the eggs good for fatty liver (NAFLD) or not? The confusion stems from the fact that the eggs are extremely nutritious – they are high in protein, and contain high amounts of vitamin D, Choline, Cobalamin, and Iron which are all really important. However, they are also very high in fat and cholesterol resulting in additional confusion with respect to their consumption for those who have fatty liver. To make matters worse, there are studies showing contrary results with respect to egg consumption and Fatty Liver disease.
As we have seen before (Can I eat chicken with Fatty Liver (NAFLD)?) – the answer is not clear cut and depends on a few things:
- Which part of the egg is good for fatty liver (NAFLD)
- How are you cooking the egg for fatty liver
- How many times a week can you eat eggs when you have fatty liver
Whole Eggs And Fatty Liver (NAFLD)
Eggs are delicious and they are a great choice for people who suffer from diabetes. However, story is a little different for people who suffer from NAFLD because whole eggs also pack a solid punch in terms of fat, cholesterol, and calories. A single large egg will already provide 62% of the allowed daily amount of cholesterol, as well as 7% of the daily fat intake.
|Choline (liver benefit)
Cholesterol in particular is the tricky part of whole egg consumption. It is even worse for anyone suffering from Fatty Liver because it is synthesized in the liver, putting additional pressure on the liver. This study on eggs shows that consuming more than 2 whole eggs in a week substantially increases the chances of developing NAFLD.
Looking at both pros and cons of whole egg consumption, I feel that whole eggs are not horrible. Sticking to 2-3 whole eggs per week should be the goal. There is a different recommendation on egg whites though so please keep reading.
Whole eggs when cooked right and consumed 2-3 times a week (maximum) are safe for Fatty Liver.
Egg Whites And Fatty Liver (NAFLD)
Here is the good news! Egg whites are indeed safe to eat. Most of the fat and cholesterol part of the egg is in egg yolk, making egg whites one of the most nutritious and recommended food for NAFLD.
They are high in protein, low in calories, have no cholesterol, and also contain negligible fat. They however don’t offer much in terms of vitamins or minerals.
Technically there is no limit on how much egg white you can consume in a week. However make sure you cook in a liver-friendly way. Adding oils, butter and other fat is a recipe for poor outcomes.
This means that egg whites can be consumed as much as you want! Just be extra careful about how you cook them. If you fry them in a lot of oil, you will not be doing any favors to your fatty liver.
Please note that egg whites will not help reverse your fatty liver, however, they could provide the nutrition and variety you need to continue your Fatty Liver diet.
Egg Yolks And Fatty Liver (NAFLD)
As I mentioned before, Egg yolk does have nutrients that promote liver health such as Choline and Vitamin D. That benefit is however offset by the high amount of fat and cholesterol that is also packed in the egg yolk. If you are already consuming the maximum allowed 2 whole eggs per week, avoiding any other egg yolk preparations would be best for your Fatty Liver.
In short – you should avoid egg yolk. If you have to consume, this takes away from your quota of allowed 2 whole eggs per week.
How To Cook Eggs For Fatty Liver
Boil them! The easiest and healthiest way to cook healthy eggs is to boil them. Poaching is fine as well if you are willing to put in the effort.
I also love my omelet! My go-to recipe for omelet included Egg whites with a lot of vegetables and a healthy portion of green chilies (I love my food spicy). The chilies are optional of course. But how did I fry it? This took a little bit of time and research and after a few failed attempts, I finally found a good non-stick pan (affiliate link) that works for me. To be honest – before I landed on this pan, I tried 3 different non-stick pans which would all scramble my omelet unless I put a healthy amount of oil coating on it. The T-Fal non-stick pan since then has been joined by other non-stick T-Fal products.
Can you eat your eggs scrambled for fatty liver? YES! In a non-stick pan where you don’t need to add any oil (or maybe a couple of drops of olive oil to grease it). This may not give the same taste as you are used to, however, you will come to like and appreciate it.
Other great ways to cook eggs for NAFLD:
- Sunny side up: Use a good non-stick pan & keep the oil to a minimum
- Soup: Heard of egg drop soup? I often drank soup and used egg whites to flavor/texture my soup.
Have any other great ways to prepare healthy, liver-friendly eggs? Any great recipes? Please share!
As you know, I have reversed my Fatty Liver and I ate eggs throughout since I love eggs. I could not eliminate eggs from my diet, but I kept the whole eggs within the recommended amount (2-3 per week) and I splurged on egg whites, especially for breakfast omelet and soup!
I made eggs part of my regular diet with a focus on egg whites as opposed to whole eggs.
Eating Egg Whites most time is ok. Eat Egg Yolk moderately or completely avoid – egg yolk consumption should count towards the limit of 2 whole eggs a week. Make sure you cook your eggs in a liver-friendly way and avoid adding extra layers of oil and fat to the recipe.
Verdict: No more than 3 whole eggs per week. Eat egg whites as much as you want as long as you cook them in a liver-friendly way. Avoid egg yolk for NAFLD. If you are not an egg fan to start with, it is ok to completely ignore eggs as part of your diet and focus on other liver-friendly products high in protein and vitamin D.
- Egg consumption and risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5387362/
- The adverse impact of egg consumption on the fatty liver is partially explained by cardiometabolic risk factors: A population-based study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32928581/
- (In Mice) High fat-containing chicken egg-only diet suppresses fatty liver induced by a lipid-rich methionine and choline-deficient diet: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.14.151316v1
Have more studies to share? Do not agree with this assessment? Please share your thoughts.