Can a Keto diet really help reverse fatty liver? As a matter of fact, you will find a lot of conflicting and confusing information on the internet. Hence, the main reason for this article is to provide a perspective based on research rather than emotion and passion.
You will undoubtedly find people who will make the claim that there is no better diet than Keto. However, as you look deeper you will find that most of these people are untrained professionals. And while I am not a doctor or a trained professional myself, over the last several years, I did reverse my Fatty Liver and have helped many others deal with this disease, so you may want to hear me out. I also promise to base my arguments on the research available from credible sources. I have also provided references at the end of this article for your further review.
Psst! here is a video that talks about 2 specific keto diets that are indeed recommended for Fatty Liver
How Does Keto Diet Work?
Before we get into the relevance of the Keto Diet for Fatty Liver, it is important to briefly understand how Keto Diet actually works. Of course, if you are already aware of Ketosis, please feel free to skip ahead.
The diet limits the consumption of carbohydrates to a minimum, forcing the body into a full-blown fat-burning mode to survive and get energy. However, it doesn’t happen immediately, it happens after some period of starving your body of carbs. And, once you get into a state of “ketosis” then and only then, your liver starts producing ketones. Arguably, there is proof of massive weight loss.
The catch? Firstly, entering ketosis is not as healthy for you as it is claimed to be as you can see from this article on Healthline that brings up bad breath, fatigue, and insomnia as side effects. Secondly, the diet is so restrictive, that most people crash and burn fast (diet fatigue) and never actually enter ketosis for a prolonged period. As a result, they end up doing more harm to their bodies than good. Why? Because of FAT!
So, Can Keto Diet Help Reverse Fatty Liver? “My Opinion”
No, with 2 exceptions (see the video above). Yes, I get straight to the point here, and now let me take the next few paragraphs to explain. Essentially, the Keto diet is an extreme diet and any extreme diet bites you in the butt eventually. Specifically, the Keto diet forces you to eat a LOT of protein and fat including that from not-so-healthy sources like red meat, etc. In the process, you also ignore a lot of fruits and vegetables and thus give up on the liver-protecting and liver-healing benefits that they offer.
In the Keto diet, assuming you keep up the daily calorie intake of 2000 calories/day, most (70%-80%) of these calories are expected to come from fat. Given that 1g of fat contains about 9 calories, you are consuming a whopping 150-160g of fat per day. This is 3 times as much fat as the daily recommended fat for a balanced diet.
Let me ask you – given that the fat content in liver is the problem – does feeding the body so much more fat sound like a good idea?
If you are eating triple the fat then that is recommended for a balanced diet – so what? If you recall, we are talking about Fatty Liver here, not weight loss. A Fatty liver is nothing but excess amounts of fat stored in the liver. Let me ask you – given that the fat content in the liver is the problem – does feeding the body so much more fat sound like a good idea? Consider this – where would all this fat go if it doesn’t get used up quickly? Finally, every Fatty Liver study out there warns against the consumption of fats, especially saturated fats for Fatty Liver.
Of course, a counterargument that I often hear is – “But Ketosis burns the fat!”. As I mentioned above, getting to Ketosis and sticking with Ketosis is extremely challenging. And what if you miss out on the prolonged Ketosis stage? All that fat you have consumed is going go somewhere and undeniably your liver will suffer for it. When there are much less extreme measures to actually reverse Fatty Liver, why would you even consider going that extreme?
So What To Do!
Fatty Liver means your liver is already under a lot of stress. At this point, adding an extreme diet like Keto to the mix is likely going to make liver extra hard.
In summary, I am not an expert and I do not claim to be one. I am trying to make a common sense argument bolstered by research (see references section below). Your liver is already under a lot of stress. Furthermore, it is working extra hard because the fat stored in it is causing inflammation. At this point, adding an extreme diet to the mix and making the liver work extra hard doesn’t sound like a good idea! Moreover, the Keto diet has been consistently ranked one of the worst in terms of a healthy diet by US News.
Finally, if you do consider a Ketogenic diet to reverse your Fatty Liver, please do so after doing enough research. It is important that you understand the parameters well. Absolutely DO NOT do it just based on someone’s recommendation no matter what they claim to know. Everyone’s body is different, so step into this extreme measure with knowledge, not opinion.
Finally, if you do decide to do Keto diet, do your own research first and do not do it simply based on someone’s opinion.
Verdict: Can Keto Diet Help Reverse Fatty Liver
Verdict: Generally No Keto Won’t! There are two specific kinds of Keto that can help with your Fatty Liver. The other types of keto come with their own perils, and you must do your research before embarking on the Ketogenic journey. Disagree? Please leave comments.