Here is a burning question! Potatoes are a staple worldwide, but are potatoes good for you if you have Fatty Liver? If you are looking for a short answer – here it is – NO! However, as you may have guessed, the true answer is really more nuanced and hence needs some additional understanding from you the potato lover suffering from NAFLD.
Are potatoes good for fatty liver? Not really, but before you say good bye to potatoes forever, here is one way you can keep them as part of your diet.
First, we need to understand why potatoes are “potentially” bad for NAFLD. Then we will move on to strategize how not to give up on these forever & fit these delicious items into our Fatty Liver Diet Plan.
Why Are Potatoes Bad For Fatty Liver?
High Carbs: For Fatty Liver, high-carb foods create a big problem. Even though Potato is a vegetable, one medium-sized potato can have as many as 30-40 gms of carbs. Consuming just one medium potato throws a big proverbial wrench into the diet of someone with NAFLD trying to curb the number of total carbs.
Cooking Method: The second problem with consuming potato is “how it is cooked”. For example, eating a boiled potato is not necessarily bad, however, potatoes are usually fried or prepared with additives that make them super unhealthy.
Additives: Finally, most potato-based recipes (even when potatoes themselves are boiled), have additives such as butter, cream, sour cream, mayonnaise, gravy etc.
How To Add Potatoes To Your Fatty Liver Meal Plan?
Yes, there is a way to keep potatoes as part of your overall NAFLD diet. Moderation is the key, however there are some additional things you must keep in mind.
How Often To Eat Potatoes? – It Depends On the Phase Of Your NAFLD
Phase 1 (Strict): 9 to 12 months after diagnosis:
These first few months are crucial to effecting a favorable change in terms of reversing Fatty Liver. Eating potatoes in this phase must be severely restricted. During this phase, I recommend eating about 1 medium-sized potato (read on to understand cooking and flavoring options) at most every two weeks.
Phase 2 (Moderate): After a confirmed improvement in liver enzymes & fibroscan
It is crucial to understand that phase 2 starts after you have a confirmed improvement (and that too a significant improvement) to your scores. During this phase, you may increase your potato consumption to no more than one medium-sized potato a week. There are many ways you can slice this, for example, you can have a bowl of soup – with half a medium-sized potato – 2 times a week.
Phase 3 (Relaxed): After reversing your NAFLD
This is a relaxed but cautious phase of your NAFLD journey and it stays for the rest of your lives. During this moderation is key. You still need to watch your carbs, however, you can likely increase your medium-potato consumption 2-3 times a week as long as overall you still meet your daily carb goals and you cook the potato in the right way!
How To Cook The Potatoes For NAFLD – The Right Ways
There are really two right ways to cook a potato: boiled or baked. Frying a potato for consumption is the most unhealthy way of eating it, even if you use the right kind of oil.
Another idea! Sometimes, only sometimes, you can air-fry your potatoes with olive/avocado oil for a change.
Tip: Baking and Boiling are really the only two healthy ways of cooking Potato. There is one other method – air fry – which is acceptable once in a while.
Improving Potato Recipe Flavor By Adding Healthy Additives
Butter, cream, gravy, and other creamy additives/dressings, etc. are absolutely the most unhealthy ways to improve the flavor of your potato recipe. Instead, use herbs, salt and spices, nuts, fresh lemon, balsamic vinegar, and low-fat yogurt, etc. In fact, these healthy additives can be used to add flavor to a variety of fatty liver recipes.
Verdict: Even though potatoes are potentially bad for Fatty Liver, Depending on which phase of Fatty Liver you may be in, you may consume baked/boiled potatoes at the right frequency and with the right additives to improve flavor. Consume the right way or avoid. Always eat in moderation.