5 Nutrition and Exercise Tips to Help Reverse Fatty Liver Disease from Online RDN

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed that we are not particularly fond of using the term “fat.” This word is often associated with negative connotations, and sometimes unfairly so. However, there is one issue that should raise concern when it comes to our health, and that is fatty liver disease.

While many people associate fatty liver disease with alcoholism, the reality is that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is actually the most common form of liver disease in the United States, affecting between 80 and 100 million Americans. According to the American Liver Foundation, NAFLD is also the fastest-growing liver disease in the Western world. (About 25% of the adultsin the US have it). This is a serious health concern that more people should be aware of, and it’s important to take steps to prevent and manage this condition.

At its core, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat is stored in liver cells. While this may seem like a simple issue, it can actually lead to serious health problems, including heart disease. If left untreated, NAFLD can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver, which can lead to irreversible damage. It’s important to take this condition seriously.

If you are concerned about NAFLD, the first step is to consult with your healthcare provider. It’s important to understand your risk factors, as those who are overweight or obese, have high triglycerides and/or cholesterol, have metabolic syndrome, hypothyroidism, hypopituitarism, or Type II diabetes are at the greatest risk. However, the good news is that with the right diet and exercise, NAFLD can be managed and even reversed.

This is where working with an online dietitian nutritionist to develop a diet plan can help.

What are you eating? Most of us aren’t aware of what we’re actually eating during the day. Here are some tips to improve your diet and health:

  1. Do a food log for five days: Many apps can help you with this first stage of diet awareness.
  1. Reduce sugars in your diet:
  • Read food labels and become label literate.
  • Watch out for words like fructose, sucrose, molasses, corn syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, barley malt, dextrin, dextrose, etc.
  • Eliminate simple sugars from your diet.
  • Restrict fruit intake to three cups/day.
  • Be sugar-aware about your fruits. Berries and summer fruits are generally lower on sugar.
  • Beware of tropical fruits – pineapple, mango, and bananas which are jammed packed with flavor and sugar.
  1. Cut back on alcohol. When possible, cut it out of your diet completely.
  1. Hydrate. For juice lovers, it’s time to cut back and drink water (juice = sugar). Water doesn’t have to be boring! Snazz it up.  And, bring on the caffeine! Drink three cups of coffee or tea each day. When the body processes caffeine, it produces a chemical called paraxanthine which may help to slow the growth of scar tissue involved in fibrosis, a common complication of NAFLD.
  1. Go Mediterranean or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension):
  1. Get moving. Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes, and obesity which are all risk factors for NAFLD.
  1. Get tested. NAFLD can be a silent disease and many might not even have symptoms for it. Ask your doctor about your risk factors and connect with a registered dietitian to help you create a meal plan you can stick to.


Awareness and education are half the battle. Being mindful of what you’re eating to make changes to your diet and exercise plan is the first step. Take charge of your health!