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Aunt has been diagnosed with fatty liver, prescribed "low fat/low carb" diet; how can I gently steer away from this strange recommendation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM

My Mom just emailed me to ask for advice. My aunt is turning 70 and they want to get her a cake for the birthday party. However, it turns out she was just diagnosed with two serious liver problems. The first disease is called hemochromatosis, and it sounds like regular blood draining will help keep the high iron levels in check (though the damage is irreversible). The other problem is elevated fatty enzymes in her liver, and the doctor told her to immediately change her diet to no alcohol, low fat. She also wants to attempt to try to eat low carb. She's obviously really scared by the diagnosis and wants to try to stick really closely to this low carb/low fat diet so my Mom was hoping I might have a recipe for a cheesecake or something that would fit that diet (I've been a long time low-carber, though new to Paleo).

Leaving aside the fact that low carb/low fat seems like an unpleasant and impossible way to eat for very long (what's left, just protein and fiber?) I think I can adapt a recipe that would fit the bill for this one event, though just the idea of "fat free" cream cheese just makes me want to cry. However, I'd really like advice on a gentle way to steer my aunt (and probably my Mom too, for that matter) away from the low-fat prescription for fatty liver. It is my understanding that good dietary fat is not the cause of fatty liver, but alcohol and sugar are, though please correct me if I'm wrong. I've been doing a bit of searching around here and elsewhere and found some great articles to offer, but my main concern is not stepping on anyone's toes or appearing to insult the doctor since I'm not one. What's a good approach to this without starting trouble?

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 18, 2011
at 08:42 AM

http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2011/04/let-us-honor-ancel-keys-our-patron-as.html

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 12, 2011
at 05:10 PM

Saturated fat is protective in not developing fatty liver, but Chris may be correct in the order in which they are removed. Dr Eades also states that coconut oil is helpful in getting fat out of the liver.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 12, 2011
at 05:03 PM

I thought Masterjohn said that polyunsaturated fats were less fatty liver causing that saturated fat because it wants to get rid of polyunsaturated fat in the liver and the liver feels comfortable with saturated fat there. Not saying polys are better or she shouldn't avoid n6 just trying to figure out the facts.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 12, 2011
at 04:40 PM

yikes, exactly why genetic screening of celts for hemochromatosis is so important

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3 Answers

2
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 12, 2011
at 04:47 PM

As long as she eats starchy carbs I don't see the problem with low fat for treating fatty liver. Here's a very good article by chris on non-alcoholic FLD http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/cholesterol-blog.html

1
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 12, 2011
at 04:55 PM

See this thread:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/50808/hack-my-fat-liver/50867#50867

The problem isn't whether to low fat or low carb - it's avoiding the foods that cause fatty liver and eating things that help reduce fatty liver.

Alcohol and fructose should be avoided. As well as n6 (maybe all liquid oils).

Saturated fat is protective and choline helps (think eggs and liver). The Chris Masterjohn article referenced by Cliff is required reading.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 12, 2011
at 05:10 PM

Saturated fat is protective in not developing fatty liver, but Chris may be correct in the order in which they are removed. Dr Eades also states that coconut oil is helpful in getting fat out of the liver.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 12, 2011
at 05:03 PM

I thought Masterjohn said that polyunsaturated fats were less fatty liver causing that saturated fat because it wants to get rid of polyunsaturated fat in the liver and the liver feels comfortable with saturated fat there. Not saying polys are better or she shouldn't avoid n6 just trying to figure out the facts.

0
3019fd0e4045cf7969bec785bc88d509

on July 18, 2011
at 04:14 AM

Better not mess with it, and stick as close as you can to what the doctors say...that's why they are doctors! :)

My mom had fatty liver and was able to get rid of it with that fatty liver solution diet. Try going to http://fattyliverdietplans.com to find it.

Hope that helps and good luck!

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