NAFLD (pronounced NaF-eL-Dee) is Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease or Fatty Liver Disease Not caused by Alcoholism.
NAFLD is the healthy body’s NORMAL response to extra glucose (fuel) in the bloodstream. It is NOT necessarily caused by eating too much sugar or processed food but rather by consuming too many calories at one time.
NAFLD is like tartar build-up on your teeth. Not brushing regularly causes food bacteria to turn into acids which mineralize into tartar.1 This build-up on your teeth causes inflammation and disease.
Likewise, with NAFLD, the extra food (glucose) left in your blood stream gets turned into fatty acids and deposited on your liver. This build-up also causes inflammation and disease.
Since tartar and fatty deposits are safer for the body than having an excess of bacteria or glucose floating around in the bloodstream, these processes are considered normal.
Therefore, tartar build-up and NAFLD happen to generally healthy people. These people typically brush regularly or eat sustainable diets during the week but let go of these good habits on the weekend. It is important to realize that it is less about what the person is eating and more about preventing the body from turning the weekend’s “extras” into deposits on their teeth and liver.
The good news is that both are easy to prevent and reverse. Reducing tartar build-up requires brushing and flossing 7 days a week. Preventing NAFLD requires eating the necessary calories and reducing glucose spikes all week including the weekends. It’s okay to eat what you want to eat but know when to stop to let your body manage the glucose. The same amount of food in one day can be either 1) easily managed if it has a good balance of nutrients over a few meals or 2) turned into fatty deposits on the liver if the calories are eaten all at once.
Know the calories you need daily and don’t ‘bank’ them for the weekend! If the body gets enough to eat during the week it won’t want more just because it is Saturday. Enjoy your weekend menu but don’t skip a meal thinking that’s the way to accommodate the extra evening calories. Keep your eating consistent and your carbohydrates balanced with your fats and proteins. Your body will have better control to actually clean up your liver and use the fatty deposits for energy, lean you down and reduce your risk of disease!