Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus, which causes inflammation that leads to liver damage. Although diet cannot cure hepatitis C, what we consume can help reduce the damage and provide good nutrition that our bodies need to fight disease.

Foods that fight inflammation specifically for liver disease

  • Omega-3 foods like salmon, mackerel, sardine, cod, herring, Note: Do not eat fish or meat that is raw and improperly cooked.
  • Walnuts
  • Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Range Free Eggs or Omega-3 Fortified Eggs
  • Meat and dairy products from animals fed grass
  • Vegetables like spinach, Brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables

Foods that cause inflammation and damage the liver

  • Alcohol of all kinds can cause inflammation in the liver and cause significant damage. For patients with liver disease, alcohol is considered to be throwing gasoline on a fire
  • Vegetable oils (hydrogenated oils)
  • Processed foods contain refined carbohydrates, which include sugar, white flour, sodium (salt), trans fats, and vegetable oils. These foods are typically found in soft drinks, cookies, cakes, sugary cereals, pastries, some breads and noodles, and candy. Many of these foods are packaged and come from fast food restaurants.
  • Processed meat. These are mainly found and packaged in cans
  • High sodium content (salt)
  • High unhealthy fats
  • High fructose sugar and corn syrup

Best practice for liver disease

  • Avoid alcohol of any kind
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid high sugar and unhealthy fatty drinks and foods
  • Eat less red meat (eat beef occasionally, but eat more fish, poultry, and vegetable proteins, these are easier to digest and helpful for the liver)
  • Eat fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables, legumes, avocados, olive oil, fresh meat, cage-free eggs, and healthy dairy products in balanced amounts
  • Eat foods made with whole grains, nuts, and seeds
  • Keep a food diary or tracker for a healthy intake
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Drink at least 30 ml of pure water or water with added citrus fruits every day. Water helps keep you hydrated, helps cell function, and helps remove toxins from your body

In summary

Consult with your doctor and registered dietitian to create a diet plan that is tailored to your specific liver and health status. If you have cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, heart or kidney disease, you need a diet tailored for low sodium and balanced protein levels. Ask your doctor.

Do you have a question about a healthy liver diet? What foods do you eat for liver health?

This entry was originally posted on Life Beyond Hepatitis C on February 3, 2021, and reprinted with permission.

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