Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a popular diet aimed at controlling high blood pressure. But many patients with high blood pressure also have cholesterol and blood sugar problems, known as metabolic syndrome.
Therefore, the DASH diet can go a long way in controlling these other areas too. Another common element is that those with high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar problems tend to be overweight, which can increase the risk of fatty liver disease. This prompted researchers to uncover whether the DASH diet could benefit the liver as well.
Fatty liver disease is a growing problem in America, as there is also an obesity problem. When fat permeates the liver, the liver is unable to function as well as it normally would. Over time, this causes the liver to become sick, scar tissue begins to form, and disease can spread. Once your liver is sick, the consequences affect your entire body, as your liver is responsible for over 500 different functions. Therefore, a healthy liver means a healthy you.
The randomized controlled clinical trial consisted of 60 participants who were all overweight or obese. Participants had the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and were either allocated to eating a controlled diet or the DASH diet for eight weeks. Both diets restricted calories and both diets consisted of 52 to 55 percent carbohydrates, 16 to 18 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. The main difference was that the DASH diet was higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and was low in saturated fat and refined grains.
After the eight weeks, those who followed the DASH diet experienced improved liver function, lost weight, reduced body mass index, improved insulin resistance issues and insulin sensitivity, healthier triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and showed markers of improved liver stress.
Essentially, changing one’s diet to eat healthier foods and remove as much unhealthy fat, sugar, and refined foods is enough to start improving not only liver health, but metabolic syndrome, which can contribute to a serious cardiovascular event or stroke.
As you can see, diet plays a large role in health and what you eat can determine whether you will live a long healthy life or a shorter, sick one. Therefore, only fuel your body with wholesome, natural food choices and avoid artificial foods, refined foods, unhealthy fats, and sugar.
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