Foods to Avoid with Liver Disease

Liver disease is a general term that can explain numerous conditions or diseases that influence the liver’s functions. Examples include liver disease, which is an inflammation of the liver, cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver, or infections. No matter what your liver condition is, if the liver’s functions are influenced, you may experience problems with the digestion and processing of foods. Preventing particular foods can help you prevent any discomfort, and avoid any complications associated with malnutrition and malabsorption.

Functions of the Liver

The liver is among the most vital organs in your body. It filters your blood, makes bile, which helps with fat food digestion and absorption, procedures and disperses fats to the rest of your tissues that they can be used for energy, and makes lots of crucial proteins. Examples of these proteins include those in charge of blood clotting, and those in charge of fluid transportation, such as albumin. In addition, your liver helps metabolize and process important vitamins such as iron, vitamin D and vitamin A.

Which Foods You Should to Avoid with Liver Disease

Limit Fluid and Sodium

When you have liver disease, your capillary’ capability to maintain fluid is decreased due to the fact that of reduced protein synthesis in your liver, primarily albumin. This causes fluid leakages in your blood vessels, which in turn, causes fluid accumulation in other tissues, or ascites. By limiting the amount of salt and fluid in your diet, you can decrease fluid retention and swelling. Foods that are high in sodium or salt include canned soups and veggies; processed meats, such as bacon, sausages and salami; cheeses; condiments; and the majority of junk food. You can likewise determine if a food is high in sodium if its nutrition info label says that it has more than 300 mg of salt per serving. As a rule of thumb, you should attempt to restrict your sodium consumption to less than 2,000 mg daily.

Liver disease - food avoidance

What foods should you restrict or avoid?
Ask your dietitian if you need to limit or avoid some foods. This will depend upon the type of liver disease and other health issue you have.

Control Protein Intake

Since your liver functions are impaired, your body can not process proteins well, which might cause an accumulation of ammonia in your body. Ammonia is poisonous and can cause brain function problems. Ask your doctor or your registered dietitian what your specific requirements are, however in general, the American Dietetic Association suggests that you should not eat more than 1 g of protein per 1 kg of your weight per day. Foods that are high in protein include meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and some cereals.

Avoid Saturated Fats

Due to the fact that liver disease is usually accompanied by unintended weight loss, you should not restrict fat intake entirely. In addition, liver disease may reduce your liver’s capability to produce bile. Bile is a substance produced by the liver and dispersed by the gallbladder into the stomach and is essential for the food digestion and absorption of fats, which is why it is essential you take in enough calories from healthy fats. Your body needs some fats for general health, however choose unsaturated fats, rather than saturated or trans fats. Examples of foods with saturated fats include butter, whole milk and all animal products. Examples of foods with healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil and avocados.

Sample Menu If You Have Liver Disease


  • 1 orange
  • Cooked oatmeal with milk and sugar
  • 1 slice of whole-wheat toast
  • Strawberry jam
  • Coffee or tea


  • 4 ounces of cooked lean fish, poultry, or meat
  • A starch product (such as potatoes).
  • A cooked vegetable.
  • Salad.
  • 2 pieces of whole-grain bread.
  • 1 tablespoon of jelly.
  • Fresh fruit.
  • Milk.

Mid-afternoon snack

  • Milk with graham crackers.


  • 4 ounces of prepared fish, poultry, or meat.
  • Starch item (such as potatoes).
  • A prepared veggie.
  • Salad.
  • 2 whole-grain rolls.
  • Fresh fruit or dessert.
  • 8 ounces of milk.
  • Evening snack.
  • Glass of milk or piece of fruit.

The majority of the time you do not have to avoid specific foods.

Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about your diet or symptoms.



Updated: August 17, 2016 — 9:50 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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