TheMoonDay.Com..Although it is affordable and convenient, fast food (fast food) has the potential to damage health if consumed in excess. In the short term, these foods are known to have the potential to cause spikes in blood sugar, increase blood pressure, and contribute to eating disorders.
In the long term, consistent consumption of fast food can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. It has now also been found that this type of food can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease NAFLD.
A new study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found a link between fast food and NAFLD, especially in those who are obese or diabetic. For participants with obesity or diabetes, their liver fat levels increased significantly if one-fifth of their daily diet contained fast food.
For those who do not have this condition, the same daily amount of fast food increases the fat in the liver to a moderate extent. If fast food contributes 20 percent to the daily diet, this can cause moderate to severe fat accumulation in the liver.
Fast Food may cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
The findings are important because according to lead author Ani Kardashian this is one of the first studies to specifically link fast food and fatty liver disease. The researchers gathered their information from the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Researchers specifically drew questionnaires from 4,000 participants who had included their fatty liver measurements. Then the researchers compared their liver health with regular fast food consumption.
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The study authors classify fast food as food that a person can get from a drive-thru or at a restaurant without waiting staff, including pizza. The authors found that 52 percent of participants occasionally ate at least some fast food. As many as 29 percent of these consumers get 20 percent or more of their daily calories from fast food.
Interestingly enough, fast food consumers who consumed these foods for at least a fifth of their calories were the only survey participants who saw increases in liver fat. Unfortunately, too much fat stored in the liver can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a term that applies to many liver conditions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is the most common form of chronic liver disease that occurs in the United States. But how exactly does fast food cause excess fat in the liver? The answer lies in trans fats.
According to a report published in Nutrition & Diabetes, trans fatty acids contribute to a higher amount of fat stored in the liver. This type of fat is what can be found in margarine, frozen pizza, processed baked goods, and fast food. Or as they are often called “partially hydrogenated oils”.
A different randomized controlled study presented at the 2022 International Liver Congress in London found that a low-carb diet that is also high in healthy fats can actually help reduce liver fat. However, it is based on healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, salmon, avocado, or olive oil, not trans fats, which are found in fast food.
Other research including a nutrition study evaluating the effect of changing nutrition on NAFLD by nutrition type has also highlighted the correlation between consumption of trans fats and the likelihood of developing NAFLD. “Highly processed fats like trans fats or even saturated fats are not as healthy for the body as unsaturated fats,” says Lane.
Many people cannot always completely avoid fast food from their diet. Even so, moderation is key. Study participants who only occasionally eat fast food sometimes have no effect on the fat in their liver organs.
Meanwhile, those who eat fast food regularly experience an increase in liver fat, which in turn increases the risk of NAFLD. To care for your liver and prevent too much fat from accumulating, try limiting fast food consumption to occasional indulgences. Focus on maintaining a balanced diet as much as you can.
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