Q: What is fatty liver disease?
A: While it was once thought that fatty liver disease was caused by alcohol use alone, eating sugary or fatty foods for extended years is now known to damage the liver as well. The fatty liver associated with being overweight is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Your liver acts primarily as your body’s filter, cleaning the blood and aiding digestion and metabolism. A fatty liver occurs when your body becomes overrun with fats and is no longer able to detoxify itself. A healthy diet rich in greens and lean protein allows your liver to do its job properly, but when you indulge for years in unhealthy foods such as doughnuts, fried chicken, and burgers, your liver clogs up, becoming fatty and toxic.
Having a fatty liver is linked with insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes and high blood cholesterol, which can raise your risk of heart disease. In fact, bodily damage often starts in the liver before it snakes its way up to the heart.
—Dr. Mehmet Oz, Cardiac surgeon at Columbia University/New York-Presbyterian Hospital and star of The Dr. Oz Show
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