What is fatty liver, why is it important, and how can you fix it?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is when dangerous amounts of fat accumulate on the outside of the liver. This excess fat makes the organ dysfunctional, causing havoc with your entire metabolic system, leading to all sorts of health issues. This condition is at the very core of the modern epidemic of insulin resistance.

Experts estimate that 30% or more of adult Americans and Europeans have the disease, and a terrifying 10-20% of adolescents have it. And if you are obese or have Type 2 diabetes, you probably have fatty liver too.

In fact, fatty liver is so common that most family doctors don’t even bother diagnosing it. Just imagine if a third of your patients all had the same exact condition. It might begin to look less like a disease, and more like a normal state of being.

It is not normal. “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” was so uncommon in previous generations that it wasn’t even named until 2002! 

But its rise is no mystery. The liver creates this unhealthy new fat when it is overwhelmed with sugar, especially the fructose that is found in sodas and in the processed foods that dominate the modern Western diet.

Fatty liver disease doesn’t have any major symptoms. Many of the afflicted only learn about it after they’ve already developed one of its major direct consequences, such as cirrhosis.

But here’s the thing that most doctors don’t understand: even when fatty liver doesn’t progress to advanced liver disease, it is still plaguing your metabolism. Virtually everyone with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has insulin resistance, which makes you far more likely to suffer heart disease, stroke and even cognitive decline.

So how can you improve or reverse this condition? While almost any diet will help the keto diet is actually the most helpful in melting away the fat. It’s a matter of teaching the body how to use fat for energy. Only if you don’t eat sugar and carbohydrates you force the body to burn fat instead.

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