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Snacking 101: Protein Bars for a Lean Liver

Nicole Cutler

Sep 8th, 2015
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Luckily, choosing a great protein bar can help satisfy hunger without furthering liver fat accumulation.

Fatty liver disease is sweeping our nation as one of the leading causes of liver damage and progressive health destruction. As such, we are increasingly recognizing how important it is to maintain a lean liver. Although there are many factors contributing to fatty liver disease, experts agree that, besides avoiding alcohol, the most valuable practices for liver health include eating healthfully and shedding excessive weight.

According to logic (and researchers from The Netherlands), snacking exerts a tremendous influence on the development of fatty liver disease.

Some fat in the liver is normal; however, if fat constitutes more than 10 percent of this organ’s weight, fatty liver disease may be the culprit. Fatty liver disease may be related to alcohol consumption. If so, alcoholic liver disease (ALD) can only be stopped by completely abstaining from alcohol. On the other hand, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is much more complex – and impacts an estimated 33 percent of American adults. Although there is no singular cause of NAFLD, experts agree that it is much more likely in those who are overweight or obese.

Snacking Can Contribute to Liver Disease

Both sugar and calorie consumption has long been implicated in being overweight and developing fatty liver disease. As published in an August 2014 edition of the journal Hepatology, researchers from The Netherlands hypothesized that a high meal frequency compared to consuming large meals, is detrimental in the accumulation of intrahepatic and abdominal fat. Based on their findings, a high-calorie diet with frequent meals increases fat in the liver – but increasing meal size did not. This study suggests that snacking is an independent contributor to fatty liver disease.

Most of us admit that snacking on unhealthy foods poses one of the biggest threats to our plans for getting or staying trim. Despite best-laid plans to consume plenty of lean protein, high-fiber grains and an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, hunger cravings easily derail such plans. In order to satisfy between-meal hunger pangs, a filling and tasty treat is frequently sought.

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http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hep.27149/abstract;jsessionid=057DAC2C185EC20A9F62CF073BED6E84.f01t04, Hypercaloric diets with increased meal frequency, but not meal size, increase intrahepatic triglycerides: A randomized controlled trial, Karin E. Koopman, et al, Retrieved September 6, 2015, Hepatology, August 2014.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition-pictures/smart-protein-bar-picks.aspx, 9 Smart Protein-Bar Picks, Wyatt Meyers, Retrieved September 6, 2015, Everyday Health Media, Inc., 2015.

http://www.jillianmichaels.com/fit/lose-weight/myth-protein-bars, MYTH: Protein Bars Are Always a Healthy Choice, Retrieved September 6, 2015, JillianMichaels.com, 2015.

http://www.liverguru.com/fiber.html, Fiber: Your Liver Loves It!, Retrieved September 6, 2015, Liverguru.com, 2015.

http://www.liversupport.com/the-advantages-of-consuming-protein-for-liver-health/, The Advantages of Consuming Protein for Liver Health, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved September 6, 2015, Natural Wellness, 2015.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506120036.htm, Snacking contributes to fatty liver, abdominal obesity, Retrieved September 6, 2015, ScienceDaily, 2015.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/snacking-and-weight-loss/can-lose-weight-protein-bars, Can I Lose Weight By Eating Protein Bars?, Ruth Frechman, RD, Retrieved September 6, 2015, Sharecare, Inc., 2015.

http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/fatty-liver-disease, Fatty Liver Disease, Retrieved September 6, 2015, WebMD, LLC, 2015.

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