Dietary Fat and Liver Problems

In the clinic today, aside from digestive issues, the other organ that is affected the most in the people I see is the liver.  Symptoms that arise that are associated with the liver in Chinese medicine are depression, insomnia, all cancers, difficult concentrating, obesity, diabetes, brain fog, headaches, migraines, dry skin, numbness, tingling, chronic pain, soft or brittle nails, any skin condition, dizziness, shaking disorders, and tremors.  Liver issues are a big problem in the world today. 
             One of the liver’s many jobs is to make bile.  Bile is held in the gallbladder and its job is to emulsify or break down fat.  The liver of most adults today is so overworked and overburdened from heavy metals, chemicals, toxins, and nutritional deficiencies that its ability to break down fat is severely compromised. If you know someone who has had their gallbladder removed it is precisely because their body was having trouble breaking down the toxic fats they were consuming (fried, polyunsaturated oils).
               The unhealthiest fats for you are processed poly-unsaturated oils from soy, corn, canola, safflower and sunflower oil. These oils are used to fried food in restaurants. Poly-unsaturated oils, once extracted and exposed to oxygen or light start to go rancid because they are an unstable fat. Processing methods remove the smell, but don’t be fooled, the oils are rancid. Soy, corn and canola are all genetically modified and if you get something fried, it comes from one of these three.  When these oils are heated they are like consuming liquid poison.  The reason why fat has 9 calories per gram is because of how long and difficult they are to break down. 
               With these fats you increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many other health conditions.  With a compromised liver, everything else in the body is affected. Olive oil and avocado oil contain more mono-unsaturated oils and are more stable, but also turn rancid and break down when heat is applied.  Organic olive or avocado oil should only be used cold, very moderately on salads and in other uncooked dishes.  The most stable of all oils is coconut oils because it is almost entirely saturated fat.  Contrary to popular opinion, saturated fat is not what causes or contributes to heart problems. Refined sugar consumption is most associated with heart disease and heart problems.  But, polyunsaturated oils are toxic to the liver and heart as well.
               The ketogenic diet has seen a rise in popularity in the last decade. This diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb diet. It forces the body to burn fat and not carbohydrates. If no carbs are present, the body will turn to fat and make ketones for energy. While people can see tremendous health benefits by doing this diet for a very short period of time, I do not recommend a heavy ketogenic diet for long periods of time, especially for people that have diminished digestive capacity.  I have seen many people in the clinic with very detrimental symptoms shortly after starting a heavy ketogenic diet.  A mildly ketogenic diet with the right fats is ok, but I find people are eating way to much fat in these diets today. Fat is very hard for the body to digest and if you are overloading the body, it makes the liver work so much harder and puts massive stress on it. 
               Lastly, one of the temptations of healthy living is to eat organic potato or sweet potato chips, bars, cookies and other packaged foods. Normally, even if they are organic, they may contain sunflower or safflower oil.  It is easy to justify eating them because they are organic. These oils have been heated most of the time and are not healthy, even if they are organic. I would avoid these organic products if you wish to be healthy.
               It is so important to give the liver as must support as possible today. One of the fats that is a must have for people comes from chia, hemp and flax seeds. The omega 3 fatty acids found in these foods are very important for health. Golden flax seeds should be purchased ungrounded. This is critical because these fatty acids are unstable and subject to rancidity when exposed to oxygen. Take 1-2 tablespoons and grind them up with a coffee grinder and add to a smoothie or oatmeal in the morning.  Chia seeds do not need to be ground. If you do purchase flax seed oil, it should be in the refrigerated section and must kept cool at all times.
               Your body can survive without dietary fat of any kind for weeks.  Do an all fruit and vegetable detox and give your body a rest from having to digest protein and fat, which are the hardest to digest.  Personally, about 6 months ago, my face broke out in pimples.  I instantly knew my liver was having trouble digesting fat.  I was consuming lots of healthy fats from nuts, seeds, coconut and avocado, but it was too much for my liver and my liver let me know by giving me a symptom.  Our body is always speaking to us.  I immediately did a fruit and vegetable detox for 10 days and my skin cleared up in a few days.  To help the liver detox and breakdown fats better we use supplements such as, SP Cleanse, SP Green food, Livaplex, Betacol, Betafood, Zypan and Multizyme.
               In the end, there are fats that are good for us and ones that are not.  Avoid the vegetable oils, stick to stable saturated fats and seeds containing omega 3’s while limiting the amount of fats you consume as to not overwhelm your liver. Do you have a health issue that you would like to work on?  Contact Dr. Scott at 407-255-0314 to make an appointment today.

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