Is Canned Tuna Good For Fatty Liver? What You Need To Know

Are you struggling with non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

If so, you may be wondering what foods can help improve your liver health. One food that often comes to mind is canned tuna. But is it really good for fatty liver?

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, including canned tuna, and how they can help combat inflammation and fat accumulation in the liver.

We’ll also take a closer look at the nutritional content of canned tuna and whether it’s a good choice for those with NAFLD.

So, let’s dive in and find out if canned tuna is a friend or foe to your liver health.

Is Canned Tuna Good For Fatty Liver?

Canned tuna is a popular choice for those looking for a quick and easy source of protein. But when it comes to fatty liver, is it a good choice?

First, let’s talk about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. These healthy fats have been shown to reduce inflammation and fat accumulation in liver cells in people with NAFLD. And canned tuna is no exception – it contains high amounts of omega-3s.

However, it’s important to note that not all canned tuna is created equal. Tuna packed in oil tends to be higher in calories and fat than tuna packed in water. And while both types of canned tuna are good sources of protein, they can also be high in sodium.

So, what’s the verdict? Canned tuna can be a good choice for those with fatty liver, as long as you choose the right type. Opt for tuna packed in water instead of oil, and be mindful of your sodium intake.

Understanding Non-Alcohol-Related Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a type of liver disease that is not related to heavy alcohol use, and it is characterized by the presence of fat in the liver.

There are two types of NAFLD: simple fatty liver and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Simple fatty liver occurs when there is fat in the liver but little or no inflammation or liver cell damage. This type of NAFLD typically does not cause complications or liver damage.

On the other hand, NASH occurs when there is inflammation and liver cell damage, as well as fat in the liver. This can lead to fibrosis, or scarring of the liver, which can eventually progress to cirrhosis or liver cancer.

The exact cause of NAFLD is not completely understood, but it often occurs in people who have other metabolic disorders such as high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. It is estimated that about 10% to 20% of Americans have NAFLD, and about 2% to 5% have NASH.

Doctors recommend weight loss as a primary treatment for NAFLD, as it can reduce fat, inflammation, and fibrosis in the liver. However, there are currently no approved medications for treating NAFLD or NASH.

In addition to weight loss, research suggests that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may benefit those with NAFLD by reducing liver fat, boosting protective HDL cholesterol, and lowering triglyceride levels. Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout are all high in omega-3s.

The Benefits Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids For Liver Health

Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to have a powerful effect in preventing liver inflammation and fibrosis, which are common problems associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver and is believed to affect a quarter of the global population. It is also considered the leading cause of several other liver conditions, including cirrhosis, or liver scarring.

Research suggests that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce liver fat and inflammation in people with NAFLD. The three primary omega-3s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and they play a role in regulating important biological pathways, including fatty acid synthesis, oxidation, and breakdown of triglycerides, or fats in the blood.

A 2016 meta-analysis of 10 studies involving 577 people with NAFLD or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) reported that omega-3s help improve liver fat, as well as gamma-glutamyltransferase, triglyceride, and high-density lipoprotein levels. Another meta-analysis published in Gastroenterology Research and Practice found that omega-3 PUFA could decrease liver fat and that benefits were seen with a consumption of >0.83 g/day.

According to a study done by Oregon State University (OSU), DHA appears to be one of the most significant of the omega-3 fatty acids and plays a role in repairing liver damage, particularly among people who are obese or have a poor diet.

In addition to reducing liver fat and inflammation, omega-3s have been linked to greater reductions in the liver enzyme GGT (which is elevated in liver damage) and improvements in both high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride levels when compared to control subjects. Since there is presently no registered drug for the treatment of NAFLD, researchers suggest that intake of omega-3 fatty acids may be a new treatment option for NAFLD.

Nutritional Content Of Canned Tuna

When it comes to the nutritional content of canned tuna, it can vary slightly depending on the brand and type. However, on average, a 4-ounce serving of canned white tuna contains approximately 145 calories, 26.77 grams of protein, and 3.37 grams of fat.

In addition to being a good source of protein, canned tuna is also rich in many vitamins and minerals such as B-complex vitamins, Vitamins A and D, iron, selenium, and phosphorus. It also contains healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have been shown to be beneficial for those with fatty liver.

It’s important to note that canned tuna packed in water is generally lower in calories and fat than tuna packed in oil. Additionally, while canned tuna is generally low in fat and saturated fat, it can be high in sodium. Therefore, it’s important to choose low-sodium options or rinse the tuna before consuming it.

How To Incorporate Canned Tuna Into A Liver-Healthy Diet

If you’re looking to incorporate canned tuna into a liver-healthy diet, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, try to limit your intake to once a week or every two weeks, as fresh fish is generally a better option for those with liver issues.

When choosing canned tuna, look for products that are labeled as low-sodium or no-salt-added. Avoid products that are tinned in brine, as these can be high in salt. Instead, opt for tuna tinned in oil or water. Check food labels and aim for products with no more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium).

One way to incorporate canned tuna into a liver-healthy diet is by making a protein-packed tuna salad with fresh veggies. Use low-sodium Miracle Whip or make your own easy low-sodium mayonnaise. Add in some avocado and tomato for extra nutrients and flavor. Another option is to mix canned tuna with whole grain pasta and veggies for a healthy and filling meal.

Remember to balance your intake of canned tuna with other sources of protein, such as lean meats, beans, and legumes. And always speak with your doctor or registered dietitian for personalized advice on incorporating canned tuna into your liver-healthy diet.

Other Foods To Consider For Fatty Liver Health

In addition to canned tuna, there are other foods that can be beneficial for those with fatty liver disease.

One such food is avocado. Avocado is a great source of healthy fats, which can help reduce inflammation and improve liver function. It also contains fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote feelings of fullness.

Another food to consider is green tea. Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of developing liver disease. It also contains antioxidants, which can help protect liver cells from damage.

Berries are another great option for those with fatty liver disease. Berries are rich in antioxidants and fiber, and have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. They are also low in calories and high in flavor, making them a great snack option.

Finally, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are excellent choices for those with fatty liver disease. These vegetables contain compounds that can help improve liver function and reduce inflammation. They are also high in fiber and low in calories, making them a great addition to any meal.