We Know it’s the Holiday Season, but Your Liver Doesn’t

December 23, 2022 | By | Liver, Liver Disease, Liver Health


The holiday season is finally upon us, which means it’s time for yummy foods and tasty alcoholic beverages. Many go into this season with a stress-free attitude over the food and drinks they consume. However, they aren’t considering the effects this consumption may be having on their overall liver health. Although we know it’s the holiday season, your liver doesn’t. All it knows is that it still has an important job to do, and it’s now working overtime. So how can we enjoy the holiday season while also giving our liver a much-needed break? Keep reading for some suggestions.

The Liver: A Processing Machine

Your liver is miraculous. According to an article published by Johns Hopkins, there are more than 500 vital functions of the liver. However, out of those 500+ functions, the most recognizable would be its ability to process and get rid of harmful substances.This is accomplished by the liver breaking down, balancing, and creating nutrients from the blood it processes. The nutrients created are then easier for the rest of the body to use.

How Certain Foods and Alcohol Affect the Liver

If you are living with liver disease, there are specific foods/drinks your doctor may advise you to avoid. Even if you are a healthy adult, it would be wise to limit your consumption of those same foods. Here is a list of what to limit/avoid:

  • Alcohol: Each time your liver processes alcohol, liver cells die. Long-term alcohol use can reduce or even stop the liver’s ability to generate new cells.
  • Added Sugar: Think cookies, candy, fruit juices, and soda. Fat buildup in the liver is increased by high blood sugar.
  • Fried Foods: Contain a high fat and calorie content.
  • Added Salt: A diet high in sodium can increase your risk for NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.)
  • White Bread, Pasta, and Rice: Because white flour is highly processed, foods made from it can raise your blood sugar.
  • Beef and Deli Meat: Both are very high in saturated fat.

Tips for Avoiding or Limiting These Items

For food, a great tip is to eat before you head out to your events. Your cravings for those tempting treats will significantly decrease and, even if you do give in, the amount you consume will be drastically lower. On the alcohol front, give yourself a one to two drink minimum at events. Or you could experiment with creative mocktails or other alcohol-free options. This way, you can still feel a part of the festivities minus the repercussions.

Although the holidays are a time to let loose and enjoy, it’s wise to do so in moderation. Your body (especially your liver) will thank you for the extra kindness. If you have any concerns about your liver health, Arizona Liver Health offers FREE liver screenings via fibroscan to help identify fatty liver disease! Visit our website to schedule your consultation at one of our three locations today!