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The snacks that smack your liver around

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Can your liver survive the snacks you munch on? Dutch research shows that if you snack on the wrong foods, you both damage your liver and expand your waistline.

The foods that cause the problem are junk foods that are high in sugar. Both of these snacks, when eaten often, add to the pounds around your waistline and deposit unhealthy fat in your liver.

The fatty liver condition, called hepatic steatosis, can eventually lead to a swollen liver and cirrhosis. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period of time, it can compromise the liver’s ability to filter and eliminate toxins from the body.

In this study, the researchers discovered that frequent snacking on high-calorie foods like potato chips, cookies and donuts accelerates the deposit of fat in the liver and belly fat. Frequent snacking on these kinds of treats has a worse effect than eating large meals and not snacking.

The scientists are especially concerned about the effects of these sugary treats on kids.

According to Dutch researcher Mireille Serlie: “American children consume up to 27% of calories from high-fat and high-sugar snacks… Eating more often, rather than consuming large meals, contributes to fatty liver independent of body weight gain. These findings suggest that by cutting down on snacking and encouraging three balanced meals each day over the long term may reduce the prevalence of NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).”

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