13 Most Harmful Foods for the Liver That You Need to Know

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The liver is one of the hardest-working organs in the body, performing hundreds of essential functions. No artificial organ can replace the metabolic function of the liver.

Therefore, people with liver disease should strictly follow some guidelines of eating and living to stay healthy and avoid adverse consequences.

What to eat is good for the liver and what foods are harmful to the liver is what we need to know to keep the liver healthy. In the following article, I will provide you with the most 13 harmful foods for the liver that you should pocket.

Most 13 Harmful Foods for the Liver You Ought to Remember

#1. Sugar

Overeating sugar is not only harmful to your teeth but also your liver.

In the liver, fructose will be metabolized, and part of this fructose will form fat droplets. Therefore, using too much refined sugar and high fructose syrup will cause fat accumulation, leading to liver diseases. Some studies show that sugar can make liver as damaged as alcohol, even if you are not overweight.

Therefore, limit sugary foods like cakes and sweets to protect your liver.

#2. Fresh bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoot is a widely used food. However, some types of bamboo shoots, especially fresh bamboo shoots, can cause poisoning and even death.

Fresh bamboo shoots have very high cyanide content, about 230mg in 1kg of shoots.

When ingesting bamboo shoots, under the action of digestive enzymes, cyanide turns into Hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which is extremely toxic to the body, causing damage to the liver.

#3. Grilled and fried food

Eating fried and grilled food is a widespread habit. But do you know  foods  marinated with sugar and grilled thoroughly contain cancer-causing active ingredients?

It is not good for the liver because the liver has to handle these toxins. This process may generate heat in the body, causing acne, constipation, and forcing the liver to work harder to remove toxins from the body.

Grilled foods are often high in fat and high in protein. When the liver metabolizes these substances, it needs a lot of water. Without adequate amount of water, the metabolic organ will be fatigued, which leads to abnormal metabolism. These will cause free radicals to attack cells, which can cause acne, itching, and affect the cardiovascular system.

#4. Functional foods of herbal origin

Even if the label says "natural," these supplements do not always have a positive effect. Many studies show that some herbs can disrupt the normal functioning of the liver, leading to hepatitis or liver failure.

You should consult your doctor before taking any herbs to ensure they are truly safe.

#5. Acetaminophen

If you have back pain, headache, or have a cold, make sure you take the right medicine and the right dose!

If for some reason, you have to take both cold and headache medicine, and both contain acetaminophen, it will negatively affect the liver. Always check the amount of drug used in the day that suits your condition; this will help protect your health.

#6. Red meat

With abundant protein content, red meat is an essential food in our diet. However, many studies show that reducing the amount of red meat in the diet will help you have a healthier liver.

Excessive consumption of red meats tends to result in high levels of protein and fat, making it difficult for the liver to absorb and metabolize protein.

If your liver is healthy, it can break down proteins in meat easily. If your liver is weak, it will be challenging to metabolize protein. When the liver has impaired protein metabolism, the excess protein becomes toxic and directly affects the brain, causing dizziness and fatigue.

Nutrition experts advise us to stay away from red meat, especially if you've been diagnosed with liver disease. Some white meats such as chicken and fish will be the right choice for you to get protein and protect liver function at the same time.

#7. Salt

Research shows that a diet high in salt can also lead to fatty liver disease. Overeating salt contributes to liver damage in adults and affects embryonic development. Increased salt intake is associated with high blood pressure, which is a significant cause of heart disease and stroke.

Also, too much salt can lead to a change in liver cells associated with fibrosis. So, reduce the amount of salt in your meals.

#8. Dried fruit

Dried fruits often have very high sugar content, which is harmful to the liver. In particular, dried fruit is high in fructose, a type of sugar that does not break down in the body in the same way as other sugars. Eating dried fruits results in the decomposition that can lead to increased liver inflammation and fatty liver.

#9. Canned vegetables

Canned vegetables are convenient to store and use when needed, but similar to processed meat, canned foods contain a lot of salt as a preservative, which are of course not good for the liver. If you want to store vegetables, choose fresh vegetables instead.

#10. Shrimp

Shrimp is a  high-protein food, which contains various  nutrients good for the body.

However, for people with liver disease, eating this kind of seafood is not recommended l. Because shrimp have high cholesterol, it harms people with liver disease and especially those with hepatitis.

#11. Alcohol

Alcohol contains alcohol and stimulants. These substances enter the body and require your kidneys to work harder to process and eliminate toxins.

Any alcohol (including foreign beers, brewers or craft brewers) poses a risk to the liver due to the ethanol in the drink. This ethanol, when absorbed into the body, is converted to acetaldehyde, which can cause cancer by damaging genes.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause severe damage to the liver. In fact, the rate of people suffering from liver and kidney diseases caused by drinking alcohol is 4-5 times higher than that of other ordinary people.

#12. Fast food

Fast food is one of the liver's bad foods for the liver due to the fat and sugar content. Over time, fast food can lead to inflammation, which in turn can cause cirrhosis.

Therefore, remember to reduce the amount of fast food, especially snacks you eat each day.

#13. Ginger

Ginger is an essential spice in preparing delicious dishes. Unfortunately, it is high in volatile, which can be converted into a safrole. And safrole is harmful to people with liver disease, especially hepatitis.

For patients with liver disease such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, ginger is terrible because it stimulates the secretory activity of liver cells, which can even lead to necrosis.


Above is a summary of knowledge related to health issues and the top 13 harmful foods for the liver. In addition to avoiding and limiting the intake these foods, you should also remember to drink enough water, do moderate exercise  to lead a healthy and happy life.


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