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Thirty Percent of Americans Have This Obesity-Related Disease

What would you do if you knew you could be among the 30 to 40 percent of Americans who have a hidden disease that can put you at risk of heart disease, diabetes and even liver cancer? According to Time Health, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a secret killer that is better known as fatty liver — a disease that is common among alcoholics. But as Americans’ waistlines grow, NAFLD is taking its toll.

NAFLD is strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, so it’s no surprise that it’s becoming so prevalent in modern society. It’s defined as an excessive accumulation of fats, often accompanied by elevated enzyme levels, in your liver in the absence of significant alcohol consumption. 

It’s also just as connected to fructose and insulin resistance as the three aforementioned diseases — in fact, fructose is very similar to alcohol in the damage that it can do to your liver. If you have NAFLD, the first step for treatment should be to limit your fructose consumption to under 15 grams per day (including fruits).

A ketogenic diet high in healthy fats is also essential. By eating a high-quality fat, low-carbohydrate diet, you achieve nutritional ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which your body burns fat rather than glucose as its primary fuel. Maintaining nutritional ketosis may have health benefits in other diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer, too. 

Burning fat for fuel also helps your liver create ketones that burn more efficiently than carbs, thus creating far less reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals that can damage your cellular and mitochondrial cell membranes, proteins and DNA, a concept I explain thoroughly in my new book, “Fat for Fuel.”
 
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