Are soda and white bread as bad as liquor?
Well, kind of! “A diet high in refined carbohydrates and high-fructose corn syrup may lead to the development and progression of fatty liver disease,” says Kathleen E. Corey, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Fatty Liver Clinic. We’re talking white bread, white rice, and sugary drinks like soda and sweetened fruit juice.
These foods turn up everywhere in the standard American diet, making them especially sneaky. Soda is an obvious one, but even crackers -- seemingly healthy! -- may contain loads of white flour and added sugar, which means you might be taxing your liver more than you realize.
Dr. Ming V. Lin, a liver transplant specialist, agrees: “These [foods] cause a higher surge of blood glucose and a large release of insulin, which promote fatty deposits on the liver.” If you haven’t been following, your liver isn’t supposed to have fatty deposits on it.
Ultimately, though, sugar is the biggest food group to avoid for a healthy liver. In one study, researchers found that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease consumed more than twice as much fructose than the healthy controls -- a pretty drastic difference, and one that maybe, could be, quite possibly means beer is better for you than soda? We’re OK with that.