Practical dietary recommendations for the prevention andmanagement of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in adults

Elena S. George, Adrienne Forsyth, Catherine Itsiopoulos, Amanda J. Nicoll, Marno Ryan, Siddharth Sood, Stuart K. Roberts, Audrey C. Tierney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver diseaseworldwide. In the absence of effective pharmacotherapies, clinical guidelines focus primarily on weight loss to treat this condition. Established consensus, evidence-based, and clinical dietary recommendations for NAFLD are currently lacking. The aim of this paper is to provide evidence-based practical dietary recommendations for the prevention and management of NAFLD in adults. A literature review focusing on established principles for the development of clinical practice recommendations was employed using the following criteria: based on substantial evidence, ensures risk minimization, is flexible for an individual patient approach, and is open to further modification as evidence emerges. The Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition classification system was used to grade these principles. Five key dietary recommendations were developed: 1) follow traditional dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet; 2) limit excess fructose consumption and avoid processed foods and beverages with added fructose; 3) PUFAs, especially long-chain omega-3 rich foods and MUFAs, should replace SFAs in the diet; 4) replace processed food, fast food, commercial bakery goods, and sweets with unprocessed foods high in fiber, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds; and 5) avoid excess alcohol consumption. Improving diet quality may reduce the incidence and progression of NAFLD and associated risk factors. Many of the benefits are likely to result from the collective effect of dietary patterns. High-quality research-in particular, randomized clinical trials assessing dietary interventions that focus on liver-specific endpoints-are needed as a priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical guidelines
  • Diet
  • Dietary recommendations
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

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