A low sugar diet is an effective treatment in boys with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study included 40 boys with NAFLD between the ages of 11 and 16. Half of the boys adopted a low sugar diet (added sugars making up less than 3% of total calorie intake) for 8 weeks, while the other half ate as usual. Liver fat was measured at baseline and after the 8-week intervention. Results showed that boys in the low sugar group had a 31% average reduction in liver fat as well as a significant reduction in liver inflammation measured in the blood, while the boys who remained on their usual diets showed no improvement. JAMA
→Takeaway: Over 5 million children have NAFLD, and while a healthy diet is recommended, few studies quantify the incredible positive impact a healthy diet can have on the disease. Researchers noted that one of the main ways they lowered sugar in the boys’ diets was to eliminate sweetened beverages such as sodas and juices.
Sugar is everywhere, and even those children who don’t suffer from NAFLD can benefit from a dietary analysis and a lowering of added sugars in the diet. If you’re a parent, I encourage you to keep a journal for just 1 day, add up all the added sugar your child consumes, and then work to reduce this number by introducing more whole food, plant-based options. Food is powerful medicine.