Diet for liver cirrhosis: foods that are allowed to be avoided (with menu ejemplo)

The diet to treat cirrhosis must ensure all the nutrients needed to prevent deficiencies, including all types of fruits, vegetables, vegetables, whole grains, fish and low-fat poultry, avoiding red meats, fatty and processed foods that are difficult to digest, which generate an increase in waste in the body, harming its metabolism in the liver.

Liver cirrhosis is a disease in which the liver works very difficult, and can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption, viral hepatitis or other diseases. Diet plays a fundamental role in this condition because people with cirrhosis suffer from severe weight loss, loss of muscle mass, accumulation of fluids and lack of some nutrients, causing malnutrition that can worsen and worsen the illness.

The damage to the liver caused by cirrhosis cannot be reversed, only if a liver transplant is performed, however, if it is diagnosed early and the cause is treated with medication and diet, it could delay its progress.

What does the diet consist of?

The diet for liver cirrhosis must include complex carbohydrates, “good” fats, proteins of high biological value and it must ensure adequate nutrient intake, so it is important that the person eats between 5 to 6 meals a day, in small portions, mainly if you have little appetite or if you feel the sensation of fullness very fast.

In addition to this, it is very important to add an evening meal, which must be rich in carbohydrates and proteins, to avoid the loss of muscle mass, which is very common in cirrhotic people.

If it is also important to consume proteins of animal origin, such as eggs, dairy products, fish and poultry meat, if you can moderate your consumption a little and increase proteins of vegetable origin, such as tofu, soy or vegetables, in addition to prebiotic foods, since they produce fewer residues in the organism and reduce the accumulation of toxic products. Know which ones are prebiotic foods.

It is also recommended to include in the diet all kinds of fruits and vegetables, because in addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, they are rich in antioxidants that help detoxify the liver and prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.

On the other hand, people with cirrhosis of the liver can develop deficiencies in some vitamins and minerals or low weight, therefore, it may be necessary to supplement these nutrients or a nutritional formula to increase the calories consumed, which must be indicated by the person. doctor or nutritionist.

Allowed foods:

The foods allowed on the diet for liver cirrhosis are:

  • All kinds of fruits and vegetables, crudos or cocidos, con cascara or sin cascara;

  • Cereals, preferably wholegrainsuch as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, rye, bread and wholemeal pasta;

  • plant-based proteins, such as frijoles, soy, garbanzos, lentils and tofu;

  • animal-derived proteins, such as pescados, huevos and carnes blancas, such as pollo y pavo;

  • Milk and derivatives low in grease, such as queso blanco, ricotta, cottage and yogurt;

  • vegetable drinks of rice, oats, hazelnuts or soybeans;

  • healthy fats, such as olive oil, sunflower, soy or maize, avocado, chia seeds, amaranth or calabaza and nuts;

  • Spice, such as saffron, cinnamon, comino, laurel, hojas de mostaza, nuez moscada, perejil, cilantro, ajo, oregano, turmeric, mint, albahaca, romero and tomillo.

Food should be prepared properly, a la plancha, herbs or stews, avoiding fried foods.

It is important to clarify that some people with cirrhosis of the liver could present intolerance to some foods or cause discomfort or pain when eating them, especially those that cause gas, such as broccoli, coliflor or cabbage and dairy products, for example, it is important in these cases to avoid them. .

Foods to Avoid

The foods to avoid to help control cirrhosis are:

  • red meats, like beef, pork and viscera;

  • sausages, such as sausages, chorizos, morcilla, salami, among others;

  • Whole dairy products and fat-rich derivatives, such as milk entera, manteca, cream of milk and quesos amarillos, such as cheddar, brie, camembert, feta, parmesan, among others;

  • Fatty and processed foods, like french fries, snackssalsas, instant pasta, fast food and frozen or canned foods;

  • sweet foods, such as pastries, pies, golosinas, croissants, pancakes, rellenas galletas, refreshments and pasteurized juices;

Likewise, it is important to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages, as they could worsen the condition.

Example menu of a diet for cirrhosis

In the table, the continuation shows a 3-day example menu for a person with liver cirrhosis:

main foods

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


Yogurt skimmed with quinoa, nueces and raspberries

Oatmeal drink + 3 wholemeal tostaditas with queso blanco, avocado and tomato

Skimmed milk + vegetable tortilla with huevos

Morning meal

Mashed banana with oatmeal today

Yogurt with almonds and papaya

Wholemeal bread with cottage cheese, lechuga and tomato

Almuerzo / Scene

Salmon a la plancha with camote or sweet potato puree + a salad of garbanzos and ejotes + 1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 pear

Wholemeal pasta with tofu, seeds of calabash and vegetables (onion, garlic, calabacín and berenjena) + 1 tablespoon of olive oil + a portion of fruit salad

Hake hake with cooked vegetables (asparagus, zanahoria and broccoli) + 3 spoonfuls of beans + 3 spoonfuls of wheat germ + 1 spoonful of olive oil + 1 spoonful of corn with cinnamon

afternoon snack

One cup of coffee with skimmed milk + 1 oatmeal pancake with cacahuate cream

Smoothie with skimmed milk with banana and fresas

A bowl of green tea + 1 corn tortilla with queso and spinach

night lunch

Tuna and tomato walled

2 wholemeal bread slices with hummus (garbanzo cream)

Oatmeal gachas with nuts and banana

The items included in the menu and the amount of liquids to be ingested vary according to the seriousness of the illness, the age and the sex. For this reason, the ideal is to go to a nutritionist to carry out a complete evaluation and prepare a nutritional plan suited to her needs. In addition to this, it is also important to remember that any medication should only be taken under the guidance and authorization of the treating physician.

How to control liquid retention

To control the fluid retention that normally occurs in cirrhosis, whose name is ascitis, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of salt, avoiding adding it to the meals and avoiding consuming foods that contain it, such as chorizos, sausages, sausages, cubes of meat, Salad snacks, fast foods, English and soy salsa, any other type of salsa, salad quesos, soups, canned goods, among others.

As an alternative, you should prefer the use of natural herbs to season foods such as garlic, onion, perejil, albahaca, cilantro, pepper, oregano, among others. In addition, you should talk to your nutritionist to find out if you should have any control over your fluid intake, since it depends on the degree of ascitis, this could be necessary.

Nutrition in advanced liver cirrhosis

When liver cirrhosis is at an advanced stage, the diet is generally carried out in the hospital, due to which it is necessary to compensate for the nutritional deficit and control the metabolic changes with poor care, through the performance of analysis of regular blood pressure to assess the health status of the person.

These individuals suelen show deficiency of minerals such as potassium, magnesium and phosphorus; as well as vitamins of the B complex, especially when cirrhosis is of alcoholic origin, and; in cases of steatorrhea, which are liquid evacuations with grease, there are also deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Asimism, suelen presenting sodium retention, loss of muscle mass and hypoalbuminemia.

For this reason, if the person tolerates it orally, the diet must be of liver protection, and must be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. In cases where the oral route is not tolerated, the diet should be administered through nutritional formulas through a nasogastric or nasoenteric tube or intravenously, allowing the nutritionist to better control the nutrients and the amount of liquids they receive, to avoid forcing the liver, improve the nutritional status of the patient and increase the chances of survival.

These nutritional formulas are rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and low in aromatic amino acids (AAA). BCAAs apparently prevent the entry of toxic substances into the brain, reducing risk or worsening hepatic encephalopathy; prevent the degradation of muscle mass and; They can be used as a source of energy by the muscle, brain, heart and liver, when the body cannot use glucose or fat to generate energy.

See more details on how the treatment should be carried out.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified with your trusted doctor, this being just a vehicle for basics about certain healthy behaviors, conscious food consumption and other notions. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance.

Disclaimer – (Portuguese version>) Este conteúdo foi elaborado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou pelo trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário de Trata-se de um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É fortemente recomendado que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam cuidadosamente verificados com seu médico de confiança, sendo este apenas um veículo para noções básicas sobre determinados comportamentos saudáveis, consumo consciente de alimentos e outras noções. Nunca permitimos recomendação de medicamentos, bulas de remédios ou qualquer orientação medicamentosa.

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