Eating this food can cause fatty liver disease, new research shows

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can be bad news. This condition, in which fat builds up in the liver, may be harmless, or it could escalate and become a serious health risk. 

The foods and beverages you consume can play an important role in putting your liver in jeopardy or helping you keep this vital organ healthy. 

Now new research finds that eating red meat is linked to an increased risk of developing NAFLD.

In the study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. The Chan School of Public Health analyzed data from around 78,000 women over a period of two decades. 

They found that those who had eaten one serving or less of red meat per week were significantly less likely to get NAFLD than those who ate the most, and those who ate red meat every day (or several times a day) were at the highest risk.

Additionally, the researchers observed these effects for both processed and unprocessed meat. Still, while opting 

for whole foods may not help you escape liver hazards, if you're going to eat red meat anyway, you'd better choose the raw cut. 

Processed foods carry a host of health hazards, including weakening the immune system and increasing the chances of developing a variety of chronic diseases.

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"Future studies are needed to truly assess the role that red meat and processed red meat play in NAFLD,

" Kristin Kirkpatrick MS, RDN, author of Skinny Liver and registered dietitian, commented on the study in an interview with Eat This. the Cleveland Clinic.  

Not that! "For now, eat more plants, less refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods, and enjoy red meat the same way you would a cookie, as a snack now and then."

It's worth making the switch whenever you can. 

After all, people with NAFLD are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, among other health problems, according to the 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

NAFLD typically has few, if any, symptoms, so if you're concerned you should probably see your doctor. 

But a couple of signs you can look out for are fatigue and pain in the upper right part of your abdomen.

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