My Mom is on medication that can cause liver damage. How should I prepare her meals?

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My Mom is currently on medication that can possibly cause liver damage. I’m trying to cook as fat-free as possible, but I’m not too sure about what kind of foods she should be taking and how they should be prepared. She also loves spicy foods such as Indian. Could you please advise me as to what and how I should be preparing her meals? Thank you very much.

What is your mom’s diagnosis that she needs a fat-free eating plan? Is she supposed to limit any particular type of fat (cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fat) or all fats? What medication is she taking? Does your mother have high cholesterol or gallbladder disease? Which low-fat eating plan she needs will depend on her diagnosis and medications? Has she seen a registered dietitian for nutrition therapy?

Until your mom sees a dietitian, cook without any type of butter, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressing, lard or oil. Your mom should not add any of these to food before she eats it either. Bake or broil meat, poultry or fish instead of frying. Poultry should be skinless. She should eat small frequent meals so the amount of fat per meal will be lower. Look for foods that have less than 10 grams fat per serving on the food label.

A healthy eating plan with low-fat foods (30% of her daily calories) using the Food Guide Pyramid would be best. See the My Plate topic for the recommended number of servings per day. Choose many different foods from the milk, meat, grain, dairy, fruit and vegetable groups. Whether she can have sweets or desserts depends on her overall health status and they will have to be low fat. Limit fats and oils to just the fat in lean meats, poultry (skinless) and fish until your mom has talked to a dietitian who can read her medical chart.

Any spices should be all right, but that depends on the drug your mom is taking as some spices can interfere. Indian foods that are spicy would be fine as long as they are not high fat. Avoid foods with strong odors, lots of fiber or foods that cause gas such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and dried beans and peas.

Another suggestion would be to eliminate alcohol including liquor, wine, and beer. While the liver removes alcohol from the blood, fats from the food you eat accumulate in the liver. This diverts the liver from its important job of processing carbohydrate, fats and storing vitamins.