Eating This Kind of Food Can Actually Damage Your Liver (Like Alcohol Does)

Updated 11/20/17

While liver damage is most associated with excessive alcohol consumption, there are a few other (admittedly less harmful) vices that can still wreak havoc on this vital organ. "Since [the liver] acts as your blood's Brita filter, it inevitably encounters all the crap you subject it to," writes Thrillist. "There are other vices—along with some supposedly healthy habits and supplements—that could be doing damage to an organ you need to survive."

The publication tapped Sonja Olsen, MD, gastroenterologist and hepatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, to get the lowdown on what else can damage your liver over time. "We all need to try to limit our processed foods," says Olsen. "These are full of fats and preservatives that cause oxidative damage to the liver." The publication specifies that loading up on calories from fat and carbs can contribute to fatty liver disease.

In addition to processed foods, Olsen mentions a lack of exercise, excessive belly fat, weight-loss supplements, certain prescription medications, and even too many over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol. "If you take enough of it, it will cause liver damage," she adds. "This amount varies depending on how much alcohol you drink, and it is important to read labels because acetaminophen is hidden in a lot of combination pain medications."

Head over to Thrillist for more from Olsen, and read up on what happens to your brain when you don't exercise next.

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