Dietary patterns in Brazilian patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a cross-sectional study






OBJECTIVE: Recent evidence suggests that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with diet. Our aim was to investigate the dietary patterns of a Brazilian population with this condition and compare them with the recommended diet. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 96 non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients before any dietetic counseling. All patients underwent abdominal ultrasound, biochemical tests, dietary evaluations, and anthropometric evaluations. Their food intake was assessed by a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire and 24-hour food recall. RESULTS: The median patient age was 53 years, and 77% of the individuals were women. Most (67.7%) participants were obese, and a large waist circumference was observed in 80.2% subjects. Almost 70% of the participants had metabolic syndrome, and 62.3% presented evidence of either insulin resistance or overt diabetes. Most patients (51.5, 58.5, and 61.7%, respectively) exceeded the recommendations for energy intake, as well as total and saturated fat. All patients consumed less than the amount of recommended monounsaturated fatty acids, and 52.1 and 76.6% of them consumed less polyunsaturated fatty acids and fiber, respectively, than recommended. In most patients, the calcium, sodium, potassium, pyridoxine, and vitamin C intake did not meet the recommendations, and in 10.5-15.5% of individuals, the tolerable upper limit intake for sodium was exceeded. The patients presented a significantly high intake of meats, fats, sugars, legumes (beans), and vegetables and a low consumption of cereals, fruits, and dairy products compared with the recommendations. CONCLUSIONS: Although patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease exhibited high energy and lipid consumption, most of them had inadequate intake of some micronutrients. The possible role of nutrient-deficient intake in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease warrants investigation.

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