7 Foods That Can Harm Your Liver: Increase Your Awareness!

In this video, the speaker discusses seven common ingredients found in foods that can negatively impact liver health. These ingredients include soy protein isolates, fructose, vegetable fats (such as corn oil and soybean oil), whey protein powder, maltodextrin, aflatoxins (found in peanuts and corn), and monosodium glutamate (MSG). The speaker recommends avoiding these ingredients and opting for healthier alternatives, such as grass-fed red meat and cruciferous vegetables, to support liver health. The video also mentions the importance of reading food labels and increasing awareness of potential liver-damaging ingredients.

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Key Insights:

  • Soy protein isolates, commonly found in diet shakes and protein bars, should be avoided as they are highly processed and contain harmful chemicals like hexane.
  • High fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, and even table sugar (half fructose, half glucose) can be detrimental to the liver as fructose is only metabolized by the liver, leading to fatty liver and insulin resistance.
  • Vegetable fats, such as soybean, corn, canola, and cottonseed oil, are highly processed, inflammatory, and often contain GMOs and glyphosate, harming the liver. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in sardines, cod liver oil, and salmon, should be consumed instead.
  • Whey protein powder, being refined and concentrated, can be inflammatory and toxic to the liver. It also increases inflammatory markers.
  • Maltodextrin, a synthesized sugar found in many foods like protein powders and vitamins, has a high glycemic index and can make the liver fattier.
  • Aflatoxins, carcinogenic toxins found in peanuts and corn, particularly in moist environments, should be avoided. Valencia peanuts and organic peanut butter are recommended to minimize aflatoxin intake.
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate), often used as a flavor enhancer, can be toxic to the liver and is found in many processed foods. Reading ingredients labels is crucial to avoid it.
  • Consuming grass-fed red meat is not bad for the liver unless there is a problem with iron metabolism.
  • The cruciferous family of vegetables, including arugula, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, is excellent for liver health.


Now there are seven things in a lot of foods that will ruin your liver, and I wanted to increase your awareness on this because a lot of people are being exposed to these things on a regular basis and they don’t know it. And as far as your liver goes, you’re about as healthy as your liver. Your skin is a reflection of the liver. If your liver is bad, your skin’s not gonna look too good.

The liver is a huge organ, it’s like three pounds. It helps you with digestion, it helps your blood clot, mainly it helps you detoxify poisons. It turns poisonous things into harmless things. Okay, so let’s dive right in and go through the list.

Number one, you want to avoid soy protein isolates. Here’s a big question about soy protein isolates: What do you think they do to isolate this protein from soy? Well, they use chemicals. It’s highly processed. They have to go through a whole series of things to extract this concentrated protein. And to do that, they have to use something called hexane. That’s a petroleum byproduct, it’s a solvent, it’s not good for the liver. It’s actually a neurotoxin.

And so when you look at like diet shakes or diet powders or protein bars or veggie burgers, always read the label. I don’t recommend consuming it if it has soy protein isolates. The way I was introduced to soy protein isolates is that I had a series of people that came into my clinic that were on the diet that was called Ideal Protein, and that was a major ingredient in this so-called healthy ketogenic plan where it had very low carbs but it also had very, very low fat. Okay, and very, very low-quality ingredients. And so it was filled with soy protein isolates. And I noticed when people got on that program, when they lost weight, and they did lose weight, they didn’t look healthy. And a number of them developed serious liver inflammation, higher amount of liver enzymes, a lot of digestive problems, and gallbladder issues. And so when they came off those products, it cleared up, they did much better.

Number two, fructose. Okay, you have high fructose corn syrup, you have the fructose in fruit, you have something called agave nectar as a sweetener, it’s like 70% fructose, and even table sugar is half fructose and half glucose. Now, fructose is a very interesting sugar because it’s not metabolized by all of your cells. It’s only metabolized by your liver. So anytime you consume fructose, your liver has to deal with this sugar. It is stuck to deal with breaking it down and metabolizing it. And this is why people that consume a lot of high fructose corn syrup, boy, they just develop a fatty liver way more than if they were going to be consuming just glucose itself. And even people think that agave nectar is so healthy, but it’s not because it contains fructose. But here’s the confusing thing, fructose on the glycemic index is pretty low, it’s like 19. Glucose is 100, okay? So if you have a sugar that has half glucose and half fructose, it’s going to be right in the middle, like about 74, 75-ish. But the point is that if you are just relying on the glycemic index, okay, that’s your principle that you operate off of, and you’re like, „Wow, it’s low, I’m going to go ahead and eat it,“ and you don’t understand that the liver has to metabolize that specific sugar, and indirectly, it creates a lot of problems, especially with insulin resistance. Then you can have more awareness, and then you can actually do the right thing by avoiding too much fructose. But the point is that despite being low on the glycemic index, fructose is not a good sugar, especially for the liver, especially if you want to avoid getting a fatty liver. And one more point about this, especially when you’re dealing with high fructose corn syrup, all that corn is GMO, and that gives you another level of toxicity, like glyphosate, which is an herbicide that’s not good for the liver. Instead, use sugar alcohols like erythritol, xylitol, use stevia, monk fruit.

Number three, vegetable fats. Now, vegetable fats sound so healthy, don’t they? I mean, they’re just the fat of vegetables. Well, there’s actually not much fat in vegetables. Okay, if you look at salad leafy greens, just look at the nutritional profile, and you’ll see that there’s not much oil or fat in vegetables. So, despite being called vegetable oils, it’s really grain oils, and it’s like bean oils, as in soybean oil. And, I’m talking about the corn oil, the soy oil, canola, cottonseed oil. These oils are very processed. They’re very oxidizing to your tissues, which means they create a lot of inflammation, a lot of inflammation. They’re a very fragile oil. That’s omega-6. An average person in the U.S. consumes about 70 pounds of this vegetable oil. We’ve kind of done a little switch on these oils about, I don’t know, 30 to 40 years ago where they switched all of our saturated fats with unsaturated fats, unfortunately. So, our membranes now are being built with this, these unsaturated fats, and it’s creating a lot of problems with inflammation. And then with that comes a lot of other issues, not to mention GMO, okay, more glyphosate, which is Roundup Ready, in these products. So, what you want to do is you want to consume a lot more omega-3 fatty acids, sardines, cod liver oil, salmon, things like that. And just as an FYI, there was a meta-analysis with over 72 different studies that showed that there’s no benefit from shifting from saturated fats to unsaturated fats. Zero benefits. In fact, there’s a lot of negative things that have occurred.

Number four, whey protein powder. Now, think about what whey protein powder is. It’s a protein in milk and dairy, and it’s highly concentrated to be extremely low fat, if not zero fat. And anytime you consume something that’s refined out of the normal complex that nature is designed, it comes with a package. And so, whey protein is inflammatory. It’s a bit toxic to the liver. It increases inflammatory markers. And I remember long ago, before I had any awareness on health, I wanted to gain weight. Okay, this was in high school. And so, what did I do? I consumed protein powder, and I started chowing that stuff down. And man, did I get sick. Because not only was it filled with whey protein powder, it was filled with the next thing on the list, which is maltodextrin.

So when you consume protein, make sure you consume it with the fat that’s naturally packaged with that protein. But maltodextrin, which is number five, is in so many foods, it’s crazy. It’s in all the protein powders as the first ingredient sometimes. Here’s the problem with maltodextrin. It’s a synthesized or synthetic sugar. And it is higher than glucose on the glycemic index. Okay? It ranges between 110 to 119. It’s just off the scale. So, you’re consuming something that is way worse than sugar for your blood sugars, for your pancreas, for your weight, for your liver. And maltodextrin is put in a lot of vitamins. Okay? It’s used as a filler, it’s used as a drying agent for oils. It’s hidden in a lot of so-called keto-friendly foods. But basically, it makes your liver fattier. And before I forget, I was going to mention, they make maltodextrin from corn, wheat, rice, potato, tapioca. And so, sometimes it’s going to be from GMO ingredients. But you want to avoid it. They even use it in post-workout type gels. It’s in Splenda, it’s in puddings, it’s in protein bars, it’s in a lot of different things.

Number six, aflatoxins. So, you want to stop consuming aflatoxins. Now, what is an aflatoxin? Well, it’s a toxin from a certain fungus which is carcinogenic to your liver. So, your liver does not like this. And you’re primarily going to find it in peanuts and corn, especially if it’s in a moist, humid environment. Now, if you consume peanuts or peanut butter, the best way to make sure you don’t get the aflatoxin is by consuming valencian peanuts. Valencia peanuts are a lot drier and they’re usually not going to have aflatoxins, especially if you get organic valencia peanut butter. Of course, if you’ve been watching my videos, you’re not going to be consuming corn. But corn is in a lot of products, so you’re going to have to watch that as well.

And number seven, MSG (monosodium glutamate). It’s in a lot of different forms, including modified food starch. But you really want to start reading the ingredients because they put this in pork rinds, it’s in so many foods as a flavor enhancer. They use it in all the fast-food restaurants to enhance the flavor because if it wasn’t in there, you wouldn’t eat as much. But MSG causes you to eat more of it. It’s definitely in Chinese food, and so it’s a lot of sodium that’s hidden. It’s not really salty, but you’re going to get fluid retention as well after you consume it. But that’s not the big problem. The big problem is it’s toxic to your liver. And it’s even in things like cottage cheese if you’re getting commercial cottage cheese. But I would just recommend, just start reading the ingredients.

So many of my patients, when I was in practice, after they complained being sick, I just asked them when did you start being sick and what did you eat just before that? And there was usually some ingredient on this list that they consumed that they weren’t aware, they didn’t make the connection.

Now, what about red meat? Is red meat bad for the liver? Well, the answer is if you’re consuming grass-fed red meat, it’s not bad for the liver, unless you have a problem with iron. The thing about iron is that our bodies are not designed to get rid of iron easily, and too much iron can be very toxic to the liver and even cause cirrhosis. And of course, red meat is high in iron. So, if you have that problem, then you’re probably going to have to avoid red meat. But for most people that don’t have a problem with that, red meat is not going to be a problem for your liver.

If you want to support your liver, the cruciferous family of vegetables are the best thing for the liver. So that would be like arugula, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. So you definitely want to consume those on a regular basis. Now that you have this information, the next video that I’m going to recommend is what to consume or what to do to repair a liver.