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Diet for Cirrhosis: My 3-Day Healing Meal Plan for Liver Disease


I was diagnosed with advanced-stage Cirrhosis (chronic liver disease) at 30 years old. After trips in and out of the hospital, and upon the suggestion of my doctor, I studied the Renal Diet, and found that a modified version was the best diet for my own healing. The Renal diet emphasizes limiting fluids, eating a low-protein diet, limiting salt, potassium, phosphorous, and other electrolytes, and getting enough calories if you are losing weight.

That being said, it was very challenging to drastically change my diet and lifestyle to combat chronic liver disease – cirrhosis! To make it less overwhelming, here is a three day cirrhosis diet meal-plan I used, complete with recipes, so you can get healing too!

Before Breakfast, a Cleansing Beverage:

One thing I always start the day with is a glass or two of dandelion tea (found easily at your local health food store) with a teaspoon of raw honey and the juice of half a lemon. This is a great cleansing beverage and is a good way to jump-start your metabolism. Dandelion root is thought to aid in liver function, lemon adds vitamin C and a bit of natural acid and raw local honey is great for allergies. I personally used to have awful seasonal allergies but this past year hasn’t been much of an issue and I suspect this daily habit is one of the main reasons.

Start with a Smoothie:

After that, my cirrhosis diet almost always starts with this smoothie!


– Super-Awesome Daily Smoothie

Other great breakfast recipes from my liver disease diet collection include:

Chia Yogurt ‘Custard’ gluten-free dessert recipe

Chia Yogurt ‘Custard’

Chinese Egg Scallion Mushroom Omelet recipe liver disease diet cirrhosis foods

Chinese Egg Scallion Mushroom Omelet


Lunch is the biggest meal of my day and is eaten between noon and 2pm. These following recipes from my liver disease diet are easy to prepare and taste great even if taken to go.

Southwest Bulgur Tabbouleh pepper chili lime recipe heart healthy food low carb high fiber diet

Southwest Tabbouleh (4 servings)

chickpea artichoke-saute-turmeric-recipe liver-disease-diet-glycogen Cirrhosis foods

Indian Chickpea and Artichoke Sautee

Snack Attack:

Here are some snacks I keep around that are real crowd pleasers even for those not on a diet for liver disease:

Vegan Coconut Cashew Cookies

Cashew Coconut Cookies

Savory Italian Baked Quinoa Muffins

Italian Quinoa Cups

– Organic nut butter with sliced banana and honey (so simple, no recipe required here!)

Dinner: keep it filling, but light

For dinner, here are some of my guests’ favorites:

Herb and Mushroom Rice Casserole

Herb and Mushroom Rice Casserole

Thai-Style Snapper with Ginger, Garlic, Shallots and Chilis

Thai Style Snapper

And let’s not forget a dessert…!

Almond Crusted Pain Perdu (French Toast) orange zest eggs honey recipe liver disease cirrhosis diet

Pain Perdu


Baked Stone Fruits

I follow my nutrient intake over the course of the day, not just a single meal. I kept track of my intake in a small notebook (about wallet sized) that I carried with me.  I wrote down every bite I took each day and calculated it at the end of the day using online nutrition calculators.  Within two weeks I didn’t even need to log anything because I was so aware of the nutritional values of common foods just through studying my diet daily. A bit of low sodium soy sauce in a stir-fry, or honey on granola is fine for me, so long as I make certain I keep the rest of what I eat throughout the day within my limits.

Most importantly, I listen to my body and notice how I feel after each meal.  The rhythm of the diet came pretty quickly once I began to realize how good certain foods make me feel at certain points throughout the day. And don’t think for a minute that just because you are living with restrictions that you can’t enjoy your favorite dishes, there is almost always a healthy alternative if you look for it. Eating these healthy foods as part of a diet for liver disease will make you feel better, and they taste great too! Salud!

For additional healthful recipes, check out:

Avocado Mango N’ice Cream (Healthy Ice Cream)

No-Bake Almond Butter Protein Bars

Anti-Inflammatory Carrot Lentil Turmeric Soup

Looking to cut sugar out of your life for good? Join our FREE 7-Day Sugar Detox Challenge Sign up here!

Lose weight and say bye-bye to wrinkles with anti-aging Further Food Collagen Peptides. Learn more here


What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease. It’s actually a late stage of live scarring, marked by the degeneration of cells and inflammation. Cirrhosis is commonly caused by hepatitis or alcoholism. Symptoms or signs of cirrhosis include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, easy bruising, and yellowing of the skin. Other complications can be malnutrition, high blood pressure, and swelling of the spleen.

What is the Renal Diet?

The Renal diet is ideal for those who are hoping to heal their kidney. This diet is low in sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and protein. You want to limit fluids and consume high-quality protein. Because this type of eating is kidney-friendly, it is also liver-friendly. Everyone’s needs are different, so talking to a dietitian will help you decide how exactly you should modify your diet.

What can a liver-friendly diet look like?

Ian Whitcomb starts off his day with a cleansing glass of dandelion tea with raw honey and lemon. For breakfast, you could consider having a rich smoothie, chia custard, or a nutritious mushroom omelette. For lunch or dinner, make sure you’re filling up: an herb and mushroom rich casserole or a chickpea and artichoke saute are great choices to start. The key is to eat vegetables and lean protein at every meal.

What are some additional tips for staying on track with my healing diet?

Consider tracking down your consumption in a notebook or on your phone and then calculate your intake using online nutrition calculators. You’ll eventually be more aware of the kinds of foods you eat and their nutritional value that you won’t even have to write them down anymore. One word of advice is to simply listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel after eating certain meals or types of food. Look for healthy alternatives to your favorite dishes; there are plenty!

Note: PLEASE consult with  your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Ian Whitcomb Contributor

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111 thoughts on “Diet for Cirrhosis: My 3-Day Healing Meal Plan for Liver Disease

  1. Allison

    I found out at 25 that I have autoimmune cirrhosis. Doctors have no idea
    How it progressed so quickly! Will definitely be trying some of your recipes thank you so much!

  2. Jerry Newcomer

    Gods Blessings and grateful thanks for your Cirrhosis comments! I hardly ever drink alcohol/beer, my brother died of being an Alcoholic/ cirrhosis at age 54, drank for 33 years! So I learned not to drink much, loved him so, he was 8 yrs older, I’m now 77, just had pancreatitis twice, hospitalized! At discharge, was told I had advanced Cirrhosis of the liver, go figure, Always healthy, never sick, Very Blessed!! God Bless your writings and your faithful witness, will pray for your good health🙏🙏👍Jerry

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Edith: Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, we are not in contact with Ian any more. You may want to consider consulting with a functional medicine doctor or a holistic nutritionist for some additional dietary guidance. Best of luck to you.

  3. Russell Romero.

    10yrs. Chirosis.. Chicken everyday w/ beat & pom.juice…salmon 3 times week..salad 5 nites. Pot of coffee a day

  4. Daisy P

    Very Informative. Liver issues run in my family and I am trying now to change my diet and enforce better eating habits. As far as gram intake, what exactly do you measure? Fiver? Protein? What are your go to measurements? I know it may differ from male vs. female expectations.

  5. Cindy Gardner

    Wish you lived next door… so glad I found your recipes.,, they look so good and I like the look of the ingredients.

  6. C. Kay

    I was grateful to be able to read about your plight and learn about how to live a healthy life. Thank you

  7. Anthony Kistenmacher

    By changing to this diet can it actually heal my liver and will it help me live longer?

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Anthony: Thanks for the question. Transitioning to eating healthier and including healing foods can help promote good health. This diet is an example of what worked for Ian. We recommend consulting with a doctor or nutritionist who can help you find the best diet for you. Best of luck and good health to you.

  8. Louisa

    Question: does one green planet has an everyday schedule meal plan for (to reduce enzymes) high liver enzymes & where or find/search for them also take care kidney? And plz don’t say go to dr, dr just told us what it is & if I feel pain to let him know; really, wow, plz organic one green planet recipes , thank you.

  9. Lori platero

    Thank you for your information. My husband is dealing with liver disease, and its scary to have to prepare meals to help him. I want to help him with a good nutrition plan, however here in the southwest these meals are very different. Any recommendations to what I can do to modify these meals?

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Lori: Thanks for the question. For the most part you can omit the ingredients that you aren’t able to find in this meal plan. Additionally, if possible, we recommend that you work with a dietitian who can guide you on the best foods and diet for your husband. Good luck!

  10. Sandeep

    My weight is going down from last 1 year, and i have to go to washroom for becoming fresh after 2-3 hours of eating food. My weight was 63kg (5.yheight) 35years in Oct-2019 and now it is only 53 kg. Pl help.

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Sandeep: Thanks for reaching out. We recommend you consult with your medical care provider to help with your unexplained weight loss. Wishing you the best of luck.


    Hello my name is Deila, my one son his name is Darrell he has diabeiies and cirrhosis also a rupture in his nabel area could you please send me some recipes m
    by mail please he is not eating right cant get him to drink the protein drinks my address is 899 rt. f k beech creek matewan wv 25678 I AM REALLY WORRIED ABOUT HIM.

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Della: Thanks for reaching out. We are sorry to hear that your son is struggling with diabetes and cirrhosis. Further Food is an online community based platform that you can use to read advice and tips on how to deal or treat certain illnesses. Ian has written another article about cirrhosis that you can read here. Additionally, you can find lots of articles on diabetes here

      Unfortunately, we don’t have any written content that we can mail you. Additionally, we recommend consulting with your son’s medical care practitioner for more specific advice relating to him.

      We hope this information is of help and we wish your son a speedy recovery.

  12. Angie

    Is Ian still alive? I am going through something very similar, but it is my husband. I am very scared he has been in the hospital now for 4 days running test. Drinking use to be fun and being 30 years old we didn’t realize the danger. I love my husband to death we have 2 children and have been together 16 years.

  13. Dawn Lacey

    Diagnosed with liver cirrhosis a year this October due to chronic alcohol please send me a booklet diet what to eat and not

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Dawn: Thanks for reaching out. We don’t have a booklet diet on what to eat or not eat. Ian has written a few articles on how food helped him to heal. You can read them here

      We do offer a Sugar Free Diet plan with meals, food list, and daily emails on how to cut out sugar for good. You might want to consider this as you try to cut out alcohol and excess sugars. You can learn more here.
      Good luck!

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Melissa;
      Thanks for reaching out. Ian has written a few articles on how food helped him to heal. You can read them here

      We do offer a Sugar Free Diet plan with meals, food list, and daily emails on how to cut out sugar for good. You might want to consider this as you try to cut out alcohol and excess sugars. You can learn more here.
      Good luck!

  14. FRED S.

    55 AND finally DIAGNOSED with ALCOHOLIC CIRRHOSIS. NEED A recipe book and maybe ADVICE on finding a group of sufferers. THANK you.

  15. Ashley K

    These look great! Did you it helped to reduce the bloating in your abdomen as well? Mine will not go down after being diagnosed and released from the hospital 2 days ago. (Ps I am only 31 so hoping you can relate).

  16. Anonymous

    Thank you for these delicious looking recipes! I appreciate your personal account of addressing your health issues. I hope all the best for you. You have a positive, helpful outlook. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Norma:
      You can find the recipes in the article. You can click on the links to get them and even print them out if you would like.

  17. Norma schrieffer

    My husband received a new liver and I would like meals delivered that he can eat. This until I know what and how to cook for him?

    1. Recipe Team

      Thanks for the question. The recipes link out from the title-so after each picture, you see the title name, click on it and it will take you to the recipe. Good luck!

  18. Deb

    How Amazing and proactive you are! Not many people have a doctor that inspires and supports them to become their own best advocate. Kudos to you for actually running with the ball! I recently was diagnosed with compensated cirrhosis. While my gastroenterologist had everyone focused on that, I started noticing that my eGFR was steadily dropping from perfectly fine in January to 41.67 in April! I know.. right? So I am at a crossroads as to which diet plan to follow.. since they seem to be in direct conflict with each other. What would you suggest?
    Thank you for your time.

  19. Debbie

    I see you used coconut oil in some of your recipes… I read somewhere that it can infact, affect a fatty liver for the worse and olive oil is the preferred choice…

  20. Darby

    I have just been diagnosed with hepatic fibrosis and these recipes are ideal to go along with my already anti-inflammatory diet!! Does he have a cookbook? I really hope he does.. or that he writes one..because these are awesome recipes and they are really helpful and encouraging!

  21. Bridget

    Hi, how long have you had cirhosis? A friend of mine was just diagnosed & doesn’t think she can live very long with this disease.

  22. Maria

    Thank you. Looking for recipes for my sister who has end-stage cirrhosis of liver from alcohol. . Doesn’t have long to live. I’ve studied nutrition for many years. In looking for recipies/schedule for eating for someone with cirrosis, I came across your site. It looks good. All I can do for her now is give her my time with k owl edge of nutrition and see how well she can get through this way of eating. Thanks again. A very big help.

  23. CHAZ

    I was just diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, and Just started my 1st dose of prednisone. Looking for recipes that help liver and help reduce side effects of prednisone. Any thoughts? Your recipes sound amazing!!

  24. Jyothsna

    My mother is diagnosed with cirrhosis, doctors never mentioned reason as to why. Meld is 8, she goes for blood transfusion every 8mths to blood leaking. Endoscopy is further making difficult for her to eat. Doctors don’t suggest say just has to bear, no treatment…

  25. Natalie

    Can you please confirm if Ian’s recipe book was ever published? I’ve googled without success.

    Thank you.

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Natalie: As far as we know, he hasn’t published his book yet. We hope he does though, as he has such a compelling story.

  26. Natalie

    Thank you for the reply, I realised after I messaged you that my husband diet says 1 to 2 grams of sodium per day, not 1 to 2 mg 😊, so your recipes will be perfect.

    Thank you for sharing and best wishes to all.

  27. Natalie

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Your site is very informative.
    Whilst reading through the recipes I noted that some are quite high in sodium I.e. lemon chicken salad. We’ve been advised that a low sodium diet (1mg to 2 mg a day) therefore do you have alternative recipes to reduce the sodium content.
    Thank you

    1. Recipe Team

      HI Natalie: You can search for low sodium recipes on Further Food. That can help you find recipes that will be suited to your diet.

  28. Sharon Rudesal

    Have a friend who has been diagnosed Cirrhosis of the liver and was told to have 2% sodium a day. How much is that? What do we need to look for?

    He love vegetables, but when looking at his favorites like celery, spinach and carrots to name a few. Celery shows 80mg of 100g. Does this mean he can’t have that?

  29. Eilliott

    Can u give me some tips on what to eat for breakfast I have cirrhosis also and I eat oatmeal and bananas with some dry fruit with the white of boiled eggs It has become really boring to you give me Some ideas thanks

  30. Sharon blanch

    Wow I am really surprised at the lengths you have done to provide yourself and others with these great recipes.
    Well Done

  31. Hedy Daking

    The 30-Second Trick for Best Diets The One Thing to Do for Best Diets If your diet plan provides dangerous or unhealthy advice, you might be held directly accountable for adverse consequences. Obviously, it’s still advised that diet plans be coupled with frequent exercise, good sleep, and lots of plain water. A very low sodium diet program can help you lower your high blood pressure. It can reduce your diastolic and systolic blood pressure numbers. Here’s What I Know About Best Diets Nobody will make certain you’re not breaking your diet plan. The diet also helps clean out your system. Standard diet ought to be half of real diet. There are lots of diets out there. Deciding upon the very best diet therefore is important to create the diet a success. Even in case you use one of the greatest diets out there, there’s no true immediate result diet so to speak, and in reality, many that claim to provide you with super quick weight reduction results are in fact unhealthy methods to shed weight. Ten of the greatest diets that you’re able to find. Up in Arms About Best Diets? There really is not any way to see whether a diet will get the job done for you unless you try. The Ketogenic diet has turned out to be somewhat successful at assisting you to drop pounds fast. Several 30-day diets are available on the internet in ebook form.

  32. Raphael Mwaka

    it’s a good diet plan for liver cirrhosis patient though some foods items are not common in my country. clinical nutrition and dietetic officer.

  33. Stacey Pflaum

    This a great site! I was diagnosed Nov. ’17. I have been seeking good recipes & the “don’t” foods. I have been experiencing joint pain. I have a hard time with my feet and hands in the morning, swelling in right ankle area. I’ve been a runner since I was 21, so this put a stop to a lot. I don’t have the strength of course I used to have. Sleep is not the greatest anymore. But, I’m hoping to get a hold on all this. Thanks again for your site.

  34. Kyle


    I am a 35 year old father of 2 boys (3 yr old and 1 yr old) who doesn’t drink alcohol. Though I am moderately obese and have been for the last 20 years. I was diagnosed with fatty liver and cirrhosis 2 months ago. I am walking now, and have changed my diet, with 3 slip ups over the last 2 months. I used to eat pizza, red meat, chicken and burgers all the time, but I have stopped. Its difficult to find a consistent diet that works, so I would love more tips. Dr. said max 10 years of life with aggressive treatment, and I have made my peace with it, I just would like to be around as long as possible for my children.

  35. Charra60

    These all seems great and i need to improve my diet. I am willing to get started. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis a year and half ago. I go in every six months for my ultrasound. Doc always says “stable” “see u in 6” It is great to see easy and tasty recipes.

  36. Christi

    I am 49 and was diagnosed last week with cirrhosis. I received different info from different doctors, including a specialized “liver team” at the hospital. Some were doom and gloom, telling me worst case scenarios. Others, including a calm Indian doctor, explained how my liver can heal itself if I give it the fuel to do so and not the bad poison like alcohol. No one gave me an exact idea of what to eat, except “heart healthy and 2 grams or less of sodium daily.” There was no talk of keeping up my protein intake. My husband and I were left to research eating practices on our own. Fortunately, we have found several good books and websites, including this one. I have three children ages 16 – 22, a loving husband, dogs and cats, a great job, and life on the lake in our cottage. I have a lot to live for. Thank you for giving me more tools to do just that. I’m trying out the mushroom casserole this afternoon! 🙂

  37. Jbridgway

    I want to thank you for addressing the most basic of liver cirrhosis health maintenance. I have found with many doctors it’s the least covered topic appropriate foods for the cirrhortic patient. I was diagnosed in September of 1990 this means especially for alcoholic cirrhosis longer life is possible. Just to inform you I had a major bleed and a small and nodular liver thus I’m assuming stage 3 or worst. The least taxing the best and your food plan offers it almonds, lemons, small light meals. Any regenative growth of the liver is not the same as real healthy liver thus easy does it. If your like me your digestion is all over the place sometimes food seems undigested, sometimes light stools sometimes normal. As a result the doctor will say you have very low vitamin basically your malnutritioned even though your eating. The blogger is on to something trying to find a balancing act it’s of great importance because proper nutrition will decide if you live or die it will keep your immune system as close to normal as possible. Sepsis is the number one killer of cirrhortic patients. Living long is a crapshoot it’s where is your liver damaged when diagnosed they used a long needle and took a biopsy first time normal liver the second some cirrhosis they had to do a laperoscopy to finally diagnose. I’m not going to kid you some will die, others will live a while then die, some will need transplants, some will be lucky and continue to live. Follow his ideas when based in logic no goofy odd foods only safe realistic foods. Cudos

  38. Jacob

    Love it. I find it interesting that I am finding this article a year after I employed very similair tactics upon receiving a cirrhosis diagnosis. My last ultrasound came back completely normal. Now I now this doesn’t mean my liver is completely healed as not all cirrhosis is identifiable by ultrasound (biopsy would be a more concrete test but would rather forgoe the procedure again). It would be nice if more articles like this would come at you right away when searching the internet looking for ways to cope with this disease. All you typically find is doom and gloom. Now I wouldn’t necessarily say everyone should jump on a specific diet as cases tend to vary but definitely don’t see any harm in some research. Happy healing to anyone who is fighting!

  39. Susan tresch

    I am just learning I have stage 1chirossis and on lactalose and lots vitamins I want a different we t to naturally heal my liver

  40. Angela Martinez

    Just received drastic news a week ago my husband the father of my 3 small girls was diagnosed with cirrhosis and he is diabetic. I want him to be around as long as possible do you have any recommendations on healthy recipes for him. Thank you so much

  41. Ishmael

    Hi guys, my sister is diagonised with portal hypertension and she is a diabetic patient please advise with a diet plan to follow

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Ishmael: While your sister should definitely consult with a doctor, Further Food has many articles that can be helpful for diabetics:
      Here are a few:

      She might also want to try our 7 day sugar detox that starts on September 11.
      Good luck!

  42. Anonymous

    I have chirous of yhe liver 44th stage
    Im wondering will tbis help li5tle long span of life
    I dont know i had any imenys.until 2016.its called fatty liver chrious.i never drank or smoked
    Thank you for your post
    Got it off googl3

  43. Gary Hughes

    What’s the receipt for Ian’s Super-Awesome Daily (seriously, the same every day) Smoothie?

  44. Kanchi

    Hi Brother is diagnose with stage three cirrhosis please advice me the best food and recipe for him to eat.As he loves to eat and makes it a point to feed him well.please help us in detail,

    Thanking you

  45. huma

    Sir My mother is suffering from cld child A and now sudden a.d she have stones in gal baldder but we dont have a good dietry plan her to follow can u plx help out to how to cure her liver soon

  46. Roxie Alexander

    I have just been diagnosed with cirrosis ~ I am looking for a new healthy lifestyle ! This sounds great!


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