Chicken liver is a nutrient-rich food that many people with diabetes tend to overlook. But is chicken liver good for diabetics?

You’d be delighted to know that chicken liver is a superfood for diabetics! That's right; chicken liver is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Due to its health benefits, it can help improve blood sugar control, boost energy levels, and protect against complications of diabetes.

It also helps reduce cardiovascular diseases!

In this article, we will explore the nutritional benefits of chicken liver for diabetics, the potential risks, and how much is safe to eat. We will also provide some tips for preparing chicken liver in a healthy yet mouth-watering way!

So, why don’t you join us while we get to know chicken liver better?

5 Chicken Liver Benefits for People with Diabetes

Here are five of the biggest benefits of chicken liver for people with diabetes:

5 Chicken Liver Benefits For People With Diabetes

Improves Blood Sugar Level Control

Chicken liver is an excellent source of protein , which can help slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. As a result, it can prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. 

In addition, chicken liver is rich in vitamin B12—an essential vitamin for the production of red blood cells. Since red blood cells carry oxygen to other cells in your body, enhanced blood cell production encourages the body to use more glucose for energy.

Very Rich in Iron

Did you know that chicken liver is one of the best sources of iron in organ meats? 

A 3-ounce serving of chicken liver contains about 8 milligrams of iron, which is more than half of the recommended daily intake for adults. 

That means you can eat a little bit of chicken liver and still have plenty of get-up-and-go!

As you probably know, people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing anemia. As you’re probably aware, it’s a health condition where the body is unable to produce enough healthy red blood cells. 

This scenario can happen because diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels in the bone marrow. If you don’t already know, this is where red blood cell production takes place.

Iron-rich foods can help prevent anemia in diabetics by providing the body with the iron it needs to make healthy red blood cells.

Boosts Energy Levels Due to High Zinc Content

Chicken liver is also packed with zinc, which has a crucial role in the immune system's function, wound healing, and taste perception. 

Better yet, zinc can help protect against infections—a common complication of diabetes. But did you know that zinc can also help to boost your energy levels? 

That's right; zinc improves your body’s ability to convert food into energy. As a result, you can feel your best all day long!

Protects Against Complications of Diabetes

Chicken liver contains all sorts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help protect against the nasty complications of diabetes, like diabetic retinopathy

Vitamin A in chicken liver promotes eye health, while selenium lowers the damage caused by free radicals

This delicious food is rich in other vitamins as well, such as vitamin E, K, and folic acid. These vitamins do a great job of ridding your body of toxins!

Helps With Weight Loss

A Woman Measuring Her Waist And Thumbs Up

Finally, you’ll be thrilled to know that chicken liver is a dietitian's dream!

It's low in calories and high in protein. In other words, it can help you feel full without consuming a lot of calories. Talk about a healthy yet satisfying way to lose some stubborn pounds.

Best of all, protein also helps boost your metabolism, enabling you to burn more calories throughout the day. If you're trying to lose weight, chicken liver can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet!

Need specific numbers? Well, it’s interesting to know that a higher protein intake can result in 80–100 more calories burned per day. Once you combine that with a suitable workout routine, you can expect a slightly smoother weight loss journey.

Concerns About Chicken Liver to Keep in Mind

Although chicken liver is a nutrient-rich food, it also contains some elements that can be harmful to people with diabetes. 

High Cholesterol Content

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can build up in the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. That is, of course, if you consume high amounts of cholesterol over a long period.

People with diabetes are already at an increased risk of heart disease, so it’s important to limit their intake of cholesterol-rich foods.

Too Much Vitamin A

Chicken liver is also high in vitamin A, which can be a drawback if you don’t watch your intake. Too much vitamin A can be toxic, especially for diabetics.

This is because vitamin A is stored in the liver, and high levels of vitamin A may easily build up there and cause damage. In people with diabetes, this damage can lead to liver disease, further complicating diabetes management. 

Plus, too much vitamin A can also increase the risk of bone fractures, birth defects, and other health problems.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin A for adults is 900 mcg RAE for men and 700 mcg RAE for women.

Food Poisoning

Chicken liver can be contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria. That is, of course, if you don’t take proper measures to cook it perfectly, which some people might ignore.

These bacteria can cause food poisoning, which might be an issue for people with diabetes. 

Diabetics are more likely to develop complications from food poisoning because they already have weakened immune systems. Diabetes can also damage the nerves that control the stomach and intestines, making it more difficult to fight off infection.

How Much Chicken Liver Should a Diabetic Patient Eat?

Stewed Chicken Liver With Fresh Vegetables On A Wooden Table

The amount of chicken liver you should eat depends on several factors, including age, weight, activity level, and overall health. However, as a general rule, people with diabetes should limit their intake of chicken liver to no more than 3 ounces per week.

That translates to one serving of chicken liver a week so that you don’t go over your recommended vitamin A intake.

If you are a diabetic and you’re considering adding chicken liver to your diet, it’s best to talk to your doctor first. They can help you determine how much chicken liver is safe for you to eat and can provide you with tips for cooking and preparing chicken liver in a healthy way.

Tips for Preparing Chicken Liver for Diabetics

While chicken liver is a nutrient-rich food that can be a healthy addition to your diet, you should learn how to properly prepare it to gain its benefits and limit its risks. 

Here are some tips for cooking chicken liver:

Tip 1: Choose Fresh, High-Quality Chicken Liver

Start by looking for chicken liver that is bright red with a firm texture. Avoid brown chicken liver with a mushy texture.

Doing so guarantees the liver you’ll be making is fresh and loaded with all of its health benefits!

Tip 2: Trim off Any Visible Fat

Chicken liver is high in fat, so it’s important to trim off any visible fat before cooking. 

This will help to reduce the calorie and fat content of the liver, letting you focus on protein and other nutritious elements.

Tip 3: Make Sure to Cook Chicken Liver Thoroughly

As we already discussed, chicken liver can contain harmful bacteria. 

That’s why it’s crucial that you cook it thoroughly to kill any microorganisms that consider it a breeding ground. Cook chicken liver until it’s firm and completely free of red or brownish-red areas.

Tip 4: Bake, Grill, or Poach It

Frying or deep-frying chicken liver can add unhealthy fats to what originally is a low-calorie type of food. Instead, bake, grill, or poach chicken liver. 

These cooking methods will help keep the liver healthy and flavorful at the same time.

Tip 5: Serve Chicken Liver with Healthy Side Dishes

Chicken liver can be a bit strong in flavor, so we advise you to pair it with a variety of side dishes that may enhance the taste and give you more complexity. 

Some healthy side dishes that go well with chicken liver include brown rice, quinoa, roasted vegetables, or a salad.

Conclusion

Chicken liver is great for people with diabetes because it introduces a host of health benefits that you can’t ignore. It’s rich in iron, zinc, vitamin A, and other nutrients you’ll appreciate having in your diabetes diet. 

Not to mention, it's a wealthy source of protein that helps you avoid many cardiovascular diseases.

Don’t forget to prepare chicken liver in a healthy way to avoid consuming too much vitamin A or unhealthy fats. 

Limit your intake to no more than 3 ounces per week, pair the liver with leafy vegetables, and steer clear of deep-frying it. This way, you’ll keep your calorie consumption to a minimum and end up with a delicious meal.

And remember, if you have any concerns about eating chicken liver, always talk to your healthcare provider first. They should be able to put you on the right track regarding your dietary needs!

Sources

To ensure that we give you correct, accurate, and relevant information, all articles on Diabetic & Me are backed by verified information from academic research papers, well-known organizations, research institutions, and medical associations.

  1. Prospre Chicken Liver Nutrition Facts
  2. Medical News Today Ten foods that contain iron
  3. WebMD Diabetes and Anemia
  4. Health Direct Zinc and your health
  5. National Eye Insitute Diabetic Retinopathy
  6. National Library of Medicine Diabetes mellitus and oxidative stress—A concise review
  7. National Library of Medicine Postprandial thermogenesis is increased 100% on a high-protein, low-fat diet versus a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet in healthy, young women
  8. National Library of Medicine Type 2 Diabetes and its Impact on the Immune System
  9. Mayo Clinic High cholesterol
  10. Harvard School of Public Healthb Vitamin A The Nutrition Source

About the Author

Inez Briand

Inez Briand is the partner of a type 1 diabetic (Ely). She has always been interested in traveling and cooking, and now that she has a partner with diabetes, her interest in cooking even more healthily has skyrocketed. She loves finding new recipes for her partner and family and sharing any food and nutrition-related articles on Diabetic & Me.

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