Eating for a healthy liver

As someone with a strong predisposition to type 2 diabetes, I am careful to eat low glycaemic index foods and exercise regularly.

The liver is where diabetes starts. When there is a lower and slower rise of glucose in our blood, the liver does not have to store as much fat. Fat stored in the liver inflames it.

Foods that are low glycaemic, or low GI, are those which raise the blood sugar (glucose) levels in our body less quickly. Lower GI foods are digested more slowly, glucose is let into the blood stream at a slower rate, and the levels of glucose are lower. This lessens the storage of fat in the liver.

Exercising reduces excess glucose. Our digestive system converts carbohydrates into glucose. The pancreas secretes insulin to help move the glucose into our cells where it is burned to produce energy. This energy is used to supply our brain, muscles and nervous system. When we exercise our muscles use glucose as energy.

Low GI foods such as complex carbohydrates, mixed with fats and protein, will slow down the absorption of glucose. Mixing high and low GI foods can average the impact of the glucose.

To reduce the impact of glucose in my diet I use low GI foods in my cooking. Above are my usual ‘go to’ items. In the picture on the left are four low GI foods which I regularly use in both savoury and sweet dishes. At the top is nutritional yeast and clockwise are chia seeds, sunflower seeds and buckwheat grains.

Nutritional yeast is a great way to lower the GI of scones, savoury muffins, and other savouries. I also use it in an eggless zucchini slice as it is high in protein. It adds a unique flavour to dishes.

Chia seeds and sunflower seeds can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes to add texture and flavour. I use buckwheat grains in savoury dishes to add texture and flavour.

The picture on the right contains hazelnut meal, on the left and crumbed walnuts, on the right. Hazelnut meal and almond meal good lower GI alternatives to flour. Most of my recipes contain at least 50% nut meal as a replacement for flour. Adding crushed nuts such as walnuts adds texture and further slows digestion.

Adding these foods to my cooking means I can enjoy home-made treats such as cakes and savouries as part of my diet. If you would like a chat about ways to change your diet to enhance your health, please message me.

In love, Jenny

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