Poor people eat organ meat
7 reasons why organ meats are healthy - not unhealthy
Offal | healthy or unhealthy | Which organ meat | Health benefits | How much offal | Conclusion | FAQ | Studies
We all grew up on bread and milk rather than tripe and stomach.
But while healthy innards don't exactly make most people hungry, organs are the most nutritious part of an animal.
Not only our ancestors, but also indigenous peoples fell for offal instead of nutrient-poor fillet.
Also, by eating the whole animal, they honor and respect the creature who sacrificed himself for the sacrament today.
By making sure that no meat is wasted, we also reduce our carbon footprint. That is sustainability in two senses.
When an animal is cut up, less than half of it is usually sold as a boneless piece. Most of the rest is made up of bones, skin, and organs.
From a nutritional point of view, these healthy offal are far superior to popular lean muscle, as this scientific guide to offal will show.
What are offal?
Organ meat, usually referred to as innards, are the organs of animals that humans prepare and consume as food.
The organs most frequently consumed come from cows, pigs, lambs, goats, chickens and ducks.
However, today's agriculture focuses on rapid muscle tissue growth in an animal. As a result, offal is often overlooked, with most meat typically being served in the form of steaks, fillets or minced meat.
On the other hand, as hunters and gatherers, humans did not only eat muscle meat. There is evidence that our ancestors also ate organs such as the heart, brain and testicles. And these parts of the animal were even preferred (O’Dea 19911).
And rightly so, since interiors are first-class suppliers of nutrients and a natural addition to any diet.
Accordingly, they are packed full of nutrients such as in particular B and A, D, E vitamins, copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, folic acid, selenium.
In addition, animal protein provides all nine essential amino acids your body needs to function effectively.
Offal: healthy or unhealthy?
There are few reasons why offal should be unhealthy.
Although many people today still believe that cholesterol in innards clogs arteries and causes heart disease, research has proven otherwise.
While cholesterol is found in clogged arteries, it did not cause them.
Because the cholesterol in the blood is produced by your liver, which regulates the cholesterol production according to the cholesterol intake from food (Jones et al. 20152).
This is why the liver produces less cholesterol when you eat foods that are high in cholesterol. As a result, food has little influence on the total cholesterol level in the blood (P2Namara 19973).
LDL cholesterol (usually an estimated value) is also not meaningful, as it can only become harmful through high blood sugar. Rather, high HDL and low triglyceride levels are crucial for good heart health.
Accordingly, it has been proven several times that cholesterol from food has little to no influence on the risk of heart disease (Fernandez 20124).
However, you should be careful with giblets in two cases:
- If you suffer from gout or
- Already eats a lot of copper
People with gout, a common form of arthritis, should use moderation.
It is caused by a particularly high level of uric acid in the blood, which makes the joints swollen and tender (Choi et al. 20045).
Purines, compounds found in offal, can turn into uric acid in the body.
Beef liver also has a high copper content. And in some people, excess copper can cause liver problems (Gaetke et al. 20146).
However, the other minerals in beef liver help neutralize the copper content.
If copper is still a problem for you, you should go for chicken or pork liver instead. Both are low in copper, but still rich in nutrients.
Nonetheless, 100g of beef liver is incredibly healthy (in% of the recommended daily dose *):
- Vitamin A: 522%
- Vitamin B12: 1386%
- Vitamin B6: 51%
- Niacin: 87%
- Riboflavin: 201%
- Selenium: 47%
- Iron: 34%
- Copper: 730%
- Zinc: 35%
Which innards are healthy?
As the previous example of the liver in beef has shown, innards are generally healthier than lean meat.
In addition, the following healthy innards can mostly overshadow vegetables due to their nutrient density.
When it comes to offal, beef liver is the number one choice. Although beef liver doesn't taste good if not cooked properly, there is hardly a food that is more nutritious.
While pork and chicken liver are also excellent options, beef offal are the best sources of vitamins and minerals.
Above all, the liver can supply those nutrients that are difficult to find elsewhere:
- Choline is healthy for the brain and cell membranes in general
- Folate is essential for energy generation, methylation and DNA repair
- Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells
- Zinc is healthy for hormone production and the immune system
- Copper is essential for iron absorption in the intestine
- Vitamin A1 (retinol) is healthy for the eyes and the immune system
- Vitamin B12 is essential for cellular energy production and methylation (O’Leary et al. 20107)
Since copper deficiency can cause blood deficiency (anemia), beef liver is one of the rare natural sources of copper that can provide relief (Myint et al. 20188).
If you don't like conventional beef liver, my tip is to try veal liver as it is much easier to make.
The heart is rich in a powerful antioxidant called coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone-10.
And this CoQ10 can prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol - the process that makes it dangerous in the blood - and thus demonstrably prevents cardiovascular diseases (Langsjoen et al. 19999).
In terms of the antioxidant effect, CoQ10 is ten times more potent than vitamin E, for example, which makes CoQ10 one of the most powerful antioxidants of all, which inhibits inflammation (Hernandez-Camacho et al. 201810).
In addition, CoQ10 helps in the production of ATP, the cellular energy carrier, and can contribute to cancer prevention (Abdulhasan et al. 201711).
Although it is packed with minerals similar to other healthy innards, the heart muscle tastes more like muscle meat.
My tip are chicken hearts, as they can be easily grilled and are a delicious appetizer on a skewer, as it is for example. B. is tradition in South America.
Since I grew up in the south-east of Austria, the tongue is a healthy innards that shaped my childhood. Because smoked tongue is one of the traditional Easter dishes there.
The tongue's micronutrient profile is very similar to other meats. While it is also high in minerals, it is also quite high in fat.
Because it is particularly tender because of its high fat content, I love the traditional tongue. It is also ideal for a diet with healthy fats, such as the keto diet.
Although brain is not as nutritious as some liver, it is tender, does not taste intense, and is high in fat.
And when it comes from a grass-fed animal, it's an exceptional source of easily absorbable omega-3 fatty acids.
Brains are also a good source of choline and contain small amounts of some antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium.
However, caution should be exercised with bovine brain as mad cow disease can affect the brain and spinal cord of cattle.
Eating tissue from the brain or nervous system of an infected cattle can trigger a human variant of the disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).
Due to the worldwide measures in connection with mad cow disease, the risk of developing vCJD from edible beef offal is now very low (Brown et al. 200112).
If in doubt, you should avoid the spinal cord and brain of cattle.
The kidneys have a nutrient profile similar to that of the liver. Accordingly, they also contain a very high selenium content.
This antioxidant mineral has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces cell stress (Rayman 201213).
It is probably no coincidence that the selenium in kidneys can also be important for the health of your kidneys (Iglesias et al. 201214).
Although the stomach is not as nutritious as the liver, it still contains a lot of selenium. Also, like most intestines, this digestive organ is rich in collagen, which is healthy for the skin, hair, joints, and bones.
In addition, collagen improves glucose metabolism and can counteract insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (Zhu et al. 201715).
Therefore, collagen is a major reason our ancestors ate offal and avoided the steaks.
Chances are you've heard of tripe but have no idea what it is. I also know tripe better than dog food.
But not so fast - tripe is extremely nutritious.
Accordingly, tripe contains protein, selenium, iron, B vitamins and choline, but unlike the liver, no vitamin A (*).
Tripe are the inner lining of an animal's stomach.
Therefore, you can find them in the stomachs of ruminants such as cows, sheep, and deer. However, in 90% of the cases you will be offered cow tripe for sale.
Since they are rather tough as the stomach lining, they have to be cooked for a long time to become tender. Accordingly, tripe is eaten in a variety of stew dishes around the world.
8. Gizzards (gizzards)
For the gizzard or muscle stomach, we need a short anatomy or perhaps a biology lesson.
These stomachs come from the digestive tract of poultry and birds (or reptiles and fish). They are a cheap source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins
100g gums contain 30g protein, 60% of the daily selenium requirement and around 15% of the daily requirement for vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus, niacin and riboflavin (*).
Although the gizzard is a digestive organ, it is also a muscle. That is why the chewy stomachs that are rather tough, like tripe, have to be cooked slowly in order to become tender.
Although oxtails or pig tails are not organs, they are still considered to be offal.
Because these gelatinous cuts are rich in revitalizing collagen, they're perfect for stews and soups.
Sweetbreads is a 16th century term that refers to the thymus (esophagus) of an animal.
This is why sweetbreads are the gullet of a calf, cow, lamb, or pig.
Bries differs from other types of organ meat because of its high vitamin C content, which is why it has antioxidant and immune function-promoting properties.
100g sweetbreads cover over 50% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, as well as 35%, 26% and 20% of the daily requirement of vitamin B12, selenium and riboflavin.
Since sweetbreads is a rich delicacy, it is usually served with spices or acidic foods to neutralize the taste.
7 Health Benefits Of Offal
Well, our ancestors were probably right when they pounced on the organ meat.
Because of their health benefits, offal serve as more absorbable natural multivitamin supplements, ranging from disease prevention to weight loss to detox.
1. Offal promote healthy weight loss
Many studies have shown that high-protein diets can reduce appetite and increase the feeling of satiety.
For example, they do this by significantly slowing down gastric emptying.
Few people know, however, that they can also increase the metabolic rate (Johnston et al. 200216).
In addition, the many B vitamins in innards help build healthy muscle mass and burn body fat for energy.
2. They promote muscle building
First, offal is a source of high quality protein, which is important for building and maintaining muscle mass.
For example, healthy innards can counteract age-related muscle wasting (Lord et al. 200717).
Second, they provide leucine. Since this is the most anabolic essential amino acid, it stimulates muscle growth on a cellular basis.
However, we now know that excessive growth and leucine can also have negative effects on health (Bremer et al. 201218).
This is why organ meats are a better choice than fillet, as they have a far better balance between healthy fats and leucine.
3. Offal are healthy for the brain
Organ meat is one of the world's best sources of choline, an essential nutrient for brain, muscle and liver health that you can hardly get enough of.
According to the study, choline improves cognitive performance as well as anxiety and mood disorders (Poly et al. 201119).
In addition, innards contain heme iron that is particularly easy to absorb, which can support brain function (Beck et al. 201420).
And the brain itself supplies omega-3 fatty acids, which in turn are healthy for the brain.
4. Organ meat detoxifies the body
Those who eat liver and heart can confidently throw in the bin loaded with fructose detox juices that promote insulin resistance.
As already explained in advance, the heart is full of coenzyme Q10 - one of the most powerful natural antioxidants ever (Hernandez-Camacho et al. 201821).
In addition, a small piece of beef liver can cover the entire daily requirement of another important coenzyme: molybdenum.
Because molybdenum turns sulfites into sulfates, it helps the body break down alcohol and other toxins, such as drugs.
For this reason, excessive amounts of sulfites can have harmful effects on health (Mendel et al. 200622).
5. They give you more energy
CoQ10 is an exceptional active ingredient not only for detoxification, but also for energy generation.
After CoQ10, ATP helps to produce the cellular energy carrier more efficiently. Studies show that an increased intake of CoQ10, e.g. B. by beef heart, the energy level can improve (Abdulhasan et al. 201723).
In addition, the numerous B vitamins in healthy offal support the burning of fat for energy, which is why they are also great for a ketogenic diet.
6. Offal are healthy for the skin
Edible beef offal is one of the rare natural sources of vitamin A1 (retinol).
This antioxidant protects skin cells from oxidative stress such as UV rays. Accordingly, it can slow down the aging process, promote skin renewal, smooth it and counteract acne (Park 201524).
In addition, most innards are excellent sources of collagen, which is not only healthy for the skin but also for the hair.
7. You reduce homocysteine
Offal contain high amounts of B vitamins such as folate, vitamins B6 and B12.
According to the study, it is precisely these B vitamins in organ meat that can lower the homocysteine level in the blood (Esse et al. 201925).
Homocysteine is an amino acid that damages the lining of the arteries (endothelium) and can promote cardiovascular diseases, migraines and Alzheimer's.
How Much Offal Can I Eat?
Now that we know which healthy micronutrients bring innards into our diet, it is obvious that innards contribute to the flawless functioning of the body.
Just one serving of beef liver can cover the weekly requirement of a large number of vitamins and minerals.
However, liver is the edible beef offal that many people do not like to eat.
Nevertheless, you basically have several options:
- You eat around 100g of beef liver once a week
- You eat 25g servings over the week
- Instead, you prepare young, tastier veal liver
- Or you just eat other offal - in larger quantities
Either way, you don't have to eat beef liver all the time, even if it is the most nutrient-free food. The body stores nutrients.
In addition, in my experience, veal liver tastes sensationally good. Although it's not necessary as it's almost as nutritious as beef liver, I could eat 500g on one seat (*).
With other healthy offal such as chicken liver, kidneys, heart, stomach, etc. you can let off steam as you like, since they do not have such an extreme nutrient density as beef liver.
Offal are the healthy food supplement
Offal such as the liver, heart and kidneys are natural superfoods that not only shine for their health benefits, but also for their help with nutrient absorption.
If you take nutrients like vitamins or magnesium in isolation as a pill, the body cannot absorb them properly.
Natural foods, especially healthy offal, help to better absorb nutrients.For example, vitamins A, D and K are called fat-soluble vitamins because they have to be consumed with fat for optimal absorption (Albahrani et al. 201626).
Offal already provide this complete package of healthy fats, minerals and vitamins. They also offer a much wider range than individual pills.
In addition, by consuming the entire animal, we make our contribution to sustainability and avoidance of food waste.
Offal healthy or unhealthy FAQ
How healthy is liver?
Beef liver is probably the most nutritious food. If you don't like the healthy but intense beef liver, reach for the more pleasant veal liver.
Is Eating Too Much Liver Unhealthy?
Extreme consumption of beef liver can under certain circumstances be unhealthy, as the high copper content can have toxic effects in abundance. In the case of beef liver, however, small amounts are sufficient for large nutrient effects. Chicken or pork liver is harmless even in large quantities
How healthy is pig heart?
Although pork heart is not as healthy as beef liver or beef heart, it provides important B vitamins, minerals and proteins.
How healthy is beef heart?
Beef heart is a sensational source of the coenzyme Q10, which improves energy production in the body and has a strong anti-inflammatory effect.
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