6

votes

"Eating organs provides lots of healthy fats"...or does it?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 26, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Eating from nose to tail means getting lots more fat than you would if you only ate the muscle, because bones and organs have a lot of fat. Or so I read in many paleo articles/threads. Bone marrow is essentially all fat. But organs?

  • A serving of the heaviest organ, the liver, has 20 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat
  • The heart has the same ratio, 5:1 protein to fat
  • Even the fatty fat fat brain has an equal amount of protein as fat
  • Except for the brain, organ fat is pretty much all omega 6 fat.
  • The total mass of bodily organs is much less than 10% of total body weight, so the animal is providing us with lots of muscle, and much less organ and marrow.

Am I missing something? The fat content of organs looks to be almost exactly the same as meat we usually eat, or less if your meat is grain-fed. As a disclaimer, I know nothing about offal, so there may be a big hole in this reasoning.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 05, 2011
at 01:48 AM

Of course organs are paleo! They just don't contain as much fat as I was led to believe. But then again, I haven't eaten them with visceral fat on the side...

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 05, 2011
at 01:30 AM

The answer is simple. Choline levels and magnesium levels are highest in the organ meats and the SAD is woeful in providing either. The omega six in organ meats are from eicosainoids that are anti inflammatory and not the pro inflammatory side of AA metabolism. So organ are totally paleo. Read Masterjohn blog about choline and magnesium.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20817)

on November 26, 2010
at 04:24 AM

Fatty liver is what you get when you are sick and your liver fills with fat. Other than that, I HAVE heard of the inuit saying some fat can be obtained around organs and so that fat is targeted by the inuit. I don't remember it being TONS of fat, but I think all fat sources on the animal are well known and targeted by those with extensive survival knowledge.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 28, 2010
at 04:00 AM

I'm sorry, but you're both indisputably wrong. Or rather, I'm actually a bit wrong. Organs are usually mentioned for nutrients, but they also are mentioned in this argument against Cordain: "Eating animals didn't entail eating "lean" meat, because of the addition of marrow and organs". I'm the only person who's seen that around?

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on October 28, 2010
at 02:29 AM

see my answer above :)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 27, 2010
at 07:28 PM

Chickens won't have much fat around their organs and I assume they are domestic chickens anyway. I know several people who can kill birds with primitive bows and arrows (I recently got involved with historical archery because there is a club nearby). You can also trap them and net them, but that's not considering sporting in our culture.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 27, 2010
at 06:33 PM

I'll be gutting some chickens this weekend, and will keep a watchful eye for organ fat. On a different note, are birds that paleo? Seems like they'd be hard to kill without guns and crossbows.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 27, 2010
at 05:49 PM

I've seen fatty organs IRL when butchering deer. I suggest everyone gets a hunting license and looks for themselves :)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 27, 2010
at 03:41 PM

I swear I've seen claims of fatty organs in other places, but suspiciously, I can't remember where...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 27, 2010
at 03:40 PM

How much visceral fat do animals have, in comparison to subcutaneous fat?

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on October 27, 2010
at 03:20 PM

Organs are often *covered* in fat, which is usually not part of the nutritional data in databases and has often been cleaned off the organs when you buy them in the store.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 12:22 PM

i guess the question i am wondering about is if game meats don't provide much fats, how much fat is necessary in a diet, what was the paleo paradigm, where did they get their calories, did paleo ancestors constantly have the runs if it was all protein?

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 12:16 PM

i think cavemen must have set up some sort of game CAFO to harvest thymus glands like we do chicken nuggets.

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on October 27, 2010
at 11:30 AM

Strange, I haven't seen anyone claim organs are particularly fatty other than one time in the lean meat thread yesterday

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on October 27, 2010
at 11:29 AM

I haven't seen anyone claim organs are particularly fatty other than one time in the lean meat thread yesterday.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19230)

on October 26, 2010
at 10:25 PM

A whole cow brain only weighs about a pound though. 48 grams of fat isn't a lot to share out. Most prey animals have small brains.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 26, 2010
at 09:37 PM

Ah, forgot about sweetbreads. The thymus and pancreas are pretty small though.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 26, 2010
at 08:56 PM

Grams...an average portion of brain has 10 grams of each.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 26, 2010
at 08:55 PM

"Even the fatty fat fat brain has an equal amount of protein as fat." Grams or calories?

  • 21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

    asked by

    (24543)
  • Views
    1.8K
  • Last Activity
    740D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

3 Answers

2
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 26, 2010
at 09:09 PM

The things that come to mind that were eaten by our paleo friends that are high in fat are brains and sweet breads.

Cow brains are like 48 grams of fat per pound, I am going to guess that this is similar for many other animals.

Sweetbreads are 28 grams of fat for 4 oz. They are something like 70% fat.

Even a 1:1 ratio of fat to protein is still a pretty fatty slice of meat.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 12:16 PM

i think cavemen must have set up some sort of game CAFO to harvest thymus glands like we do chicken nuggets.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 26, 2010
at 09:37 PM

Ah, forgot about sweetbreads. The thymus and pancreas are pretty small though.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19230)

on October 26, 2010
at 10:25 PM

A whole cow brain only weighs about a pound though. 48 grams of fat isn't a lot to share out. Most prey animals have small brains.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 12:22 PM

i guess the question i am wondering about is if game meats don't provide much fats, how much fat is necessary in a diet, what was the paleo paradigm, where did they get their calories, did paleo ancestors constantly have the runs if it was all protein?

1
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on October 28, 2010
at 02:11 AM

I always thought it was not just about fat, but rather the variety in nutrition that they provide, each having a bit different specifics in vitamins and microelements.

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on October 28, 2010
at 02:29 AM

see my answer above :)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 28, 2010
at 04:00 AM

I'm sorry, but you're both indisputably wrong. Or rather, I'm actually a bit wrong. Organs are usually mentioned for nutrients, but they also are mentioned in this argument against Cordain: "Eating animals didn't entail eating "lean" meat, because of the addition of marrow and organs". I'm the only person who's seen that around?

1
88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

on October 27, 2010
at 07:13 AM

From what I've seen, most organs are generally understood to be high protein, not high fat, and are more often touted for providing nutrients that may be lacking in muscle meat. Vitamin A in liver, for example. The degree to which the organs are cooked influences the vitamin content, of course.

Here's a good breakdown of the nutrients in calf's liver: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=129

(The link does happen to say that it's high in saturated fat as well as protein - but that's from a Whole Foods fat-phobic standpoint.)

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!