15

votes

Do we need liver, bones, or greens?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 16, 2011 at 1:08 AM

http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2011/03/anyone-doing-paleo-without-liver-bones.html?showComment=1300237609868#c8415698116748334697

Does the Paleo diet cause some nutrient deficiencies itself? Interesting for sure. What say you?

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on December 23, 2011
at 04:29 PM

Looking at this experience 16 hours after the fact, I think my issue was that I put the raw liver into my food processor to get it minced and it looked like placenta to me. This may have caused my stomach to turn when I tried to eat it. I'm going to try again. How do you cook it, TeaElf? Do you bake it, fry it? Is there a recipe that I could have? Thanks!

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 23, 2011
at 06:47 AM

Liver is easier to take when you cook it up with a sh!t-ton of caramelized onions and then process it all together with salt, pepper, and hard boiled eggs (chopped liver). Like, 2-3 whole huge onions for a lb of liver. Cook the onions slow over medium heat til they're nice and brown and sweet. A Jewish grandma I know said recently "Never too many onions!". Red wine splashed in the mix also helps. :)

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:46 PM

Okay... I tried liver meatballs. It was minced liver, minced spinach, minced onion, salt, pepper, fried in butter. It was wretched :p

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on December 22, 2011
at 12:43 PM

Well, that makes me feel a little bit better. My mother hated liver, so we were never "forced" to eat it. I don't have any bad memories of it, per se, it's just a mental thing, I guess. I just googled some recipes and will hopefully try it tonight. I have a pork liver in the refrigerator right now that I had reserved for the cat, but on second thought, I'm going to try it!

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 22, 2011
at 12:31 PM

The organ is a nutrient store, not a toxin filter.

9d4ca743fec1ba6bec1ba75cb0f05e5b

(10)

on December 10, 2011
at 04:53 AM

I'm not cutting out dairy just to adhere to a gung-ho theory. But rather I do it because it makes my eczema flair up, and I can't stand the itch. I appreciate Dana's comment above that bone broth may be a way to get calcium.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:25 AM

If we are cutting out foods that humans have no adaptation to eat, then we aren't cutting out nutrients that we need. It appears that the problems occur when we cut out entire groups of food that humans do require: offal, bone marrow, brain, seafood. Nutrient sufficiency will be attained if we eat what we are meant to eat (all of it) - no need to add what wasn't necessary and may be harmful, meaning grains and legumes.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on April 08, 2011
at 11:57 AM

an extreme reliance on muscle meat is neolithic, +1. Muscle meat is nutrient dense, its a different nutrient Profile however.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on April 08, 2011
at 11:54 AM

Help me find the Celiac Fairy, I have a few words and a Baseball Bat for her.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2011
at 01:03 PM

I like it with some red wine sauce!

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on March 16, 2011
at 09:38 PM

I can only eat liver when it's ground up and mixed with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and A LOT of raw sour cream. Not totally paleo, I know...

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 16, 2011
at 07:50 PM

I was really disgusted by liver at first, but if you put hot sauce or mustard on it, it doesn't really taste bad at all. I now look forward to eating it for some weird reason.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 16, 2011
at 01:26 AM

M I thought you'd edit this.....Chris did well with this. I think its a very fair point for all of us to consider.

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13 Answers

10
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on April 03, 2011
at 06:05 PM

A diet of muscle meat alone or muscle meat and veggies alone isn't really 'paleo'.

A whole foods, whole animal paleo diet resolves nutrient deficiencies. Not suprisingly, all of the foods mentioned in the article are part of a paleo diet.

If we're only doing partly paleo, we're going to be getting partly nourished. Offal and marrow have very different nutrient densities than muscle meat.

One could even take a more extreme position and argue (likely successfully) that an extreme reliance on muscle meat is rather neolithic...

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on April 08, 2011
at 11:57 AM

an extreme reliance on muscle meat is neolithic, +1. Muscle meat is nutrient dense, its a different nutrient Profile however.

10
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on March 16, 2011
at 02:35 PM

I think this is important to pay attention to. Gung-ho vegans who cut out all animal products believing it's "safe" and "healthy" end up missing important nutrients. Gung-ho paleos who cut out all grains, legumes, fructose, dairy, etc. believing it's "safe" and "healthy" may also be missing important nutrients. Instead of making up the rules, why don't we try observing and adopting traditional food selection and preparation? Those "rules" have been around for centuries and have apparently served our species well. Our grandmothers knew liver was good for us, and they didn't need to have PhDs to know this.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:25 AM

If we are cutting out foods that humans have no adaptation to eat, then we aren't cutting out nutrients that we need. It appears that the problems occur when we cut out entire groups of food that humans do require: offal, bone marrow, brain, seafood. Nutrient sufficiency will be attained if we eat what we are meant to eat (all of it) - no need to add what wasn't necessary and may be harmful, meaning grains and legumes.

9d4ca743fec1ba6bec1ba75cb0f05e5b

(10)

on December 10, 2011
at 04:53 AM

I'm not cutting out dairy just to adhere to a gung-ho theory. But rather I do it because it makes my eczema flair up, and I can't stand the itch. I appreciate Dana's comment above that bone broth may be a way to get calcium.

10
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 16, 2011
at 01:34 AM

The reasoning appears sound to me. This would be why ancestral foodways always include at least a few of the organs from the animals consumed in those foodways. Probably no culture ate every single bit of the animal, but they all seemed to have their favorite gooshy bits. Heart and liver seem to have been widely favored. Kidneys with the adrenals too. (Where you get vitamin C if there isn't a lot of fruit available. And with much less sugar to compete with C receptors on cells.)

If you're not consuming dairy, plants aren't the best source of bone minerals--bone broth is necessary for those.

People coming off the SAD are already oftentimes short on choline, and apparently lab animals that are short on choline are more likely to have fatty liver, which also plagues SAD eaters. It'd be a shame if someone went Paleo to cure their fatty liver only to find they are not making much progress.

And, well, this answers my question as to whether I should rely on eggs for my choline intake--looks like that is not advisable. Aw, do I have to eat liver? I know it's nutritious and I recommend it to anyone who likes it. Guess I had best learn to like it as well.

Bone broth I have no trouble with. Yum.

I'm a bit nonplussed at his dismissive attitude about people finding wheat evil. He himself reported that there are people in the Middle East turning up with celiac disease now--surely he doesn't believe that comes from the Celiac Fairy. Am I going to be considered crazy if I find pokeberry to be evil too, in terms of potential foods? It's just faster, that's all.

Also getting a bit tired of people talking about THE Paleo diet. Which one? I'm sure there are Paleo adherents (as we understand it in the modern context, I guess) drinking bone broth and eating liver. We just need to get the word out.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 16, 2011
at 07:50 PM

I was really disgusted by liver at first, but if you put hot sauce or mustard on it, it doesn't really taste bad at all. I now look forward to eating it for some weird reason.

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on March 16, 2011
at 09:38 PM

I can only eat liver when it's ground up and mixed with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and A LOT of raw sour cream. Not totally paleo, I know...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2011
at 01:03 PM

I like it with some red wine sauce!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on April 08, 2011
at 11:54 AM

Help me find the Celiac Fairy, I have a few words and a Baseball Bat for her.

4
8828d5922b47a0e2b82bde2232037746

(616)

on April 30, 2011
at 06:28 PM

According to Dr Barry Groves at link text , Vitamin C is required in very low doses if you eat no grains. Our main need for Vitamin C involves digesting grains. Metabolism can occur just fine with the small amounts of vitamin C found in beef muscle. He says:

"On the other hand, fruit and vegetables are essential as a source of vitamin C if cereals are eaten. Vitamin C is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates ??? and cereals contain no vitamin C."

The USDA bases it's recommendations on the supposition that you're eating as they propose. If you're not eating grains or sugars, your energy metabolism changes and your requirements for certain vitamins and minerals changes as well. I really do wonder if anyone has figured out how much vitamins/minerals a human really needs if we're not eating grains, sugars, etc?

4
Medium avatar

on March 16, 2011
at 04:00 AM

I do a half pound of liver a week and a half pound of spinach a day. I tried bone broth for the first time recently and think I may work it into my routine.

Edit: In the interests of keeping this old post current, I don't eat any spinach at all these days (due to the oxalates binding with a lot of the minerals and making them significantly less bioavailable) and rely more heavily on liver than I did then. I consider liver consumption to be absolutely crucial for optimal health.

3
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on August 08, 2011
at 07:28 PM

I faithfully plugged everything that I ate into FitDay for 2 weeks and was a little surprised to find that I was at the 30-45% of RDA on magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, and vitamin E. I was also low (not quite as low) on potassium. I was a little surprised, since I believe that I eat a "nutrient dense" diet (basic low-carb Paleo with some dairy).

I don't think that the RDA is necessarily gospel, but I don't really like getting less than half of RDA of about 7-8 different nutrients. I think that this would catch up to me after a while.

I completely avoid grains, but there are in fact a fair amount of minerals in wheat and oat bran and other legumes and grains. I don't think it is worth it for me to suffer eating these grains, or go through all the trouble of processing them so they aren't that bad for me (soaking, fermenting, sprouting, etc). However, I do want to get these nutrients.

The solution is to eagerly eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and also some nuts, which I have been trying to increase. You can eat a lot of this stuff with 50-100g of carbs per day. I try to keep it on the low end of that range, but am careful not to go too low.

I think it is a mistake to completely avoid vegetables, fruits and nuts. This may work for you for a while (i.e. to lose weight quickly) but isn't a wholesome diet.

2
0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:19 AM

So we are better off consuming ox tail than muscle meat, or if we consume lots of muscle meat we should consume it along side broth. Makes sense, I love broth either way.

2
8f4ff12a53a98f3b5814cfe242de0daa

(1075)

on March 16, 2011
at 01:32 AM

If you cut what you eat down to a small enough number of foods then missing out on something is more likely to occur. Having a blood analysis done that looks at cell activity vs. raised and lowered availability from the known important nutrients (and not RDA) would probably tell you where a particular person stands.

1
778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

on December 22, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Do any of you get kind of freaked out by the liver? I think of it like the oil filter in your car. All the icky stuff gets filtered through there and I have a hard time eating it. Also, the brain freaks me out because of Mad Cow disease. I know that if you are eating free range/grass fed, you should be okay. So what if you don't have a good source for that and you have to take what you can get. Would you suggest avoiding those organs? I would be really disappointed if I contracted Mad Cow :-\

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 22, 2011
at 12:31 PM

The organ is a nutrient store, not a toxin filter.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on December 22, 2011
at 12:43 PM

Well, that makes me feel a little bit better. My mother hated liver, so we were never "forced" to eat it. I don't have any bad memories of it, per se, it's just a mental thing, I guess. I just googled some recipes and will hopefully try it tonight. I have a pork liver in the refrigerator right now that I had reserved for the cat, but on second thought, I'm going to try it!

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:46 PM

Okay... I tried liver meatballs. It was minced liver, minced spinach, minced onion, salt, pepper, fried in butter. It was wretched :p

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 23, 2011
at 06:47 AM

Liver is easier to take when you cook it up with a sh!t-ton of caramelized onions and then process it all together with salt, pepper, and hard boiled eggs (chopped liver). Like, 2-3 whole huge onions for a lb of liver. Cook the onions slow over medium heat til they're nice and brown and sweet. A Jewish grandma I know said recently "Never too many onions!". Red wine splashed in the mix also helps. :)

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on December 23, 2011
at 04:29 PM

Looking at this experience 16 hours after the fact, I think my issue was that I put the raw liver into my food processor to get it minced and it looked like placenta to me. This may have caused my stomach to turn when I tried to eat it. I'm going to try again. How do you cook it, TeaElf? Do you bake it, fry it? Is there a recipe that I could have? Thanks!

1
0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on August 08, 2011
at 07:09 PM

I guess it is most important to include collagen, cartilage and gelatin for good health. Muscle meat alone contains not the complete spectrum of amino acids that we need.

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/232028-Traditional-Bone-Broth-in-Modern-Health-and-Disease

1
0b61bed110826f3b0f0c502dfa323c08

on March 16, 2011
at 09:11 PM

I eat sardines and liver.

And TONS of dark green, leafy veggies. Probably too much!

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on March 16, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Focusing on a variety of nutrient-dense foods is the best way to get adequate amounts of all the vitamins, minerals, essential amino and fatty acids. Bone broth, organs and greens sure are wonderfully nutritious.

I do think it's a mistake to 'go paleo' and try to live on beef, eggs and spinach alone.

0
C80bb4f697a72b771ae44cc3637df8f7

(179)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:40 PM

I am going to try incorporating bone broth and oxtail plus the marrow into my diet. I just can't handle the organ meats....believe me I have tried! I just can't stand them.

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