This question has been puzzeling me. It seems that people here often say that they value fats like butter, cream or animal fat due to them being nutrient dense or packed full of nutrients. However on the information I can find I do not see evidence for this. While it is true that if grass fed they contain some vitamin A, E, K and CLA fats they seem a poor source of almost everything else.
I have tried to give some examples that can be set to about 100 calories each to compare the nutrition per calorie from nutritiondata.com*
If you comepare to these as an example:
Beef brain 85g http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/beef-products/3463/2
While brain is a possible source of fat for our ancestors butter does not compare well in terms of nutrients. I can find no info on bone marrow but I suspect it is nutritious. I understand that butter and cream are a useful source of calories. Would replacing other foods with them not reduce the overall vitamin and mineral content the diet? Can someone to explain why animal fats are so nutritious?
*I understand that grass fed cream and butter will have better A, E, CLA, 3:6 ratio etc than in the links but I don't think grass feeding increases many other vitamins and minerals greatly.
asked byMatt_1 (19245)
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on May 26, 2010
at 02:03 AM
There just isn't a fat like brain fat and it's probably the most prized part of a kill to hunter-gatherers. Brain has saturated fat, but it's also a prize of DHA, minerals, and vitamins.
Unfortunately I don't find it very appetizing and neither do most Westerners. Plus it's hard to buy at the store. A good replacement for brain would be vegetables sauteed in lots of pastured butter. The fat allows you to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals in vegetables and also provides fat-soluble vitamins absent in vegetables.
Of course I'm going to get responses to this answer about how we don't need vegetables blah blah blah. Yeah you don't need them if you are eating lots of brains, eyeballs, marrow, and other nasty bits. The cream-chuggers and steak noshers will probably get on my case for saying this...but their diet does not do a complete job of emulating the diets of our paleolithic ancestors.
on May 26, 2010
at 03:42 AM
Micronutrients aside, animal fats are nutritious because they are a good source of good fats! For instance, beef fat contains oleic acid, which may help boost memory, palmitic acid, which may be anti-mutagenic, and stearic acid, which, along with palmitic is the preferred food for the heart, and others.
Fat is what we run on, so the quality of the fat we ingest is of paramount importance.
on March 07, 2011
at 07:19 PM
I eat liver (finally) and spinach for vitamins/minerals that I don't get from meat and eggs so the fat I consume is for energy and membrane, hormone construction etc. I don't really see why fat has to be particularly nutritious, it just helps you absorb A, D, E and K.
on March 07, 2011
at 07:04 PM
First off, I feel better when eating grass fed beef lard. Second, how people feel after eating fat is way more valuable information that whatever properties fat supposedly contains. DUH! CAN PEOPLE RESPOND AND SAY IF EATING CERTAIN ANIMAL FAT AND ANIMAL FATS MADE A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE TO THEM?!
on May 27, 2010
at 08:07 PM
It's really sad that around here (US) offal is not that popular. When I was a kid growing up in Poland, we were eating a lot of offal, even during the thinner years of meat shortages. I was eating brains (wasn't big fan, but I remember that it tasted more or less like scrambled eggs), kidneys, lungs, hearts, stomachs... One of the staples of Polish cuisine is spicy soup made of sliced guts. YUM :) here I can find gizzards only and liver, hard to do much with it!