Adding Lamb Heart and Duck Liver to Diet?

Answered on April 07, 2014
Created April 07, 2014 at 8:57 PM

I posted a few weeks ago about Duck Liver Pate and if I should be concerned about eating too much (basically the answer was: not at the amount I was eating).

Well, I found some lamb heart at my local farmer's marker and made some lamb heart tacos. Although I converted my vegan gf to eat eggs and bacon, lamb heart is out of the question for her...alas, I ate the whole heart.

My Question: Can eating a whole lamb heart once/week cause any problems? I will also be eating my duck liver pate throughout the week (only about 1/4 cup total). Not sure if the heart is meant to share but I like to check on here before going gung-ho about adding something new to my diet.

I am about 5'11'', 190lbs, very active. Trying to add more offal in my diet one piece at a time (aka when I can find it at a good price and convenient to purchase). Thanks!

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3 Answers



on April 07, 2014
at 10:03 PM

Heart is really red, lean meat. You may argue that it has a little extra Se and B12, but otherwise, it is a muscle and you overdose on it same as you would overdose on flank steaks. What heart has that is unique is that it is perfect for tartare, and raw (or more accurately, some raw) in your diet is always better. On the liver, I moved over to the wild side and now I eat about a tbsp about four times a week, fresh frozen diced raw liver. I note that liver makes my eyesight keener, in a way that Carlson cod liver oil does not.


on April 07, 2014
at 09:45 PM

I think you'll get tired of both of them long before it causes you any problems. Duck liver is very rich and it is hard to eat a lot of it or to eat it on the regular. I like heart because it is pretty lean. I don't really count heart as offal as much as just lean muscle.

Most Paleos eat something like 10+ pounds of meat per week, so one heart a week doesn't sound like too much. I try to eat offal about once a week, usually it ends up being 2-3 times per week for a few weeks and then not again for a few weeks, but that's just me.


on April 07, 2014
at 09:13 PM

No, you should be fine. There should be no risk of vitamin overdose since heart is only high in water-soluble vitamins, mainly B-vitamins. It is a good source of minerals also, but within perfectly normal levels. The risk of vitamin overdose occurs mainly with liver, as it tends to be very high in retinol, not so much in heart. When you do eat duck liver, do try to limit your servings as it can be very high in retinol. Luckily, pate is a mix of liver and fat, so it's not like eating pure concentrated liver. Chicken liver is a bit safer to eat if you would like an alternative.

Lamb heart nutrition: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/lamb-veal-and-game-products/4661/2

Duck liver: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/782/2

Chicken liver: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/666/2

As you could see, there is a lot less Vitamin A (retinol) in chicken liver so it's actually safer to eat on a regular basis than duck liver since it contains less retinol.

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