Can eating lean meat and avoiding organ meats cause a nutritional imbalance?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by: Dr. David Jockers
Tags: organ meats, nutrient dense foods, food as medicine

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(NaturalNews) Westernized society has traditionally focused on the lean, muscular portions of meat and low-fat dairy and poultry. Traditional cultures always favored the fatty regions, the organ meats and the bones as sources of valuable nutrition. Could one develop health problems from an imbalance of lean meat over fatty, gelatinous regions?

In Western culture, lean meats are used exclusively and most of the organ meats and stock bones are discarded or used as pet food. Lean meats are thought of as cleaner, healthier and safer for consumption. Nutrition research is showing that eating the whole animal including both muscle meats, organ meats and making bone broth provides the nutritional synergy for optimal health.

What did our ancestors do?

The best way to understand what our hunter/gatherer ancestors ate is to study modern day aboriginal cultures. These people are active hunters and when they slaughter a wild animal they use every bit of the meat, organs, stock, skin, etc. The most prized regions of the animal are the major organs such as the liver, heart and brain.

Our ancestors were only consuming wild animals and animals that were raised on a genetically congruent diet and lifestyle. For cattle, this would mean 100 percent grass-fed and poultry that was pasture-raised. Processed meat from industrialized farms should never be purchased or consumed and does not have a place in this conversation.

The nutrient value of lean meat

The major nutrient within lean meat is protein, vitamin B12, zinc, choline and iron. Protein plays an important role in physiology and is vital to life. Animal meat is one of the best sources of complete protein on the planet. The amino acid composition of muscle meat is very high in methionine and tryptophan and low in glycine. Organ meats are the opposite in that they are high in glycine but relatively low in methionine.

An improper methionine to glycine ratio, caused by a diet rich in muscle meat and devoid of organ meats, causes an deplete the body of B vitamins and trace minerals. In particular, high methionine and tryptophan can interfere with B6 absorption and drain reserves of riboflavin, pyridoxine, folate, zinc and B12 in the body. This can lead to increased inflammation and poor methylation cycles.

Why you should eat more organ meats

Organ meats provide the necessary glycine to balance out the methionine and tryptophan from the muscle meats. This creates a nutritional synergy with all the appropriate amino acids. Organ meats are much richer in saturated fat, cholesterol and essential fats which are vital to healthy hormones, nervous system function and immunity.

Organ meats are concentrated multi-vitamins with tremendous amounts of critical B vitamins such as B12, selenium, choline, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10 and carotenoid anti-oxidants. These are extremely valuable nutrients that modulate immunity, produce cellular energy and neutralize harmful compounds in the body. These regions also contain lot of valuable collagen, elastin and gelatin, which are extremely valuable for healthy joints, gut lining, connective tissue, skin and hair.

Using organ meats as medicine

The native Americans and other tribal groups and the original healers believed that eating the organs from a healthy animal would improve the health of the organs of the individual. One way to treat an individual with a weak heart was to eat the heart of a healthy animal. Eating the brains of an animal was said to promote clear thinking and improved memory. People with digestive problems ate the stomach and intestines and those with kidney problems ate animal kidney.

If you had vision problems you ate the eyes of the wild animal and thyroid problems were addressed with fresh thyroid meat. There are a tremendous amount of recipes in many cultures to dress up the lungs, intestines, liver, heart, brains, eyes, testicles and other potent organs to make them more palatable.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to

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