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Not Only Tasty: Offal Nutritional Values

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Not Only Tasty: Offal Nutritional Values
Photo pacificbro / Flickr

The first myths to debunk when it comes to offal, is the belief that they’re fatty and hard to digest – the truth is another entirely.

When it comes, for instance, to the most well-known offal parts, like brain, heart, liver, tongue, spleen, kidney, giblets and tripe, they have a similar calorie content to lean cuts (with a variable range of 100 to 150 calories per 100 grams). They have the same protein content (ranging from 16-22% of the weight, except for brain and marrow) and the same fat content (averaging from 5-7%).

When compared to fresh meat, however, offal is richer in sodium, phosphorous and iron, and contains higher amounts of Vitamins A and C (especially liver and spleen). The only thing to be aware of is the higher concentration of purine, from which uric acid derives.

Some offal meats do contain cholesterol, this is true, but then again, it’s rare to find someone gorging themselves silly on a plate of brains or marrow. As is the case with virtually anything delicious: don’t overdo it and enjoy in moderation!

This information comes from the book, Il libro delle frattaglie. Storia, scienza e cucina, published by Ponte alle Grazie.

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