Offal – potential disadvantages and advantages


For many people the mere sight or slogan "offal" is not associated very well. As a rule, it is not the taste of these products, but rather the mental block before eating the internal organs such as liver, heart, stomach or tongue. Why should they be included in our diet and what are the positives? I will try to explain more precisely their composition and general properties derived from it.

Characteristics of offals

Offal is called edible internal organs and some parts of the animal body. Among the most popular we can distinguish elements such as:

  • Liver,
  • Heart,
  • Stomach,
  • Tongue,
  • Kidneys,
  • Brain
  • Lungs

It is common knowledge that offal should not be consumed more than once a week because the liver or kidneys are some sort of water and food filter, metabolizing nutrients, and cumulating these undesirable substances. By this, eating them quite often will cause us to, for example, supply an excess of various types of toxins. Yes, the liver is a kind of barrier to undesirable substances we get from food. But our organism is so "smart" that kidneys and liver do not accumulate them, and expel them in the right way.

Offals and high cholesterol

Another argument that is to reduce or even eliminate offals from our diet is the high cholesterol level. Just a few years ago there was a conviction that cholesterol consumed with food was able to significantly influence this endogenous, secreted by the body. This leads to numerous diseases, such as atherosclerosis. In the current study, we know that for healthy people who do not suffer from hypercholesterolemia, for example, eating it with food does not change our test results and the level of our health. Physical activity and the degree to which products are processed in the diet play an important role here. Offal is undoubtedly not included in highly processed products.

Offals side-effects

However, each product has its drawbacks. Offal also has them. These are high numbers of purines. Our body is quite good at their excretion along with uric acid. However, their presence in the diet should be noted by people suffering from certain disorders of the excretion of purines. For example urolithiasis, where they are deposited in places undesirable for us.

Offals are not that bad, and can be successfully used in your diet in tasty way! On the photo, you can see beef's livers.
Offals are not that bad, and can be successfully used in your diet in tasty way! On the photo, you can see beef's livers.

Offals and Vitamin A

Another factor to consider is the very high level of vitamin A. Its level in the pig’s liver is 17500 IU, which is 350% of daily demand. This vitamin is soluble in fats and the body is able to accumulate it, which, when consumed by its sources, is able to lead to hypervitaminosis. Its high level is an advantage, but the consumption of offal in very high amounts may become a disadvantage. That’s why it’s so important to diversify your diet, not to rely on monotony.

Offals and proteins

Poultry liver contains 17-19%, which is comparable to fish or chicken breast. Offal, as good source of protein, provides not only the percentage content of this nutrient in their composition, but also the price advantage. By counting the amount of protein in the product relative to price, offal becomes the cheapest source of protein available on the market.  People who want to save a little bit of money or those who don’t have much money to follow through a healthy lifestyle should pay special attention to it.

Composition of Offals

Poultry liver is one of the better sources of significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. It contains huge amounts of vitamin A - 11077 IU, which gives 222% of our daily demand. It contains significant amounts of riboflavin - 105%, niacin - 49%, vitamin B6 - 43%, folic acid - 147%, pantothenic acid - 62% and above all vitamins B12, which plays an important role in shaping the figure - 276%. Its mineral composition looks equally good. It’s one of the better sources of heme iron - 50%, zinc - 18%, copper - 25% or selenium 78%.

The detailed composition of the poultry liver is as follows:

Nutritional value of poultry liver in 100 grams:

  • Energy Value - 134 kcal
  • Total protein - 19.00 g
  • Fat - 6,20 g
  • Carbohydrates - 0.60 g


  • Thiamine - 0.3 mg
  • Riboflavin - 1.8 mg
  • Niacin - 9.7 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 0.9 mg
  • Folic acid - 588 μg
  • Vitamin A - 11077 IU
  • Vitamin E - 0.7 mg
  • Vitamin C - 17.9 mg

Mineral components:

  • Calcium - 8 mg
  • Iron - 9 mg
  • Magnesium - 19 mg
  • Phosphorus - 297 mg
  • Potassium - 230 mg
  • Sodium - 71 mg
  • Zinc - 2.7 mg
  • Copper - 0.5 mg
  • Manganese 0.3 mg
  • Selenium - 54.6 μg


Offal is a great source of protein, vitaminsand many minerals. At the same time, their price makes them one of the cheapest sources of this nutrient. However, the basis of every diet is its variety. It’s definitely worth paying attention to it, choosing the right products for it.

Tags: offal benefits, offal in diet, offal iron, offal protein, offals

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