There are lots of different foods for people to eat. Some foods you cook, and others you can eat raw. You can find benefits with both methods of eating food. However, eating raw foods there can sometimes be risky.
One food people like to eat is liver. Sometimes, the liver can be eaten raw, but there are debates about whether it’s safe. In this article, we will figure out if it is safe to eat raw liver and what the risks come with that.
By the end of the article, you’ll know whether you can eat liver raw and live to tell the tale!
Is It Safe To Eat Raw Liver?
Liver is a food you may not think about eating, but it’s quite a popular food in some parts of the world, and some do eat it raw.
However, eating liver raw can come with a lot of drawbacks which we will touch on later. It’s because of these possible bacteria living inside the liver that eating it raw is not always a good idea.
One of the better ways to eat liver is to cook it first. Cooking helps get rid of all that nasty bacteria and anything else contaminating it.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Liver?
So now you know it’s not always safe to eat liver raw, but despite this, there are benefits that you could get with eating raw liver if you decide to consume it this way.
Naturally, there are also benefits to eating cooked liver, which we will also touch on.
This way, you can have all the facts and be able to make an informed decision!
Benefits of Eating Raw Liver
Despite the risks of eating raw meat, there are some benefits you can get from consuming it in its natural form. Liver is no different. The benefits of eating raw liver include:
- Liver, like most meats, is a good source of protein. It’s also low in fat and carbs, so for those on a diet, this would be a good food to consume.
- You’ll find a lot of nutrients in the liver. One of the biggest ones is vitamin A. This vitamin is great for your vision and helps build up some infection resistance.
- Variants of vitamins B and C can also be found in the liver.
- Minerals like zinc can be found in the liver. These are a mineral your body needs!
So, as you can see, eating raw liver does come with some benefits for your overall health.
Benefits of Eating Cooked Liver
By cooking liver, you get many more benefits than you’d get with eating it raw. The reason for this is of all the risks that come with eating raw liver. This includes:
- Like we mentioned before, the liver is a big source of nutrients. By eating liver, you’ll get folate, iron, vitamin B, vitamin A, and copper. This can help you avoid becoming nutrient deficient!
- By eating liver, you can improve your bone health. The reason for this is that liver is full of vitamin K, which helps process the calcium. This is needed for your bones to be healthy.
- You can lower your risk of anemia by consuming liver since it has a lot of iron and vitamin B12. Both things help keep you from becoming iron deficient.
These are the top three benefits that come with eating cooked liver! Almost makes you want to start eating it yourself.
What Are the Risks of Eating Liver?
Even if something is good for you, there are going to be risks. We can find risks in almost everything we do, and eating liver is no different.
We’ll touch on the risks of eating raw and cooked liver. Surprisingly, even cooked liver comes with risks.
Risks of Eating Raw Liver
The biggest risks that come with eating liver are when you eat it raw. We have narrowed down the top three risks that come with eating raw liver. These include:
- You can be at risk of salmonella if you eat raw liver. Getting salmonella can cause symptoms like diarrhea, but in rare cases, you can also contract sepsis and die from it.
- VTEC, or Verotoxic Producing Escherichia coli, can sometimes not cause serious symptoms, but in other cases, you could have brain or kidney damage, bloody diarrhea, or even death.
- Campylobacter is another bacteria that can be found. It can cause diarrhea and sometimes cause chronic symptoms.
Luckily, most of these can be eliminated by cooking the liver, which helps destroy the bacteria. The exception is Campylobacter.
Risks of Eating Cooked Liver
Even cooked food can come with risks. We’ve narrowed down a few risk factors of eating cooked liver, and they include:
- High cholesterol can become an issue when eating liver because it’s high in cholesterol.
- Yes, you can consume too much vitamin A, and since the liver has a lot, it makes sense you could get Vitamin A toxicity from this food.
- Finally, one of the issues that can come with eating cooked liver is the fact that it can interact with certain medications. The reason for this is the vitamin A in livers. It’s the vitamin that ends up interacting with such medications. One example of this is the medication Orlistat.
And these are the biggest risks associated with eating cooked liver. They are not the worst risks out there, but you still know them.
And there you go, all your food lovers out there! Now you know whether you can eat raw liver.
For the most part, it’s a good idea to not eat raw liver due to all the risks that come with consuming it raw.
The best way to eat liver is by cooking it first because you can help eliminate all that nasty bacteria that live in there.
Sure, there are also risks with eating cooked liver, but it’s safer to eat it cooked rather than eating it raw.
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- Can You Eat Raw Ground Beef?
- Can You Eat Raw Hot Dogs?
- Can You Eat Raw Spam?
- Can You Eat Raw Bacon?
- Can You Eat Raw Beef?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.