What You Should Know Before Eating Liver

It is rare that you meet someone who has eaten liver and doesn't have a strong opinion about it. The first bite of this rich meat with a distinct texture leaves most either craving more, or holding back a gag response. Luckily for those who are fans, liver is the most nutritious part of an animal you can eat (via Healthline). But here is something to chew on before you make liver a staple in your weekly dinner menu.

It's not just liver from beef you can eat. There are many different animal livers that have made their way into cuisines around the world. Though the most commonly found in butcher shops are beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and goose livers (via Nourish by WebMD).

There are many benefits of eating liver. It is considered to be arguably one of the most nutrient-dense food in the world, and contains a large amount of high-quality proteins. A diet high in protein has been shown to reduce cravings, keep you fuller longer, and boost your metabolic rate (via Healthline).

Too much of a good thing can be unhealthy

Other nutritious benefits of liver include high amounts of iron, vitamin A, and copper. But before we continue, we must admit that there can be too much of a good thing. And this even includes liver. Yes, liver is nutrient-dense, but almost to a fault if you eat too much of it. A single 100-gram portion of beef liver boasts six times the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, and seven times the recommended amount of copper. An overdose of both these nutrients can be toxic. An overconsumption of Vitamin A can cause vision problems, nausea, and bone pain. And toxic amounts of copper have been linked to neurodegenerative changes and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (via Healthline).

So how much is too much? If you are eating too much liver it may be hard to notice, as the effects are usually slow to appear or chronic. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends a maximum of eight ounces a week. And as it is also high in cholesterol, people with heart disease or diabetes should be extra aware of the amount of liver they consume (per SFGate).

Liver may not be the most popular dinnertime meal these days. But lovers of this nutritious organ can enjoy knowing they are doing a favor to their health by eating it. Just as long as it is not too much.