Are you wondering if the chicken liver and or gizzard is good for your health or if you can feed it to your dog?
Maybe you want to know if it can help in weight loss, or which liver is best to eat, and so on. If that is the case, then this article will give you all the clarity you need.
What’s Chicken Liver?
This is simply the liver of chicken, considered as food. It can be served as it is or turned into more of a meal with quickly fried chicken livers or chunks of Greek feta cheese. It can also be made into a chicken liver sauce and other several recipes.
Also, note that chicken liver is not red or white meat; instead, we classify it as organ meat (offal).
Organ meats are incredibly nutritious, and they offer far more nutritional value than regular muscle meat.
In fact, organs contain such a significant amount of nutrients that we can “overdose” on some of them if we consume them every day.
Despite their impressive nutrition profile, not many people eat organ meats compared to in the past.
Chicken liver enjoys nowhere near the popularity of chicken breast, but it offers substantially more nutritional value.
Note: For those who dislike the taste, pâté is an excellent way to consume “hidden” liver.
Chicken Nutrition Facts
According to the United States Department Of Agriculture’s nutrient database, here is the full nutrition profile of chicken liver (cooked) per 100 grams1 .
Calories and Macros
|Saturated Fat||1.6 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||1.2 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1.3 g|
Chicken liver is rich in protein and has a protein-density of approximately 25%.
Additionally, it contains a moderate amount of dietary fat and minimal levels of carbohydrate.
Is Chicken Liver Good For You?
Chicken livers are high in protein and a rich store of folate, which is important for fertility and helps prevent certain birth defects. (Food Standards Authority advises pregnant women not to eat liver because too much vitamin A can harm the baby.)
Livers are also loaded with iron to give you energy and a treasure trove of certain B vitamins, most notably B12. This nutritional profile makes them a good choice for anyone prone to anaemia. Chicken livers are also one of the top sources of vitamin A, which helps eye health.
Heres other health benefits of the chicken liver:
Chicken Liver Is Rich In B Vitamins
Chicken liver contains enormous amounts of the vitamin B12, with just 100 grams providing 287% of the recommended daily allowance.
Since this vitamin is so critical for our health, B12 deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, and dementia 2, 3, 4
It’s a Substantial Source of Selenium
Chicken liver provides significant amounts of the essential mineral selenium, offering more than 100% of the RDA per 100 grams.
Selenium is an essential mineral that has antioxidant properties, and it is critical for the optimal function of the thyroid gland 5, 6.
There is also research that suggests selenium can enhance DNA repair, which may potentially help to reduce the risk of cancer and illnesses related to damaged DNA 7.
It’s Rich In Protein
Protein is important for many aspects of our health.
Similar to most animal foods, chicken liver is a rich source of dietary protein, containing 24.5 grams protein per 100 grams.
The protein in the chicken liver is a “complete” protein, which means that it contains all nine of the amino acids that we require from our diet 8.
These amino acids work as the building blocks for our body, and they are involved in everything from the growth and repair of our cells to hormone production and muscle building.
It’s a Source of Vitamin C
When we talk about source of vitamin C, the first thing that comes into mind is Orange, Lemon or any other citrus or plant-based products.
However, it is not only fruit—or even plants—that provide vitamin C.
Notably, organ meats are a rich source of this essential vitamin, and chicken liver contains 47% of the RDA of vitamin C per 100 grams.
A moderate-size 200-gram serving would offer the full RDA for the vitamin.
Chicken Liver Recipe
There are several methods to cook chicken liver but we are going to tell you only one method because it is the most popular, easiest and simplest method to get the best from the liver meal.
Chicken Liver and Onions
For this recipe, saute the chicken livers in a pan with butter.
Add some garlic, mushrooms, and onions to the pan and saute until everything is almost cooked.
Reduce the heat, and add some red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper to the pan and heat steadily until done.
Chicken Liver Disadvantages
Is there any danger of eating liver? Let’s find out below;
As nutritious as the liver is, there are some dangers of eating liver. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that liver is very high in cholesterol and vitamin A, so even if you enjoy eating it, you need to limit your intake to small amounts. Eating large portions of the liver or consuming it every day is not recommended. Instead, it’s best that you limit your portions to 3 ounces and eat liver only a couple of times a week.
For children, there is another side effect of eating chicken liver or any type of animal liver for that matter. Since the liver is a concentrated source of metals (minerals), it can pose a health risk to children, according to a February 2019 study published in the journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. The authors of the study, therefore, advise against giving children liver more than once a week.
The study found that this particular side effect of eating chicken liver, or other animal livers, does not apply to adults; however, adults still need to limit their consumption of liver because of its cholesterol and vitamin A content. Here’s why.
Cholesterol Content in Liver
The liver is a significant source of cholesterol, and one of the side effects of eating chicken liver, beef liver or other types of the liver is that it could raise your blood cholesterol levels. Per the USDA, the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol is complex and requires more research; however, eating patterns with low cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that cholesterol is a waxy substance that is similar to fat in its consistency. Your body naturally produces as much as it needs and uses it to make vitamin D, hormones and certain substances that facilitate digestion. Cholesterol is also used to build cells and is found in every cell in the body.
While you need some cholesterol, having too much cholesterol in your blood can lead to health issues. If your cholesterol is high, the U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends limiting your intake of dietary cholesterol to a maximum of 200 milligrams per day. According to the USDA, a 3.5-ounce serving of beef liver contains 393 milligrams of cholesterol. A similar portion of chicken liver contains 558 milligrams of cholesterol.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine says excess cholesterol combines with other substances in your blood and forms a substance known as plaque, which sticks to the walls of your arteries, causing them to become narrower or get blocked altogether. Known as atherosclerosis, this buildup of plaque can lead to coronary artery disease.
Vitamin A Toxicity
Another disadvantage of animal liver, like beef or chicken liver is that it is very rich in vitamin A. When it comes to vitamin A, too much of a good thing is definitely a bad thing because this nutrient can be toxic if consumed in high doses.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble substances that are important for healthy vision and the reproductive process. Vitamin A also plays a vital role in the functioning of organs like the heart, kidneys and lungs, among others. A September 2018 study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine notes that vitamin A also promotes immunity.
So what’s the problem? Well, unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A are stored in your body, instead of being flushed out of your system every day. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) explains that any excess vitamin A that you consume is stored in your liver for future use. If you regularly consume a lot of liver or liver products like liver sausage or pâté, a harmful amount of vitamin A can build up in your body.
Like humans, animals also store vitamin A in their livers, which is why animal livers are a rich source of vitamin A. Per the ODS, a single 3-ounce serving of beef liver has 444 per cent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A.
According to the NHS, the rich vitamin A content in animal liver, like beef or chicken liver, has disadvantages that can be quite severe. Regularly consuming too much vitamin A can make your bones more susceptible to fractures when you’re older. Excess vitamin A is also harmful to fetuses, so pregnant women are advised to avoid eating liver.
According to the American International Medical University, vitamin A toxicity, also known as hypervitaminosis A, can also be fatal in extreme cases. Symptoms of hypervitaminosis A include irritability, headaches, double vision, vomiting, anorexia, coarse hair, swollen bones and alopecia.9
How often should you eat chicken liver?
Liver, like whole eggs, should be consumed in moderation. She recommends eating no more than two 3-ounce servings of any liver per week — but that can vary based on each individual’s overall diet.
Is chicken liver good for weight loss?
The liver is a great source of high-quality protein. High protein intake has been shown to increase metabolic rate, reduce appetite, help build muscle and preserve muscle during weight loss.
Which liver is best to eat?
The livers of chicken, beef, goose and duck are generally the most popular sources of the liver to consume. You can find liver in many grocery stores and at many butcher shops, but as with any meat, the quality and sourcing of the liver are important.
Is beef liver better than chicken liver?
Beef liver contains more nutrients than any regular muscle meat (like beef or pork) for fewer calories. Beef liver is also more nutrient-dense than other types of the liver (such as chicken liver).
Key Point: Beef liver is low in calories and very nutrient-dense.
What happens if you eat too much chicken liver?
Even though the liver is incredibly healthy and nutritious, it should not be consumed daily. Eating it once per week is enough. Bottom Line: Liver contains many essential nutrients. However, it is very rich in vitamin A and copper, which may cause problems in excessive amounts.
Is chicken liver and gizzards good for you?
A one-cup serving of cooked chicken gizzards contains 223 calories, 44 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat, including 1 gram of saturated fat. They are an excellent source of iron and zinc, but high in cholesterol (536 milligrams) so they should be consumed in moderation
Is chicken liver good during pregnancy?
Chicken liver or pork liver are preferred because their retinol content (preformed vitamin A) is lower than that in the liver of other animals or fish. The liver of animals or fish is very rich in retinol, a teratogenic substance that increases the risk of malformations in the fetus if the mother consumes too much.
Is Chicken Liver Healthy/Good For Dog?
It’s great for dogs and cats of any size or age and can be fed as an anytime snack or as the 10% organ portion of a complete meal. Available in a 2-pound vacuum-sealed bag. With each bite, your pet will enjoy the many nutritional benefits of chicken liver, including protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, and much more.
Many organ meats have a high nutritional value and can be very beneficial to the human body in many ways.
That said, there are risks to eating too much organ meats, and anyone considering making significant dietary changes should consult their doctor first, and ensure they have thoroughly researched the pros and cons.
In general, though, as long as eaten in moderation, organ meats can be a healthful and regular part of a balanced diet.