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Nutrition Density Challenge: Fruit vs. Beef Liver

Posted May 18 2011 9:38am

While perusing one of my regular rotation blogs, Free the Animal , I cam across an interesting post comparing the nutrients in fruit and beef liver.

Okay, there’s no debating which food LOOKS prettier. But which is more nutritious?

I’ve said many, many times that there’s nothing magical about fruit. Other foods have similar, if not better, nutrient profiles with less sugar. This side-by-side comparison proves that in black and white.

A breakfast of 1800g of papaya and 450g of strawberries is compared to 113g of beef liver. That’s the equivalent of 5 pounds of fruit compared to a fourth pound of beef liver. Check out the visual (c/o Free the Animal ):

According to Richard Nikolay (the blog author):

In rough terms, this makes liver about 20 times more nutritious than fruit by weight. Also note the protein. Four ounces of liver and you get 10g more protein than in 5 pounds of fruit. What you don’t get, however, is 211g of sugar, a full 207g more than in the liver.

He also notes that even though the fruit appears to have more vitamins and minerals, “[that’s] comparing a reasonable amount of caloric energy in his breakfast to a breakfast that wouldn’t satiate my 15 lb. rat terrier.” Meaning, the fruit meal has enough calories to hold you over, whereas a 150 calorie breakfast wouldn’t go very far.

Rounding out the liver meal with eggs, potatoes, and fruit (to get a similar calorie count as the fruit breakfast - 850 cals), here’s what the nutrient breakdown looks like (fruit on top, meat/eggs on bottom):

Nikolay’s conclusion?

So, while [you can] achieve a rough vitamin and mineral equivalent consuming 850 calories and 5 pounds of fruit to  150 calories and 4 ounces of beef liver, if you actually add the rest of what you would need for an 850 calorie meal from eggs, starch and fruit, you simply blow the 5 pounds of fruit out of the water by a very wide margin, on average. What’s more, you don’t have to eat five pounds. Estimating my meal at 650 grams total, you’re under a pound and one half of total food.

Definitely food for thought.

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