Skip to Content

Raw Liver Consumption: 7+ Essential Facts You Must Know

Raw Liver Consumption: 7+ Essential Facts You Must Know

Whether you’ve heard of the famous Liver King or not, this organ doesn’t need a social media star to advocate its benefits since it is broadly known. You will be in good standing if you consider including raw liver in your diet. 

The liver is the most nutrient-dense food that you can consume. It is also lower in fat and calories than regular animal muscle meats and superior in terms of the number of vitamins and minerals it provides. If you want the full benefits, eating raw liver is best. 

But before rushing off to the butcher, you must first consider a few things about eating raw liver.

Things To Consider When Eating Raw Liver

Eating raw liver is all the hype now. Still, it might not suit everybody’s lifestyle as it has benefits but also downsides that require your research and consideration.

Benefits Of Eating Raw Livers

The liver is the most nutrient-dense food that you can eat. It is also incredibly high in protein and lean, with only around 25% of its calories from fat. Not only does protein promote a feeling of satiety, but it also boosts your metabolism, which can result in weight loss. 

Collectively, the nutrients in the liver can lower your risk of anemia, improve your skin and bone health, promote the formation of blood cells, allowing better organ functioning, to name a few. These beneficial vitamins and minerals found in the liver include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (folate), B12
  • Choline
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium
  • Methionine

It is best to eat raw liver to get the most health benefits. Some nutrients can diminish or degrade during the cooking process.

Risks Of Eating Raw Liver

The fact that the liver is so nutrient-dense can create complications for some already suffering from certain medical conditions. 

For example, those with high cholesterol should limit the amount of liver they consume since it is high in dietary cholesterol. Although high-cholesterol food can relieve your body from producing these fats to maintain a balance in levels, some people will experience an increase in blood cholesterol.

Many people fear vitamin A toxicity from eating liver. This toxicity is when your body’s liver can’t process the additional intake of vitamin A that you get from eating animal liver. However, you will have to consume a large quantity of liver for this to be an issue or eat a polar bear’s liver, which is highly toxic.

Finally, raw meat can contain harmful bacteria (e.g., salmonella and E.coli). For this reason, many healthcare professionals will advise pregnant women and those with low immune systems not to consume raw liver.

Different Types of Liver

There are several different animal livers that you can consume raw:

  • Beef liver: Has an intense flavor, consists of 25% protein, and is the most common liver consumed in the US.
  • Calf or veal liver: This type is like the beef liver in protein makeup but has a sweeter flavor and a more tender texture.
  • Pork liver: It has a slightly bitter taste but is also one of the better protein sources, along with beef and veal.  
  • Lamb liver: Lamb liver comes from a young sheep (less than one year) and has a mild flavor and soft texture. 
  • Chicken liver: Chicken livers are pleasant to start with when introducing liver into your diet since their flavor is milder than beef and pork.
  • Goose liver: Goose liver is popular in France (foie gras) and has a rich, buttery taste.
  • Cod liver: This type of liver is the only fish liver that is common and, as you can guess, tastes mild and fishy. 

Which type of liver you buy will depend on availability, taste preference, and your required protein intake. Beef, pork, and lamb have the highest percentage of protein, which might tip the scales for you on the nutritional front.

Purchasing Raw Liver 

Most animals’ livers are readily available and very cheap; you can purchase them at your local butcher, most big grocery stores, or online. Whomever your supplier is, make sure they are a reputable distributor of locally sourced produce. 

When buying liver, it is also vital to note that it is best bought fresh and that liver from grass-fed animals is better than grain-fed since it has less fat and more omega-3 fatty acids.

Preparing And Storing Raw Liver Safely

Once you buy liver fresh, it is best to first store it whole in the freezer. Once frozen, take out the piece of liver and thaw it for about an hour or less, just enough that the liver is malleable yet still hard enough to cut through easily. Cut the liver into bite-size pieces (about 1-inch cubes).

To store for later, line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange your bite-size cubes on it, spread apart. Freeze for a couple of hours until the cubes are hard, after which you can transfer them into any freezer-friendly dish, like a glass Pyrex dish with an airtight lid. Freezing the cubes prevents them from sticking together.

Eating Raw Liver

Many people eat liver cubes that have been thawed halfway but are still somewhat frozen since the taste is more bearable. If you are new to eating liver and don’t love the taste, small cubes allow you to swallow it whole. It is also a good idea to have a beverage nearby, like water or a soda, that you can use to wash the liver down and eliminate the ‘metallic’ aftertaste.

How Much Raw Liver To Consume

There is debate over the exact quantity and regularity with which you can safely consume liver.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommends eating liver only once a week. Those with vitamin A and iron deficiency can eat it more often under the guidance of a registered doctor. Many people that advocate for the inclusion of liver into your diet, especially those that have done so publicly on social media, eat liver more often. Like an ounce every second day or a 1-inch cube of liver daily. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do People Eat Raw Liver?

People eat raw liver because it is the most nutrient-dense food you can consume. The liver is known to be beneficial for: 

  • Eyes
  • Energy and mood
  • Immune system
  • Skin 
  • Brain health and cognition 
  • Teeth and Bones

Is It OK To Eat Beef Liver Raw?

Yes and no. Many sources will warn you against eating raw liver because it might contain bacteria like salmonella and E.coli. The truth is, there are a vast amount of people that consume raw liver without ever having any related health issues. It is about the potential risk. So, to steer clear of potential digestive problems and food poisoning from bacteria, you can lightly sear or cook the liver through.

How Do I Consume Raw Liver Safely?

The hard truth is that there is no foolproof way to ensure you’re eating liver safely. Many argue that freezing raw liver prevents existing bacteria from increasing. However, even the smallest amount can still make you ill.


Many swear by the numerous benefits that eating liver can have for your health. However, it’s a dietary choice you must approach with caution, as there are potential disadvantages. It is best to first speak to your doctor about including it in your diet and, if you do, start with the minimum amount.