What is eating nose to tail?

It is impressive how traditional hunter-gatherer diets provide all the necessary nutrients for optimal health without the help of modern science or knowledge of micronutrients. Our ancestors organically over thousands of generations.

In the past, people understood the importance of utilizing all parts of an animal to maintain good health and fertility, including consuming organs, bones, and skin. Nutrient-dense animal parts such as organ meats, bone broth, skin and cartilage, fish eggs, and egg yolks were an integral part of their diet. Unfortunately, these foods have become scarce in modern diets, leading to a loss of ancient wisdom. Although our grandparents may have consumed these foods, chances are we and our children do not. The issue is that these less popular foods contain nutrients that complement those commonly consumed foods. It’s challenging to obtain them through other dietary sources. Unfortunately, we may be consuming enough food, but we may still be undernourished.

In general, heartburn and GERD happen because there isn’t enough stomach acid and too many bad bacteria in our stomach and intestines. As we age we actually get a reduction in acid production. As a result this increases our risk for heartburn. So, to make it better, we need to bring back enough stomach acid and get rid of those bad bacteria. That’s how we can treat it successfully. This is the guiding principle that will help you restore your stomach health and keep that acid in its place.

Is eating nose-to-tail nutritious? 

Many nutritious animal parts, such as organ meats, bone broths, skin, cartilage, fish, eggs, and egg yolks, have been removed from modern diets. We should follow our ancestors’ approach and practice “nose-to-tail” eating to resolve this issue. The best strategies include eating lean muscle meat (e.g., steak or chicken breast) and the animal’s organs, skin, cartilage, bones, and fattier cuts. These animal parts are superfoods because they contain high quantities of essential nutrients like glycine, vitamin A, choline, B vitamins, and vitamin K2.

Five tips to eating nose to tail for better nutrition

To increase the nutrient density of your diet, consuming all parts of the animal, from nose to tail, is recommended. Here are five helpful hints:

  1. Eat bone broth: Have one-half to one cup of homemade bone broth daily, whether in soups, sauces, stews, or beverages. Additionally, don’t avoid consuming tougher cuts of meat like brisket, chuck roast, oxtail, and shanks, as well as skin and cartilage, as they are excellent sources of glycine. Or use gelatin powder: create gelatin-based desserts or add hydrolyzed collagen to hot or cold liquids.
    1. Eat liver: consume one to two three-ounce servings of chicken and/or beef liver per week. The liver contains B vitamins, vitamin A, and several other nutrients. However, those with iron overload should avoid consuming organ meats. Or eat other nutrient-dense organ meats: – other organ meats to consider are the heart, kidney, tongue, and brain.
      1. Eat egg yolks: have at least four to five egg yolks per week, preferably from pasture-raised chickens. Egg yolks are the highest source of choline in the diet.
      2. Supplement with EVCLO: Take one-half teaspoon of extra virgin cod liver oil per day. Cod liver oil is one of the richest sources of vitamin A, and it also contains vitamin D and the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. Or eat canned sardines or salmon: canned salmon or sardines, choose a brand that includes the bones, as they’re soft and safe to eat and are a great source of calcium and omega-3 fats.
      3. Eat fermented foods: consume two servings per day of fermented foods (e.g., sauerkraut, kefir, natto), cheese and butter (from pasture-raised cows), and eggs (from pasture-raised chickens) to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin K2.

      This sounds like it will taste gross, what else can I do?

      You can take supplements if certain foods are unappetizing, particularly organ meats. Here is a list of supplements that can help you consume nose-to-tail without tasting anything objectionable.

      In summary, taking supplements can be a helpful solution for those who struggle with consuming organ meats or other foods that they find unappetizing. You can still reap the health benefits of nose-to-tail eating without enduring unpleasant tastes with the right supplements.

      About the author

      Dr. Mark VanOtterloo has been practicing acupuncture since 2012, specializing in patients with chronic pain and disease. He has successfully helped numerous patients with chronic issues by identifying key tests in functional medicine to guide and direct treatment for complex cases. If you are experiencing chronic issues, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Mark VanOtterloo below.

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