Bone Marrow on the Carnivore Diet|Pros and Cons
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To me Bone Marrow is like butter on steroids. It’s delicious and packed with fat, proteins, and minerals. That’s why most carnivore diet proponents recommend to include it as a staple of the carnivore diet.
However bone marrow comes with its own set of pros and cons. This article dives deep and lays out the good, the bad, and ugly with bone marrow.
New to the Carnivore Diet? Check out this article, “The Carnivore Diet 101: A Meaty Resource.”
Where and what?
Bone marrow is found inside bones. It’s where red blood cells and white blood cells are produced and you will find stem cells too!
Bone Marrow = Ancestral Superfood
While reading Mark Sisson’s fascinating article on Bone Marrow he dropped some ancestral knowledge.
He mentioned that anthropologists believe early humans first started eating bone marrow from scavenging dead animals or even vultures that dropped broken bones from the air.
That was very good for us…why?
Sisson explains, “bone marrow was highly caloric and nutrient-dense, allowing early human ancestors to divert metabolic resources away from the costly digestion of roughage and toward bigger, costlier brains. This spurred the increase in hominid brain size that we still enjoy today.”
What’s in Bone Marrow? Why nutritious?
I broke down a YouTube video bone marrow with Thomas DeLauer and this is what I got:
- Bone marrow is packed with bio-available nutrition.
- In 100 grams of bone marrow, you can find 84 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.
- It is loaded with collagen which is said to help with hair, nails, and connective tissue.
- It contains the Amino Acid Glycine which helps with the synthesis of both RNA and DNA.
- It contains the Amino Acid Proline. Proline helps with the breaking down of protein and is important with the building of connective tissue, (you know, tendons and ligaments.)
- It contains an Amino Acid, Arginine, which is said to help with the cardiovascular system and possibly decrease inflammation.
- Contains Myeloid and Lymphoid cells which help with the immune system.
Bone Marrow Scientific Study and Theories
Researchers completed a study called, Inside out: Bone marrow adipose tissue as a source of circulating adiponectin. In this study they found that fat found in bone marrow contains a fat protein called Adiponectin.
Adiponectin helps regulate glucose levels and breaks down fatty acids.
According to the researchers, “The adipocyte-derived hormone adiponectin mediates beneficial cardiometabolic effects, and hypoadiponectinemia is a biomarker for increased metabolic and cardiovascular risk.”
“Indeed, circulating adiponectin decreases in obesity and insulin-resistance, likely because of impaired production from white adipose tissue (WAT).”
What does this mean?
It means more studies need to be done but also they hypothesize that bone marrow has the potential to help maintain insulin levels and also with the breaking down of fat along with potentially reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease.
Immune System Booster
Researchers also say it’s possible that bone marrow can help with the immune system due to its mixture of stem cells: myeloid and lymphoid. These guys can turn into red and white blood cells and improve immune function and cell repair.
Quality of Nutrition
Back to the researchers and scientists. They believe it’s possible that bone marrow is superior in nutrition than muscle meat due to it’s high concentration of minerals and one being calcium which as you know can probably help with bone health. Makes sense.
What Else is in Bone Marrow?
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin A
Crazy Wild Animal Observation
It’s interesting to note that wild animals (predators/carnivores) attempt to eat the bone marrow first followed by the liver, heart, and then muscles.
If you have never tried bone marrow you really need to get to your butcher ASAP! Be careful bone marrow can be addictive. It’s has a rich, meaty, creamy, and buttery taste. Feel free to add salt too!
My go-to for salt is Redmond Real Sea Salt. It’s top-notch and sourced from a sea bed in Utah…plus that link will get you a 15% discount at the checkout (subject to change).
Where to Buy?
Your local butcher should have them or even the local farmers market. Try to get grass-fed/sustainably raised if possible. You should be able to get them for less than $2.00 per pound.
The higher-end markets like Whole Foods sell them for around $3-4.00 per pound which is fairly expensive. Hell Nah!
Usually, you are buying the femur and tibia bones of cows. (The bigger bones.)
Easy Cooking Options
There are a few ways to eat bone marrow. You can roast them, sear them, or even eat raw.
Beware of raw food! You may pick up an unwanted pathogen from lesser quality bones or ones that are going bad. Source your bones from clean and reputable places.
Also, there are plenty of different ways to use bone marrow in soups, but this is a more carnivore diet-related post, so we are sticking to the basics!
How to Roast
Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees. Place bones in a pan and let cook for around 15 minutes. The key is to not let the marrow get too hot where it drips out too easily.
How to Sear
Use a cast-iron skillet if possible. Get it heated on medium heat. Heat each side for about 3 minutes give or take depending on how rare you want the insides.
Raw is always an option but don’t be stupid and use lesser quality and suspect sources. Proceed at your own risk as anything raw comes with the possibility of eating dangerous pathogens.
Don’t Waste Them
After devouring the insides of the bones don’t just throw them away. They can serve another purpose and that is Bone Broth!
Throw them in your slow cooker with some spring water and cook for 8-12 hours and you have a nutrient-dense drink. Don’t add veggies, that will contaminate the broth.
Bone Marrow Supplements
If you are going for the health benefits of bone marrow and don’t have time to fuss with sourcing, cooking, and extracting bone marrow, supplements may be an option.
However, be sure to use brands that freeze-dry the bone marrow and don’t include an unwanted filler. Plus, grass-fed and cows raised in nicer, pollutant-free habitats are the way to go.
That’s why I like the brand Ancestral Supplements. These guys use grass-fed cows that are raised on pristine farms in New Zealand. They care about their cows and high quality! I should also mention they usually give our readers a 10% discount with the link below.
Are supplements even needed on the carnivore diet? Yeah, for starters we recommend 7.
- 7 Best Carnivore Diet Supplements | Reviewed and Tested
- 21 Essential Carnivore Diet Products You Need On Your Shopping List
Really there are only a few cons to bone marrow.
Volume and Addiction
Bone marrow is very tasty. I mean I really like it. It’s one of those things where it takes a little bit of extra work to get it out of the bone and you literally keep trying to find more…just for that one last taste! Crack style.
Some fancy restaurants have it as a delicacy, which it should be, but it’s rather expensive. I mean if you got the money then go to town.
Also you can get shafted by Whole Foods and other grocery stores. Bones over $4.00 per pound are a rip-off.
Yellow Bones vs. Red Bones
You need to pay attention to the color of the bones. When sourcing bones you want to only purchase the red ones which are from calves, younger cows.
The reason is that older yellow bones have older fat which may have accumulated toxins. Remember fat stores toxins and that’s not what your body doesn’t want.
Knowing that fat has all the toxins you will want to be sure you buy high-quality bones from reputable ranchers and not the commercial style ranchers which may use antibiotics, hormones, and steroids.
Quality is major when it comes to bone marrow.
Most people say bone marrow only lasts 2 days in the fridge. I mean I have gone longer than that but I wouldn’t recommend it. Be sure to eat sooner rather than later.
Not for Weight Loss
Bone marrow has a lot of calories, we are talking 786 calories in every 100 grams. So if you are trying to lose weight perhaps bone marrow should be reduced to once per week.
Bone marrow is a great addition to the carnivore diet. If you’re striving for the nose-to-tail style of eating then bone marrow is a necessity.
If you are trying to just get some added nutrition then perhaps the bone marrow supplements from Ancestral Supplements are what you need.
Either way, I believe bone marrow is a key component of the carnivore diet. Especially if you want to include some fantastic taste and a good culinary experience.
Carnivore Diet Community
Looking to talk to people that are thriving on a carnivore diet? Then check out the Facebook Group: World Carnivore Tribe. Here you will find veterans and noobies of the diet. Also it’s a great place to interact and ask questions.
Need some testimonials? The check out MEATRX. Here you will see some amazing health transformations.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.
Bone Marrow: Delicious, Nutritious and Underappreciated by Mark Sisson
Inside out: Bone marrow adipose tissue as a source of circulating adiponectin