What percentage of a cow's brain is fat?

by | Jun 30, 2009 12:00 PM ET

You asked:

What percentage of a cow's brain is fat? --- Sheila, Kenosha, Wis.

Marshall Brain Answered:

Most people are grossed out by the idea of eating a cow's brain. But if you are eating a cow's leg, what's the difference? It's all just hydrocarbons and amino acids.

So to find out the fat percentage, you can look at the nutrition facts for cow brains. What you find is that a 100 gram sample of brain contains 10.3 grams of fat, 10.9 grams of protein and 1.1 grams of carbs. So, roughly 10 percent is fat.

For comparison, 100 grams of a trimmed sirloin steak is has 3.2 grams of fat, 22.0 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbs. (in both cases the rest is mostly water)

So obviously a piece of brain contains about 3 times more fat than a piece of meat. That's because the "insulation" that neurons use (known as myelan) is most mostly fat. See How Your Brain Works for details.

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