Heidi Montag was just spotted eating raw bison heart: Is eating raw meat safe?

·Lifestyle & Features Editor
·5 min read
Heidi Montag has revealed she's been eating raw meat and animal organs as part of a new diet. (Image via Getty Images)
Heidi Montag has revealed she's been eating raw meat and animal organs as part of a new diet. (Image via Getty Images)

Heidi Montag is going to new lengths to increase her chances of becoming pregnant with her second child.

On Thursday, the 35-year-old reality star was photographed eating a raw bison heart from a Ziploc bag while out and about in Los Angeles. The new photos come weeks after "The Hills" star shared a video of herself eating raw meat to Instagram while touting the "amazing health benefits" of raw meat and animal organs.

While the photos and video have raised eyebrows online, Montag recently revealed to People that she "loves trying new things" including new diets and "the way humans are meant to eat."

"When you think about where the most nutrients are that are bio available to humans without toxins," Montag told People. "Organs are very nutritious parts of animals. Culturally organs are a critical part. Eating raw liver is going to preserve as many nutrients as possible."

Montag, who shares 4-year-old son Gunner with husband Spencer Pratt, told the magazine that her desire to have another child played a part in her raw meat diet.

"I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half, I'm willing to try different things," she said. "It's a great source of nutrients! I have felt incredible on this diet. A lot more energy, clarity, increased libido, and overall improvement on chronic pain I have had. Also now I've been taking the supplements called 'Her Package' from Heart and Soil that has improved my menstrual cycle."

Montag told People that Paul Saladino, M.D. the author of "The Carnivore Code" cookbook, influenced her decision to begin eating raw meat.

Why do people eat raw meat?

Saladino, a board certified psychiatrist and physician nutrition specialist, utilizes social media to espouse the benefits of adopting an "ancestral diet" which his website claims he has used to "reverse autoimmune issues, chronic inflammation and mental health issues in hundreds of patients."

While Saladino's Instagram page was disabled in 2021, the author of "The Plant Paradox" uses Twitter and YouTube under the handle "CarnivoreMD" to share his beliefs on the benefits of eating a meat-based diet.

According to Saladino, a "carnivore diet" involves eating all animal products and "no plant products." In an interview with Fat Burning Man, Saladino said removing plant products from his diet help cleared up his eczema and improved his "mental clarity."

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In January, Montag interviewed Saladino for his YouTube channel and asked him about eating raw foods, admitting that she was initially "nervous" to eat raw liver, rather than "cooked or seared."

"I think there's always a risk when you eat raw organs," Saladino told Montag. "I eat raw liver now everyday. I try to make sure it's from a good source. You can always pre-freeze it but there’s always a risk of eating raw organ."

Saladino said people can "sear the outside lightly" if they are worried.

What are the risks of eating raw meat?

According to Healthline, much of the risk when eating raw meat is food poisoning. Most contamination can occur during slaughter, exposing the meat to bacteria, toxins or parasites that are in general, "destroyed" during cooking, but remain in raw meat.

Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramping which typically appear within 24 hours of consumption and can last for up to a week.

While there are studies that suggest cooking meat removes some of the beneficial nutrients, the chance of consuming harmful bacteria like salmonella, listeria, campylobacter and e. coli often outweighs the benefit of eating raw meat.

Does eating a meat-based diet improve fertility?

Montag told People magazine that her struggle to get pregnant was part of the reason she's been changing up her diet— but can following a meat-based diet actually impact your fertility?

Saladino claims that following animal-based fertility diet that includes high amount of beef testicles can help support male fertility while supplements containing grass-fed and finished ovary, uterus and Fallopian tubes, liver and kidney can help support male fertility.

Aside from Saladino, there have been "superfoods" that have been recommended by experts and clinics to boost fertility, including liver.

Incorporating liver into your diet provide high sources of vitamins C,D, E,Co-Q10, Zinc, Folate, protein and fat. However, it's important to note that these recommendations do not specifically recommend eating raw liver.

Speak to your doctor or a fertility expert to determine what lifestyle changes if any could be right for you.

Is eating a meat-based diet safe?

Like a ketogenic diet, the carnivore diet presents certain health risks to consider. Although not referencing Saladino's diet specifically, the Cleveland Clinic notes that the “extremely restrictive” diet isn’t for everyone and has its own health risks.

People with pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, history of stroke or cardiovascular disease and digestive issues should particularly avoid following a carnivore diet. Eating too much animal fat or meats that are high can put people at risk for heart disease and kidney issues.

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