Tripe: Is It Good for You?

Medically Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, RD, LD, MPH on November 16, 2022
3 min read

Tripe, also known as offal, is a cut of meat that comes from the stomach lining of farm animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, and goats. Cultures around the world have long been using it as a healthy source of protein. It can be found in the traditional cuisine of Asia, Africa, Europe, and parts of the Americas.

Tripe is most commonly eaten in dishes like soups, stews, sauced foods, and sausages. Because of its distinctive scent and mild flavor, it’s typically heavily spiced and combined with other flavorful foods.

Aside from tripe being a useful form of protein, it’s also loaded with essential nutrients. Scientists have found that it may be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet, as long as it’s enjoyed in moderation.

A single three-ounce serving of cooked tripe contains:

Tripe is an excellent source of:

Tripe is an excellent source of selenium as well. Studies have shown that selenium is an important part of your body’s signaling and defense systems. Getting enough selenium in your diet has been linked to a reduced risk of certain heart conditions, infertility, and arthritis.

Tripe is a potent cut of meat that contains many vitamins and minerals. When consumed in moderate amounts, it can offer a number of potential health benefits:

Bone and Muscle Support

Tripe is an excellent and generally inexpensive source of lean protein. Protein helps keep you full and allows your body to repair damaged tissue and build muscle. A three-ounce serving of tripe contains 10 grams of protein, which is about 20% of average daily requirement.

Anemia Prevention

Tripe is rich in vitamin B12, which helps prevent anemia. When your body is anemic, it doesn’t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to your organs. This can lead to symptoms like weakness and fatigue.

Some studies suggest that getting nutrients like B12 through food instead of supplements may increase the amount of the micronutrient you actually absorb. This helps your body use these vitamins and minerals more efficiently.

Weight Loss and Management

Eating high-protein foods can help you control your appetite and manage your weight. On top of that, tripe is low in calories and fat compared to other sources of animal protein. Studies have shown that consuming high-protein foods during weight loss can help reduce snacking and thoughts about food late at night. This reduction in appetite has also been linked to more success in losing or maintaining weight over time.

While loaded with good nutrients, tripe does come with a few downsides, especially if eaten in large amounts. Consider the following potential risks before adding tripe to your diet:

High Cholesterol

Tripe is high in dietary cholesterol compared to other cuts of meat. A single three-ounce serving can contain up to 108 milligrams of cholesterol. That’s about a third of the recommended overall cholesterol requirement per day.

While many bodies can process dietary cholesterol safely, some people react more strongly to this form of cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, consult with your doctor before adding tripe to your diet.

Oral Health

Tripe can be tough to chew unless it’s cooked properly. The lack of fat that makes tripe a great low-calorie protein source also makes it easy to cook into a rubbery texture. Keep this in mind if you have dentures or sensitive teeth.