Traditional Chinese Medicine Hot/Cold Meats

In western culture food is based on nutrients like vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, fats, calories etc. In Chinese culture food has energies, flavors and movements. Basing food choices on these principles can aid tonifying, cleansing and regulating the body. Balance makes us healthy while imbalances encourages or provoke illness.

The energies are related to sensations they generate in the body which have their effects on the body rather than refer to the state or temperature of the physical food.

Many times, in the care of our companion animals, we use these principles to address such issues as allergies, cancer as well as behavioral issues and much more.

The five kinds of energy are cold, hot, warm, cool and neutral

Animals that are classified as Yin or cold are those that can exhibit some or multiple symptoms such as:

  • Inflammation (allergic skin and inflammatory bowel disease [IBD], arthritis, etc.)

  • Behavior (anxiety, aggression, etc.) and neurologic (seizures) problems

  • Glandular abnormalities (Cushing’s disease, feline hyperthyroidism)

  • Immune mediated disease (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia[IMHA] and Thrombocytopenia [IMTP])

  • Cancer

Animals that are classified as Yang or hot are those that can exhibit some or multiple symptoms such as:

  • Obesity

  • Degenerative conditions (age related changes, degenerative joint disease, etc.)

  • Lethargy

  • Glandular abnormalities (canine hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, etc.)

  • Behavior problems (canine cognitive dysfunction)

Cold/Cooling (Yin) proteins include:

  • Rabbit

  • Duck

  • Frog


  • Whitefish

  • Clam

  • Cod

  • Crab

  • Scallop

Hot (Yang) proteins include:

  • Lamb

  • Venison

  • Sheep

  • Alpaca

  • Kangaroo


  • Trout

Warming proteins include:

  • Chicken

  • *Turkey (has been shown to be both warming and neutral)

  • Pheasant

  • Camel

  • Ostrich

  • Goat

  • Llama


  • Anchovy

  • Sturgeon

  • Lobster

  • Mussel

  • Shrimp

  • Prawn


  • Beef

  • Beef Tripe

  • Pork

  • Quail

  • Bison

  • Goose,

  • *Turkey


  • Herring

  • Mackerel

  • Salmon

  • Sardines

  • Tuna

  • Carp

  • Catfish

  • Sturgeon


You do not just need to feed neutral proteins if you want a neutral meal, you can feed equal parts hot and cold meats that cancel each other out.

If your focus is to stay towards cool and you can’t feed 100% cold…just feed 75% cool to 25% hot.

For cancer or anything involving inflammation do not feed warm or hot proteins.

Organs of a species follow that protein’s classification

Other Proteins:

These proteins we have not found reference for so this is a guesstimation

  • Rodents (rats, mice, guinea pig) – cold/cooling

  • Muskrat and beaver- neutral or cooling

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