The consensus is that eating grass-fed beef is better for our health than grain-fed beef, but do you know why that is? The list below sums it up pretty well!
1 Lower in total fat
2 Higher in beta-carotene
3 Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
4 Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
5 Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
6 Higher in total omega-3s
7 A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
8 Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
9 Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
10 Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Did you know that Omega-3’s are formed in green leaves? And that most of the fat contained in grass is a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic or LNA? When cattle are finished in feedlots they are denied access to fresh green forages and lose their supply of Omega-3s.
When compared with grain lot finished beef, grass-fed beef is lower in “bad” fat, including saturated fat and provides 2 to 6 times more omega-3 fatty acids, a type of good fat essential for brain and heart health and vital to every cell and system in the human body. Studies show that those following a diet rich in Omega-3’shave a reduced incidence of heart attack, and have lower blood pressure, as well as lower risk of depression, schizophrenia, ADD, and Alzheimer’s. Omega-3’s may also reduce the risk of developing cancer, slow or reduce weight loss associated with advanced cancer, and even hasten recovery from surgery after cancer.
One of the richest sources of conjugated linoleum acid, or CLA, is meat and milk from grass-fed ruminants. When raised on pasture with no grain, meat and milk from grass-fed ruminants provide as much as five times more CLA than conventionally raised livestock. According to new evidence, CLA may reduce risk of cancer in humans and has been shown in lab animals to greatly reduced tumor growth.
Grass-fed meats also contain four times more Vitamin E, which is associated with lower heart disease and cancer risk and to have anti-aging properties. Grass is also rich in betacarotene which results in a creamy almost yellow color in the fat of grass-fed cattle. In fact grass-fed and finished meats can contain as much as ten times the quantity of betacarotene! This also becomes obvious in the milk of our grass-fed jersey cows. Butter made from our milk is a bright shade of yellow, which is particularly stunning when placed next to store bought butter which is nearly white in color.
That's quite a few good reasons to choose grass-fed beef over grain-fed beef! I believe there are many more reasons which include a healthier and more natural lifestyle for the cattle, but I'll save that for a future post!