Grass Fed Beef – Is it Better for You?
Grass fed beef has risen in popularity and definitely produces a different flavour to the grain fed alternative, but it is it better for you?
Grass fed beef has increased in popularity over recent years and is now widely recognised as a healthier alternative to the commercial, grain fattened variety.
Grass fed beef refers to the meat from cattle that have been raised in green pastures and allowed to forage for food, in contrast to being fed on grains and soy to build fat content more quickly. At Grid Iron the beef we sell is not only grass fed, but also originates from rare and native breed cattle. The breeds we use take much longer to reach maturity and are allowed to put on weight naturally by grazing. This traditional method of farming produces a much tastier and healthier product.
There is an ever growing body of scientific evidence backing the benefits of a diet containing grass fed beef.
Meat from grass fed cattle has a higher level of “good fat” containing a good balance of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. The important factor from a nutritional point of view is the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6, which should be lower than 4:1. In tests carried out the ratio in grass fed beef was lower than 4:1, with much of the grain fed alternative being much higher. A large proportion of the fatty acids in grass fed beef are the omega 3 variety found in green leaves and plants. Studies have shown that when cattle are fed on a grain based diet, they no longer produce these healthy fatty acids.
In 2011, the British Journal of Nutrition published a study, which concluded that eating moderate amounts of grass-fed meat for only four weeks, would give consumers healthier levels of these essential fats. Another fatty acid found in grass fed beef is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is an effective antioxidant and may be helpful in the fight against heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Beef is one of the best dietary sources of CLA and 100% grass-fed beef contains significantly more than beef from animals fed on grain.
Meat from fully grass-fed animals also contains considerably more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as beta-carotene and vitamin E, than meat from grain-fed animals.
SOME BENEFITS OF GRASS FED BEEF
Lower in total fat
Lower total and saturated fat content
Higher in total omega-3 fatty acids (good fats)
A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids
Higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a potential cancer fighter
Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be turned into CLA)
Higher in vitamin EHigher in B vitamins
Higher in beta-carotene
Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium
Buy Grass Fed Beef – Order beef from our online shop.
Native Breed Beef – A post about farming native breeds.