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Health Benefits of Grass-Fed beef

I think we’d all agree that when it comes to feeding our families, healthy and high-quality are two very important things to consider. When buying beef, quality matters. 100% grass-fed beef is loaded with health benefits. The old saying, “you are what you eat” also applies to what the foods you consume once ate. In other words, the beef you’re eating can only be as nutritious as what the cow was fed.

1. Contains fewer calories but has more nutritional value

Because grass-fed cows live their whole lives eating only grass and forages, their meat is naturally leaner, containing fewer calories, but holds more nutritional value. It contains a broad range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including iron, selenium, carotenoids, B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin A, and folic acid. [1]

2. Contains more healthy fats

Omega-3 and Omega-6 are two essential fatty acids in human nutrition, both of which need to be obtained from one’s diet. A healthy diet should consist of one to four times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. However, Americans consume way more omega-6 than needed, which contributes to inflammatory diseases. They don’t eat near enough omega-3, which has lots of health benefits. Grass-fed beef contains high levels of the heart-healthy omega-3 and far less omega-6. This is a much more optimal ratio for human health. Some of the health benefits offered by omega 3 include:

  • Lowers unhealthy cholesterol

  • Reduces risk of heart disease and arthritis

  • Reduces risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, depression, and cancer

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Lowers risk of developing Alzheimer's disease

  • And many more


3. Contains high levels of CLA

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is the name given to a group of chemicals found in the fatty acid called linoleic acid. It is a type of polyunsaturated fat, specifically omega-6 fatty acid. CLA is found naturally in grass-fed beef, full-fat dairy products, and grass-fed butter. Although most people think of these foods as unhealthy, the truth is that natural fats are healthy and even beneficial when you eat high-quality versions of them and have them in moderation. CLA is an excellent antioxidant, and research indicates that it might also help protect against heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Grass-fed beef is one of the best sources of CLA. It contains an average of 2-3 times more CLA than other beef. [4][5][6][7]

4. High levels of antioxidants

Antioxidants found in grass-fed beef are:

  • Vitamin E- which is a powerful, potent lipid-soluble antioxidant.

  • Glutathione- a tripeptide comprised of four amino acids; cysteine, glutamic, glutamic acid, and glycine, present in most animal tissue. Glutathione acts as an antioxidant, a free radical scavenger, and a detoxifying agent. Often called the “master” antioxidant, glutathione boosts the utilization and recycling of other antioxidants, namely vitamins C and E, as well as alpha-lipoic acid and Coenzyme Q10. These antioxidants protect our cells from oxidation. [8][9][10]

  • Carotenoids- You may notice that grass-fed beef has a yellow coloring to the fat. I know it may look alarming because conventional grain-fed beef fat is white. But the yellowing is actually a good thing. Grass-fed cows eat grass, which is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a natural fat-soluble form of Vitamin A and is an essential nutrient to the human body. The body can convert b-carotene to Vitamin A as needed. This is important for protecting the body against free-radicals. Beta-carotene is a naturally occurring pigment in plants, including grass. It's what gives yellow and orange vegetables their color. When cows eat grass, they store the b-carotene in their fat, giving it the yellow color. So when beef fat is yellow, it's a sign that the meat is healthy and full of antioxidants. [11][12]

5. Grass-fed beef also contains higher levels of beneficial nutrients

Meat is frequently associated with a negative health image due to its "high" fat content, and in the case of red meat is seen as cancer-promoting food. Therefore, a low meat intake, especially red meat, has been recommended to avoid the risk of cancer, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Above, we talked about why grass-fed beef fat isn’t actually a bad thing, and how in grass-fed beef it's a very healthy and precious fat that contains essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which need to be obtained through a person's diet. The point mentioned above about a low meat diet overlooks the fact, that meat is an important source for some crucial micronutrients needed for the body such as iron, selenium, vitamins A, B12, folic acid, antioxidants, selenium, carotenoids, vitamin D, zinc, iron, and potassium. Most of these micronutrients are either not present in plant-derived food or have poor bioavailability. In addition, meat is protein-rich and carbohydrate low, contributing to a low glycemic index, which is assumed to be "beneficial" with respect to obesity, the development of diabetes and cancer. Meat is an important nutrient for human health and development. As an essential part of a mixed diet with other healthy foods, meat ensures adequate delivery of essential micronutrients and amino acids and is involved in regulatory processes of energy metabolism. Meat contains virtually no carbohydrates and is mainly comprised of protein and varying amounts of fat. The more fat the meat contains, the higher the energy content will be.



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