The Benefits of Grass-fed Beef Over Conventional Beef
Is there a difference between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef? Research has shown that what cows eat does influence the nutrient composition of the beef. Through our evolution, the animals that we would have been eating would have a diet of grass and foliage. This plays a crucial role in the nutrients required for optimal health.
GRASS-FED BEEF VS. GRAIN-FED BEEF
Grass-fed cows live on grasslands, and eat mostly grass. Depending on the pasture they are grazing on, they may also be eating leafy foliage that will add beneficial nutrients to their diets. A grass-fed cow can take a farmer up to a year longer to reach slaughter weight then grain-fed cows. This means an extra year’s worth of food, care and labor.
Grain fed cows started their lives on the pastures, but once they grow older, they live in feedlots and are fed a grain-based diet, made with a base of corn or soy. Here they can be fattened up quickly before moving to the factory for slaughter.
Numerous studies have compared the nutrients of grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef and there is a consensus that grass-fed contains more beneficial nutrients, less total fat and therefore less total calories overall gram for gram.
GRASS-FED BEEF HAS LESS OMERGA-6
Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and grass-fed beef. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential so you need to obtain them from your diet.
These fats are primarily used for energy. The most common omega-6 fat is linoleic acid, which can be converted into longer omega-6 fats such as arachidonic acid (ARA). ARA is used to produce eicosanoids which is known to be pro-inflammatory. Pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are important chemicals in the immune system. However, when too many of them are produced, they can increase inflammation and inflammatory disease.
Although omega-6 fats are essential, the modern Western diet contains far more omega-6 fatty acids than necessary. The recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is 4:1 or less. However, the Western diet has a ratio between 10:1 and 50:1. Therefore, although omega-6 fats are essential in the right quantities, most people in the developed world should aim to reduce their omega-6 intake.
GRASS-FED BEEF HAVE TWICE AS MUCH CLA’S
Grass-fed beef contains about twice as much Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) as grain-fed beef. The main dietary sources of CLA are dairy products and beef.
CLA may help you lose a very small amount of body fat. Several studies show that CLA promotes slight weight loss when researchers compare it with placebo groups.
In one study, participants who took 1.8 mg of CLA for 12 weeks and went to the gym for 90 minutes three times per week reduced their body fat but not their body weight when the researchers compared them with a placebo group. The authors said that CLA might reduce fat deposition.
CLA’s may contribute to heart health as well. Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is when plaque builds up in the arteries. This is a risk factor for heart disease. One 2018 study on obese mice suggested that taking CLA supplements could protect against atherosclerosis.
GRASS-FED BEEF HAS MORE OMEGA-3’S
The major difference is Omega-3 fatty acid content with grass-fed. Grass-fed beef contains between 2 to 5 times as much Omega-3 as grain fed. If you look at percentage, that’s up to 400% more of omega-3 in Grass-fed Beef. The American heart association recommends 1000mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day.
Heart attacks and stroke are the leading cause of death in the United States. Studies have shown that Omega-3’s can improve risk factors for hearth disease. It is shown to lower triglycerides up to 30-40%, it can help lower blood pressure in those with high-blood pressure, it can raise your good HDL cholesterol and prevent blood platelets from clumping together, causing blood clots.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental health disorders. Interestingly, studies indicate that people who consume omega-3s regularly are less likely to be depressed. What’s more, when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms improve. There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA and DHA. Of the three, EPA appears to be the best at fighting depression. One study even found EPA as effective against depression as a common antidepressant drug.
There are many more benefits of eating grass-fed beef over grain-fed beef, including that grass-fed beef is generally raised on a farm using less herbicides and less pesticides. These eco-conscious farms tend to raise their meat in a more sustainable fashion, giving them less antibiotics and hormones.
When you purchase Raise America’s grass-fed beef you not only support your health but your economy. Our organic, grass-fed beef is free from hormones, antibiotics, GMO’s and is gluten free. You can be assured that when you feed your family with Raise America, you are providing them with healthy, nutrient dense, high quality beef.
Raise America’s grass-fed organic beef is born, raised and 100% grass-fed right here in the United States. By choosing Raise America, you choose to support American Farmers who utilize holistic management approaches to not only nourish cattle, but the environment, too!