Grass-fed beef benefits your health in several key ways; it may protect against conditions such as inflammation and Alzheimer’s. Compared to grain-fed beef, it’s lower in saturated fat and higher in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
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Protein can give your body and mind the strength they need to prevail against all challenges.
Beef is a key source of protein. However, it’s important to select wisely here, since there are differences in the types of beef available.
The two choices offered to consumers are grass-fed beef and beef that’s been conventionally raised. Some studies suggest that grass-fed beef has advantages that can help reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
In this article, we’ll explain how grass-fed and conventionally raised beef differ. We’ll also examine some of the ways in which grass-fed beef benefits your health. Keep reading to learn more about how this high-quality protein source can help give you the fortitude you need to endure and succeed.
Grass-fed vs. conventional beef
The quality of beef cows produce largely depends on the quality of their diet.
Grain-fed and grass-fed cows typically begin their lives drinking milk and eating grass. However, cows that are conventionally raised are usually transitioned to a grain-based diet when they’re between 7 and 12 months old.
This diet typically includes choices such as corn and soy. This is an unnatural diet for cows, but it can help boost profit margins for those who raise them.
Grains aren’t compatible with a cow’s digestive system. A diet high in grains creates acidity that may cause a cow to develop ulcers.
For farmers, the key advantage of a grain-fed diet is that it promotes obesity. This diet causes cattle to gain weight faster than they would if they were eating grass. The weight gain allows each cow to deliver a larger quantity of meat, and this provides cost benefits for cattle farmers.
With grass-fed cattle, the story is different. These cows are fed a diet that consists mostly of grass all throughout their lives, and this has profound implications for the meat they produce.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which grass-fed beef benefits your health.
Health benefit #1: It has less fat than conventional beef
When you compare grain-fed and grass-fed beef, the grass-fed variety has less fat. As a result, it has fewer calories. This makes beef from grass-fed cows a better choice than conventional beef if you’re seeking to reduce calorie intake to improve your health or lose weight.
Grass-fed beef’s relatively low amount of fat may also have implications for heart health.
The fat in conventional beef has been linked to increased blood cholesterol levels and heart disease.
However, lean red meat doesn’t seem to have the same effect on heart health. Some studies show that meat low in fat doesn’t raise cholesterol levels.
Grass-fed beef is leaner than conventional beef, and this makes it a smarter choice if you’re seeking to avoid heart disease.
Health benefit #2: It has a lower risk of bacteria contamination than beef from grain-fed cows
Over the years, there have countless ground beef recalls concerning E. coli contamination. E. coli infection can cause symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. It may also lead to a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Consumer Reports (CR) tested 300 packages of ground beef purchased from various grocery, big box and natural food stores across the country. The study showed conventional beef was more likely to be infected with bacteria than grass-fed beef.
The CR analysis also revealed grass-fed beef is less likely to be contaminated with superbugs than beef harvested from cows that have been fed grains. Superbugs are harmful bacteria that are resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics.
According to CR’s research, 18% of conventional meat samples were contaminated with superbugs. With the grass-fed samples, the contamination rate dipped to 9%.
Buy grass-fed beef instead of conventional beef to reduce your risk of consuming meat infected with harmful bacteria.
Health benefit #3: It has more vitamin A and antioxidants than grain-fed beef
Medical advice from the Mayo Clinic states antioxidants can help guard your cells against free radicals. Free radicals are produced when your body is digesting food and when it’s exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation. Studies suggest free radicals may play a role in the development of heart disease and cancer.
Compared to meat from grain-fed cows, grass-fed meat is richer in antioxidants. As a result, it’s a better choice for preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, grass-fed beef is higher in vitamin A than its grain-fed rival.
Eat grass-fed beef to enjoy higher levels of antioxidants and vitamin A than you’ll get with meat from grain-fed cattle.
Health benefit #4: It has more omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef
Many of us know about the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats positively impact the body and brain in many key ways. They can reduce inflammation, and they may provide protection against Alzheimer’s.
Relative to the grain-fed variety, grass-fed beef has much higher levels of CLA and omega-3s. As such, it’s a superior choice if you’re seeking to boost your intake of these valuable nutrients.
Gain long-term health benefits by consuming grass-feed beef. You can find this beef online. It’s also available in some supermarkets and health food stores.
Grass-fed beef isn’t as widely offered as its grain-fed counterpart, and it is typically more expensive. To enjoy easy, affordable access to this nutritious protein, served in portions that support your health, subscribe to Fresh N’ Lean. We use only grass-fed beef, and you’ll find it in several of our menu items.