Since I started writing about health, the debate about whether to eat meat and from what source has continued. Have you ever wondered whether grass-fed beef is healthier?. Is it worth the extra cost and effort? Is there a real difference? Simply put, yes!. Is Grass-Fed Beef Healthier Than Grain-Fed Beef?.
There is a clear difference between red meat raised on feedlots and beef from grass-fed and free-range cattle. So why is red meat so badly evaluate? Many reasons. Big Agriculture wants you to blame red meat for the problems caused by corn, sugar, soybeans, gluten, and feedlot meat.
The Supposed Problem With Red Meat
Saturated fat is the reason why red meat is blamed as a disease-causing food. Many studies have tried to attribute the heart disease and cancer epidemic to saturated fat. Of course, you can’t live on hamburgers alone. Therefore, although excessive consumption may have some relevance.
It can be a balanced part of a nutritious diet. The 2018 Animal Frontier research focused on the nutritional value of red meat and took into account other factors such as weight, lack of fiber, and too little exercise because the risk of cancer is higher than that of red meat. Grain-fed beef also contains these nutrients.
But grass-fed beef contains more certain types of nutrients, especially:
- More omega-3 fats, which have anti-inflammatory effects
- More antioxidant nutrients
such as vitamin A and vitamin E. Saturated fats are not harmful by themselves. This is how you balance your diet plan. Are you eating vegetables, fruits, fiber, and other proteins, such as omega-3 rich seafood? Eating delicious ribeye for dinner will not cause heart disease.
But this is how much discussion about red meat has been framed! Red meat itself is not bad, but like many other foods, the best way to eat red meat is declining. Let us know more about the nutrients it contains.
Nutrients in Grass-Fed Beef
Although red meat contains saturated fat, it also contains many other healthy nutrients. We will discuss the different types of beef you can buy below, but now let’s look at the different nutrients in grass-fed beef and why they are good for you. From animals to animals, even depending on where they are kept, this generally applies to all herbivorous meats.
Stearic Acid and Cholesterol
Stearic acid is a saturated fat that can lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and is believed to have cardioprotective effects. Grass-fed beef contains more stearic acid than traditional meat. Although some studies have found that stearic acid may be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, in the end, a diet that supports heart health is a diet that contains a variety of foods and nutrients. You don’t need red meat to provide everything you need.
What you need: You just need to know that a single food will not improve or affect your heart health. For the record, I am not worried about cholesterol levels (for the following reasons), but I am happy to see more positive associations related to red meat.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a powerful antioxidant. An article in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010 found that CLA can prevent cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. Other Nutrients research in 2019 found that CLA has shown promise in the treatment of breast, brain, and colon cancer.
However, she also pointed out that other studies cannot replicate the benefits of CLA for breast cancer, so more research is needed. However, there is some promising evidence behind CLA, and grass-fed beef is an important source of it.
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and are important for health. Beef is not an important source of them, but the omega-3 fatty acid content of grass-fed beef is 3-4 times that of grain-fed beef. However, the pre-slaughter animal’s diet has a significant impact on this. So grass-fed beef with added grains may not have the same benefits. Seafood is a better source of omega fats. 3 than beef, but grass-fed beef is. Still a good source.
Vitamins and Minerals
Grass-fed beef also contains more nutrients than traditionally raised beef, such as:
- Zinc and Iron
- B vitamins
- Vitamin E, glutathione, and other antioxidants
Carotenoids such as β-carrots Vegetarian beef or other cuts have you noticed that the fat you produce is pale yellow? This is due to carotenoids, which are antioxidants. These same compounds make carrots and sweet potatoes orange, which is why the fat in grass-fed beef is yellower.
But How Does It Taste?
Some people also find that grass-fed meat has a different taste and smell. This is because higher levels of CLA will change the taste, texture (marbling), and even smell of the meat. These changes have occurred in recent weeks and are a good way to determine whether you are eating grass meat.
Grass-fed but finished grains produce lower levels of CLA, resulting in a milder taste and smell, but less CLA. The stronger flavor of grass meat may take some time to adapt, but the added nutrients are worth it.
All red meat, no matter how it raises, is a low level of good sources of vitamin B12 and iron, and other nutrients. If you don’t have grass-fed beef in your area, or you don’t have a budget, please don’t let this stop you from eating red meat!
Sourcing and Quality of Red Meat: Which Type is Best?
It is important to distinguish between grass-fed meat raised in the natural environment and the meat of dairy cows raised in feedlots. Sometimes referred to as CAFO (Centralized Animal Feeding Facility), these feeders feed animals genetically modified grains as food, rather than the natural free-range diet they would eat.
They are also kept indoors and are often given antibiotics to treat common infections because there is no fresh air or space to roam. You have heard the phrase “what do you eat”, but it goes a step further by saying “what do you eat you eat”. Just as processed and genetically modified grains are not good for humans, they are not good for dairy cows.
When comparing grass-fed and grain-fed beef, the important nutritional difference comes down to the health of dairy cows. Grass-fed and free-range dairy cows breathe fresh air and eat a natural diet, making them healthier. . Therefore, meat from grass-fed cattle will also be healthier.
How to Read Labels
You may have bought beef and have seen many kinds of labels. These may include:
- Grass fodder
What do these labels mean? Natural and organic beef can still come from feedlots. In many cases, they can feed better quality grains as food, and organic beef will not receive antibiotics or growth hormones. So this meat is slightly better than traditional meat, but it is not grass-fed.
This is the trick. Even “grass-fed” beef can be fed with some grains. This is because some animals are herbivorous and allowed to eat grass. But their grains have been used up in the past few weeks. Although this grass-fed meat is better than traditional, the best meat is from grass-fed and grass-fed cattle.
If you buy beef from a store, it is difficult to tell whether it is forage or cereal. Local farmers may provide you with more information about their animal husbandry processes, as well as online retailers, who may be more transparent about where their meat comes from.
Where We Buy Beef
Whenever possible, we will buy directly from local farmers so that we can verify the health of the animals and support the local economy. In many areas, you can find farmers who sell beef for 1/4 or 1/2 cows.
When these options are not available, we will shop at ButcherBox or US Wellness Meats. I have been able to verify the quality of both and am satisfied with the options they provide. Not only can you get ground beef and other typical cuts, but you can also get filet mignon, grilled meat, and even organ meat.
Belcampo is another option to buy grass-fed meat directly, although it is not based on a subscription requirement-a minimum order. Nevertheless, if you want to buy high-quality meat in bulk, this is a good choice.
Bottom line Grass-fed beef is healthier than grain-fed beef. It contains different and better nutrients, such as more omega-3 fats and CLA, which are good for your heart. Even if you can’t buy pure grass-fed red meat, adding a bit to your diet can improve the way you enjoy red meat in your diet.