The classic idiom, 'you are what you eat' very much applies to our cows as it does to humans, and there are significant differences in the quality of meat depending on what the cattle have been grazing on. We outline why 100% grass-fed beef is the much better choice for your diet than grain fed beef.
The cholesterol content of grass-fed beef has repeatedly been shown to be lower than the cholesterol content in beef from conventionally fed animals. Grass-fed beef is likely to have between 22-39% less cholesterol than congenitally fed beef, which is great news for you heart and arteries.
Carotenoids are not carrots on steroids, but natural pigments that are found in the cytoplasm of most plants. Thus grass-fed cows have an abundance of them, in fact grass-fed beef has been found to have over twice the amount of carotenoids than conventionally fed cows. Carotenoids have been linked with many health benefits, notably protection against several forms of cancer (lung, head and neck cancers).
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
You'll find yourself getting 500-800 milligrams of CLA from a 4-ounce serving of grass-fed beef. This amount is approximately two to three times greater than the amount found in non grass-fed beef. CLA is a fatty acid made from linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid commonly found in food. However, CLA is unique in its chemical structure, and this uniqueness is associated with an increasing list of health benefits, including immune and inflammatory system support, improved bone mass, improved blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat, reduced risk of heart attack, and maintenance of lean body mass. Grass-fed beef also contains greater amounts of vaccenic acid than conventionally fed beef.
Antioxidants, Vitamins and Minerals
Grass-fed beef also contains significantly more of the antioxidants vitamin E, glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase than grain-fed beef. These antioxidants play an important role in protecting our cells from oxidation, especially delicate fats in the cell membrane such as omega-3 and omega-6.
Grass-fed beef also contains higher levels of the beneficial nutrients including zinc, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. It’s safe to say that grass-fed meat gives you more bang for your buck on all fronts, with its significantly higher levels of omega-3s, antioxidants, minerals, and other important nutrients.