Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef
Grass fed beef remains one of the more nutrient-dense proteins to consume, having a significantly higher micronutrient profile than grain fed beef.
I once knew a dairy farmer who used to say: “once it’s on the hook it’s all the same.” He meant that once the meat was hanging on the butcher’s hook, it didn’t really matter what had been done to the animal before it was slaughtered. While many people still incorrectly believe that meat is meat, it’s important to understand that an animal’s diet directly influences the quality and the nutrient content of the meat it produces.
Grass-fed beef offers more health benefits than typical grain fed beef, including:
1. Potential cancer fighter. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is considered to be one of the strongest nutrients to defend against cancer. Grass-fed beef nutrition includes more omega-3 fatty acids and more CLA than grain-fed. The CLA provides unique and highly important health benefits, and there have been numerous animal studies done to promote health and fight cancer.
2. Reduces heart disease risks. The CLA in the grass-fed beef shows a reduction in heart diseases. The level of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids is increased, and there is less overall fat and unhealthy fats when your cows are grass-fed.
3. Improves blood sugar. A healthy diet is extremely important. Getting enough healthy fats help keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. In some studies, the CLA has proven to improve patients insulin sensitivity.
4. More likely free from hormones and antibiotics. Most grain-fed beef, even locally grown beef, is usually raised with hormones to unnaturally increase the growth rate. But, any beef from any farm, including grass-fed beef, locally raised beef, humanely raised beef, etc could have been given hormones. The same is true of antibiotics. The majority of antibiotics used in the US are used on livestock. Exactly what percentage of antibiotics are used on livestock in the US is unknown because nobody collects that data. The point is that just because you bought local or grass-fed beef from the farmers market doesn’t mean the animal wasn’t treated with antibiotics or given hormones. Those hormones and antibiotics can have detrimental effects on your health. It is just as important to know what the animal you are eating was given and ate as it is to know what you’re eating.