WHY GRASS FED IS BETTERposted June 09
Fat and Omega-3’s
Fats get a bad reputation, but the truth is there are good fats and bad fats, and Omega-3s are really good fats. These fatty acids, which are essential for human growth and development, are most often associated with coldwater fish and certain fruits and vegetables, but they also occur in abundance in forage-fed beef. Grass-fed meat is a rich source of this healthy fat because the animals spend their lives eating the green forage plants that are naturally rich in Omega-3s themselves. Just by eating their natural diet, the cattle absorb these valuable fats and then pass the nutrition on to you. The result is beef that has nearly 60% more Omega-3s than beef from cows that have been raised on a low-Omega-3 grain diet.
Furthermore, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, CLA for short, can have a powerful effect on our health. In separate studies, scientists have shown that CLA can lower an individual’s risk for cancer and arteriosclerosis (clogged arteries), as well as reduce body fat and delay the onset of diabetes. For Americans, beef and dairy fat are the best sources of CLA, but research has shown that an all-grass diet can significantly increase the level of CLA in beef and dairy. Because green plants are rich in the linoleic acid necessary to produce to CLA, grass-fed animals typically produce two to four times the CLA of their grain-fed counterparts. CLA has become so valued for its health benefits that many health food stores sell CLA supplements, but naturally-occurring CLA is metabolized more effectively and used better by the body than these synthetic supplements, which are prone to oxidation during shelf-life. All of this makes grass-fed beef one of the best sources of CLA available.
Vitamin A is essential to proper nutrition, a key to healthy vision and bone growth as well as an essential antioxidant. Our most common source of Vitamin A is the beta-carotene that occurs naturally in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables and is converted into Vitamin A by our bodies. But forage-fed beef is an additional source of the vital nutrient. Cattle that are raised on grass consume significantly larger amounts of beta-carotene than do those raised on grain, and the result is meat that is a valuable source of Vitamin A.
Another essential antioxidant that is linked to a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, Vitamin E also occurs in larger amounts in grass-fed beef than in grain-fed beef.
Because grass-fed cattle are raised and finished in their natural environment, eating their natural diet, their four-chain stomach operates at a healthy level of pH 7. In contrast, grain-fed cattle have a very high stomach acidity of pH 4, brought on by their unnatural, high-starch diets. Thanks to their healthy diet, forage-raised cattle have high amounts of healthy fats, like Omega-3s and CLA, and minimal amounts of the unhealthy Omega-6 fats that have come to be associated with beef. As Americans have grown accustomed to grain-fed beef as the norm, they have come to associate the fattiness of grain-fed animals with tender and tasty meat, but we know better! Because fats occur in proper ratio in grass-fed cattle, the meat is both lower in overall fat and more flavorful. The real difference is that you’ll need to get used to cooking your meat at lower temperatures. Where grain-fed beef cooking is all about using high heat to break down fat, grass-fed beef cooking depends on lower temperatures to gently coax the flavor out of the meat. And even better, it’s good for you!
So there you have it. Talk to Robert if you’d like more information or if you’d like to place an order through his meat company, Prime Fit Foods.
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