Every week you grocery shop and find yourself faced with some pretty tough decisions: dairy milk or nut-based milk, organic produce or conventionally grown produce, grass-fed beef or grain-fed beef.
Grass-fed beef looks the same as grain-fed beef, so what gives?
Here are five reasons why you should be choosing grass-fed beef over grain-fed beef.
Grass-Fed Beef Benefits
1. Grass-Fed Beef Comes From Grass-Fed Cattle
This may be stating the obvious here, but grass-fed beef comes from grass-fed cattle. This is not a minor detail. Cows were traditionally raised to enjoy fresh pasture grass, but nowadays, a cow’s diet contains corn, soybean, other grains, stale bread, cereal, and rendered animal products. (Yuck!)
Since cows’ systems are not designed to consume this type of diet, it changes the nutritional makeup of their meat, which can result in higher saturated fat. Remember, you are what you eat, but you are also what your food eats!
2. Grass-Fed Beef Has Better Flavor
Some cuts of grass-fed beef may contain small bits of yellow fat, but don’t be alarmed. The yellowish fat comes from carotenoids, which are colorful pigments that give grass-fed beef its superior flavor. Carotenoids are also rich in nutrients like beta-carotene and lutein, both of which contribute to a healthy diet.
3. Grass-Fed Beef Is High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids play a central role in the functioning of our body. Omega-3s:
- Ease inflammation and help protect the heart
- Keep hormone levels in balance
- Assist in managing cholesterol levels
- Help lower blood pressure
- Fights fat
Grass-fed meat, such as grass-fed beef, have roughly three times more omega-3s than grain-fed meat. This is because the longer cattle are fed grains like corn and soybeans, the more their omega-3 levels decrease, which essentially produces a lower quality of meat.
Grain-fed beef is also higher in omega-6s, which are inflammatory by nature. By sticking to grass-fed beef, you will be getting a more favorable ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s.
(Other foods that are high in omega-3s are egg yolks, chia seeds, flax seeds, and wild-caught seafood.)
4. Grass-Fed Beef Is Higher in CLA’s
Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs) are essential fatty acids and are critical to our health. CLA’s:
- Strengthen the immune system
- Help increase muscle mass
- Reduce fat
- Increase metabolic function
Although CLA’s are crucial to our health, there’s a catch: our bodies cannot produce CLA’s on their own, which means we have to get them from our diet.
Meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals are some of the richest sources of CLA’s, so stock up on quality grass-fed beef or your favorite dairy products to get your fill of these essential elements.
5. Grass-Fed Beef Is Better for the Environment
Grain-fed cows are kept inside much of the time, caged up and confined. This isn’t kind to the cows or the environment. Grass-fed cows get their nutrients from the soil and those nutrients are then returned back to the soil by the cow’s waste.
However, in today’s system, fertilizers are used instead of a more natural alternative. This process consumes large amounts of fossil fuels, releases more greenhouse gases, and essentially raises our carbon footprint.
On the other hand, grass-fed cows have a more symbiotic relationship with the land they live on and graze on. By eating grass, cows encourage new plant growth and help nourish the soil through their waste. This is the way nature intended it after all!
Shopping for Grass-Fed Beef
When shopping for grass-fed beef, make sure you read your labels! Organic meat does not always mean grass-fed, so be sure you are purchasing 100% grass-fed and finished beef.
U.S. Wellness Meats offers sustainably raised food options and specializes in nutrient-rich, 100% grass-fed and finished beef. They are dedicated to sustainable farming methods that provide for a healthier planet and more nutritious food options for families.
Quality starts from the ground up; better food means better nutrition and better health, which means more energy, and a better overall quality of life for you and your health.
When planning your weekly grocery shopping trip, purchase grass-fed beef over grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is some of the most nutritious meat you can find. It’s low in toxins, packed with powerful vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is hands-down better for the planet than grain-fed beef.
Meet The Author:
Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing over at her blog, Three to Five a Day.