Who doesn’t like a juicy steak of grass-fed beef now and again? You may have heard of this type of beef but maybe you’re not sure what the fuss is all about. Grass-fed beef describes cattle raised on grass or alfalfa at least half of the year. There are serious health benefits to be had from eating grass-fed beef, rather than grain-fed cattle raised on products made from soy or corn.
So if you’re looking for fresh ingredients in your next family meal, talk to your local farmer. Or keep an eye out for beef with the American Grassfed Association (GFA) seal. Otherwise, learn more about why this type of beef makes all the difference.
What’s The Difference Between Grain-Fed And Grass-Fed Beef?
Most grain-fed cows are reared and mass-fed in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). However, as CAFOs are unclean, the cows are injected with antibiotics to prevent sickness. They’re also given steroids to increase their growth and boost beef production.
Grass-fed cattle, on the other hand, are free to graze naturally grown grass. Most farms with grass-fed cattle don’t use antibiotics, steroids or pesticides, as it’s been proven that these substances can have damaging effects on humans.
What One Grass-Fed Beef Steak Contains
Just one 214-gram steak of grass-fed beef contains all of these lovely vitamins and minerals:
- 49 g Protein
- 45 mg Omega-3 fatty acids
- 14.3 mg Niacin
- 0.3 mg Riboflavin
- 28 mcg Folate
- 1.4 mg Vitamin B6
- 2.7 mcg Vitamin B12
- 1.5 mg Pantothenic Acid
- 139 mg Choline
- 16.3 mg Betaine
- 4 mg Iron
- 118 mg Sodium
- 49 mg Magnesium
- 454 mg Phosphorus
- 732 mg Potassium
- 45 mcg Selenium
- 7.7 mg Zinc
- 19 mg Calcium
So What Are The Health Benefits?
1. Fewer Calories
The total fat content of grass-fed beef is lower because their diet is more natural. If your average consumption of beef per year is approximately 67 pounds, you could be saving yourself 16,642 calories a year.
2. Healthier Blood Sugar Levels
Grass-fed beef contains a fatty acid that’s good for you called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Indeed, a recent study showed that CLA can help prevent conditions such as obesity and diabetes, with 37% of those who were given CLA showing better insulin sensitivity over those who didn’t.
3. Helps Fight Against Cancer
You’ve already heard about CLA, but this amazing substance is one of the strongest anti-cancer nutrients out there. It’s also the only anti-cancer nutrient that comes from meat. There’s twice the amount of CLA in grass-fed beef, compared to grain-fed beef.
4. More Healthy Fats
Grass-fed beef delivers up to six times more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. If you’re still considering going for grain-fed beef because it could be cheaper, it contains higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which are already over-consumed in most regular American diets.
Meanwhile, increasing your omega-3 intake can result in significant health benefits that have been proven by studies:
- Helps rheumatoid arthritis by reducing stiffness and joint pain
- Increases mental well-being for sufferers of depression
- Aids mental focus in conditions such as attention deficit disorder (ADHD)
5. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
There’s clinical evidence to show that CLA, the nutrient that’s abundant in grass-fed beef, lowers your risk of heart disease. By eating grass-fed beef, there are other ways that you’re protecting your heart with:
- High amounts of omega-3 fatty acids
- Antioxidants including vitamin E
- Lower amounts of bad cholesterol (a sign of heart disease)
- Less unhealthy fats
The Last Word
Grass-fed beef contains more vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids plus CLAs than grain-fed beef. So if you’re serious about eating delicious meat that’s also great for your health, try buying the highest quality you can afford.