Is Grass-Fed Beef Leaner Than Grain-Fed Beef?

If you’re unfamiliar with grass-fed beef you may be wondering if it’s a leaner meat when compared to grain-fed beef. The answer is yes: grass-fed beef is indeed naturally leaner than traditionally raised, grain-fed beef.For example, three ounces of grass-fed beef contains about 2.3 grams of fat, or the same amount found in the same size portion of skinless chicken breast, while three ounces of grain-fed beef can contain up to four times that amount. This means grass-fed beef is also lower in calories when compared to grain-fed beef.

Why is grass-fed beef leaner? It’s due to the cattle’s diet. A grass diet is not only an ideal food more naturally suited for a cow’s digestive system, but it also keeps the animal’s flesh leaner because grass and forage tends to be much low in calories. A grain diet, on the other hand, contains more calories and helps cattle gain weight a lot more rapidly. As a result, the meat of cattle that are fed a grain-based diet tend to be fattier.

Eating leaner beef, obviously, also equates to consuming less calories. A 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer typically contains about 100 fewer calories than the same size and type of cut from a grain-fed steer. This makes it a great source of lean protein that helps keep you feeling fuller longer for overall less fat and calories.

Besides delivering less overall fat and calories, grass-fed beef also contains higher amounts of omega-3s, antioxidants, certain vitamins, and CLAs (Conjugated Linoleum Acids) compared to grain-fed beef. It’s also just as — if not more — juicier than grain-fed beef. You can read more about the nutrients of grass-fed beef and the other benefits it provides here.

Since you are what you eat, if you’re looking to stay lean and trim yourself, why not make grass-fed beef a part of your diet?