These days we’re not the only ones shouting from the rooftops about the many benefits of grass-fed beef… But what’s the hype really about – and is it really just hype?
The good news is that this growing movement is not just based on a popular diet, it’s based on true nutritional research and facts.
So what is difference between grass fed and grain fed beef anyway?
Here it is in a nutshell:
Nutrition: Grass-fed beef
You are what you eat. An old saying that still holds true. Did you ever consider that the same goes for the food that we eat? The nutrients we get from grass-fed beef are different than the nutrients we get from grain-fed.
Cattle (like sheep, deer and other grazing animals) are ruminants with the ability to convert grasses, into flesh that we, humans, can digest. Cattle can live off grasses because they have a rumen, a 45 or so gallon fermentation tank in the cattle convert cellulose into protein and fats – delicious meat.
Meat from cattle feeding on grass has a high degree of the healthy omega-3 fats in it. It also has less of the unhealthy saturated fat that is shown to be harmful to humans. Saturated fats are shown to increase the dangerous LDL cholesterol and are related to cardiovascular diseases.
Nutrition: Grain-fed beef
Grain-fed cattle spend their last half-or-so of their lives being fattened or ‘finished’ in feedlots feeding on some types of grains, most often corn or soy. This kind of feed is nothing near natural to these types of animals who, as described above are ruminants not created to feed on grain. The consequence for the animal is that their whole gastrointestinal system changes. And it changes the nutritional composition of the meat that ends up on our plates.
Grain-fed beef has more of the saturated fats that are harmful to people’s health. Also, the meat has almost none of the helpful omega-3 fat that you would get from grass-fed beef.