You are what you eat, or that is what many people say.
The same can be true for those animals that we eat and the diets that they are on.
Does what you feed them make a difference in how healthy they are to eat?
Do they taste different? Are the nutrients in the meat different depending on their diet?
These are all important questions we’d love to get to the bottom of.
One of the biggest topics out there is the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef and whether one is better for you than the other.
In fact, it has been shown that the way cows are fed actually have a major effect on the nutrients that are found within their beef.
In the past, the cows that were eaten ate grass and today, many of the cows that you purchase for consumption are fed grains.
This is because the cows have to be mass-produced to feed the country that we live in and grain is one of the least expensive, yet readily available forms of food that a cow will be able to eat.
Knowing the differences between the two and how the way the cow is fed can affect your health and make you think twice about the type of beef you choose to buy.
What is the Difference Between Grass-Fed or Grain-Fed Beef?
The cows all start off with the same lives.
They are born in the spring, drink their mother’s milk to grow and then they are usually moved to feedlots with other cows once they are old enough to be weaned away from the mother.
Usually, in these feedlots, they are not given much space and are fattened up and grown by using steroids, antibiotics and growth hormones.
They are fed grain-based food made from corn or soy and dried grass.
The difference is usually that grain-fed cows are fed these grains for most of their lives after milk along with the hormones, and grass-fed cows are fed a diet of grass.
Fatty-Acids in the Beef
The one biggest difference that was noticed between the two types of beef was the fatty acid composition.
Fatty acids can be good or bad, depending on the acids.
Grass-fed beef contains less fat in it than grain-fed beef.
This means there are fewer calories overall in grass-fed options.
In addition to being fewer in calories, grass-fed beef also has less monosaturated fats in it and twice as much conjugated linoleic acid.
Grass-fed beef was also known to have five times as much Omega-3’s in it, while the Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats were mostly the same.
These fatty acids have been linked to many health benefits and being able to get enough of them in your diet is very important to your health.
The type of beef and breed of a cow can also make a difference, but what they eat is also going to show a significant difference in the amount of fatty acids found through it.
What are the Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef?
Grass-fed beef contains several benefits that can’t be found in grain-fed cattle.
In addition to the above benefits that come from grass-fed beef, there are a number of other health benefits that you can get when you choose to go with grass-fed based beef products that you couldn’t get when choosing grain-fed.
Being rich in a number of vitamins that you cannot find in grain-fed beef, it is much more than a filler. It is nutritious meat that can be used in a number of recipes.
When you add it to your recipe list, you are adding a wide variety of nutrient benefits that come along with it.
Extra antioxidants and other nutrients, as well as lower fats and leaner cuts make this beef well worth the extra costs, though slightly higher, but better overall.
As a whole foods source, the cost of the beef can benefit you because you’re not only getting more nutrients from the beef, but it will be better for the body overall and not something that is just sitting there not providing any nutritional value.
Potential Cancer Fighter
CLA has been shown to not only fight off infections and diseases but also help with illnesses and even boost weight loss.
As an essential building block that you need in your diet, it is one that’s found in grass-fed beef.
It has helped numerous people fight obesity and cancer just by having this one nutrient added to their diet.
There have even been studies conducted on CLA and cancer, and it has been showing promising results.
As these results become more apparent, more research is to be done to find out the direct relation to CLA and cancer, and why it is crucial to have in our diets.
Reduces the Risks of Heart Disease
The nutrition that is in grass-fed beef, such as less fat, cholesterol, increase in omega-3’s and more vitamin E and CLA have been shown to be linked with less heart disease risk in those that consume grass-fed beef over grain-fed.
These extra vitamins and nutrients are important for increasing health and having a healthier heart overall.
Improves Your Blood Sugar Levels
Healthy fats have been linked to healthier, more constant blood sugar levels in the body.
This is true for those with and without diabetes.
It was shown that close to half of the participants in a study with diabetes had more stable blood sugar levels after eating grass-fed beef over grain-fed options.
More Likely to Be More Natural
Grain-fed beef, as mentioned above, usually has hormones and other things found in it.
When you purchase grass-fed beef, usually it is beef that is not injected with anything and is able to grow as it normally would without the extras added.
This is great for those that do not want the extras thrown in.
It Might Just Be Safer Overall
Studies have shown that grass-fed beef decreases the chances of getting food poisoning.
It is also less likely to cause antibiotic resistance in humans because they are rarely ever given steroids, hormones, or antibiotics.
There is also research that shows there is little to no bacteria found on this beef.
Whether you’re interested in eating beef or just wanted to know the differences, the studies have shown that grass-fed might be the best way to go about getting your beef.
While, it does cost a bit extra, as it is not conventionally, mass-produced like grain-fed beef, it does come with great benefits that you wouldn’t be able to get from the other types of beef you can purchase on the market today.
It is ultimately your choice on which to go with, make the best choice for you and your family.
It is important to eat real food, and with the controversy of what to eat is out there, grass-fed beef continues to be a staple for those that want something delicious, nutritious, and packed with many benefits you would not be able to get from other forms of meat on the market.
Choose a natural slice of beef to place on your dinner table tonight with grass-fed options.