The health benefits of eating grass-fed beef are many. Some studies are still in their preliminary stages, but arrows point to higher levels of Vitamins A and E as well as cancer fighting antioxidants. In general, grass fed beef is leaner than grain fed beef and CLA has been found to be 2 to 6 times higher in grass finished beef compared to grain finished beef. There are indicators that CLA may help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. CLA is also said to improve brain function. Omega 3 fatty acids (the good cholesterol) is also higher in a grass-fed animal. It is the Omega 3’s that help with nerve function and modify the way the body responds to stress.
In his article “Why Grass-fed Trumps Grain-fed” Chris Kresser parrots some of the above findings, reminding us that we are what our animals eat. He also points out that grass-fed beef contains a higher level of stearic acid which does not raise cholesterol levels in the blood.
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Eating grass fed beef has been promoted by advocates for the paleo diet http://paleogrubs.com/benefits-of-eating-grass-fed-beef and by health activist, Dr. Mercola. A video interview on his site explains more about the grass-fed industry and health benefits of eating beef raised on grass. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/21/grass-fed-beef-production.aspx
Also, a 2006 study showed that grass-fed animals contained higher levels of both CLA and Omega 3’s, and that just 80 days of feeding grain to an animal was enough to destroy the Omega 3 content in beef. Here’s a link to read more information about this study and a follow-up study done in 2008. https://blog.bulletproof.com/grass-fed-meat-part-1/
For curious readers, and avid information explorers, here are two other sites where you can learn more about the health benefits of grass-fed beef and the differences between grass and grain fed beef:
https://www.americangrassfedbeef.com/grass-fed-natural-beef.asp and http://eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm
On the Eatwild website, Joe Robinson has a thorough and clear summary of the health benefits of eating food from animals raised on grass. She uses graphs and charts to show the benefits and references a study that shows that the healthy Omega 3’s found in grassfed beef, vanish in the feedlot.
One more site with a concise summary: http://www.gourmetpasturebeef.com/category_s/17.htm
Have fun exploring this information!
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