The phrase “grass fed beef” sounds so clean and natural that you can see images of a herd of cattle grazing on a farm, living their best lives. Well, the term simply means the animal’s diet comprised of grass and forage its entire life as soon as it weaned from its mother’s milk. There’s no single time that the animals fed grain. Keeping cattle on a strict grass-only diet for all this time is pricey and takes almost twenty four months for the animals to be ready for the market.
Health conscious consumers are always looking for the “grass-fed” or “grass-finished” label when shopping for quality beef. But, is it really healthier compared to grain fed beef?
Grass Fed Animal Products vs. Grain Fed Animal Products
Some people are still skeptical and argue that the nutritional value of the conventional beef and grass-fed beef is the same. Understanding the difference between the two types of meat will help you see where the difference lies. Cattle are herbivorous animals meant to feed of grass, preferably within open pastures. Farmers resorted to using grain-based products as the demand for meat kept increasing over the years.
An animal’s diet has a direct effect or rather influence on the quality, leanness, and nutritional value of its meat. Grass fed beef is much leaner and higher in vitamins, antioxidants, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than the grain fed beef. Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a beneficial fat that’s been found to improve immunity, inhibit canter, reduce risk for heart disease, and provide anti-inflammation benefits.
Animals that feed on antibiotic-laced feed and kept in a confined space are likely to experience health problems. In fact, animals are by design supposed to live free, grazing in open spaces. About 80 percent of all antibiotics in the United States are given to commercially raised animals, which end up as meat in our grocery stores. Antibiotics in beef are something you definitely have to worry about. Grass Fed beef is safer as it’s free from antibiotics and hormones.
Antioxidants, Vitamins, and Minerals
“You are your diet” is a phrase that equally applies to beef animals. You wouldn’t want to buy beef that’s been produced from an animal that’s been feeding on genetically modified soy and con. It’s not the same beef you get from 100 percent grass fed cattle. Pasture-raised cattle consume antioxidant rich vegetation which results in beef that’s rich in beta carotene, glutathione, vitamin E, and B-vitamins. Grass fed beef contains two times more vitamin E and seven times more beta-carotene than meat from grain fed cows.
Furthermore, the animals access secondary compounds such as flavonoids, alkaloids, aromatic oils, and tannins when grazing pasture. The combination of these and many other secondary compounds play an important role in the overall well being of the animals as well as your health. In conclusion, grass fed beef provides nutritional health benefits its conventional counterpart. It has two to four times more Omega-3 fatty acids than grain fed beef. It’s so learn and lower in calories. Grass fed beef may inhibit cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease.