Grass-fed beef has been rising in popularity lately, but does eating it make much of a difference? At Organic Restaurants, we’ve done the research, and we’re happy to report that there are some big differences between grass-fed beef and conventional grain-fed beef.
Generally, grass-fed beef:
Contains Less Bad Fat and More Good Fat
There are good fats and bad fats, and meat often contains both. However, there is often less bad fat and more of the good types of fat in grass-fed beef. Conventional beef usually contains more monosaturated fats, which are not good for you. Grass-fed beef, on the other hand, tends to contain more omega-3s. These are healthy fats. grass-fed beef can also contain more conjugated linoleic acid, a fat that helps in the fight against obesity and diabetes.
Offers More Nutrients
In addition to the good fats, grass-fed meat also contains more of the nutrients that you need. All types of beef can offer high levels of certain B vitamins, including vitamin B12, and nutrients like iron, zinc, and selenium. All of these are great for your muscles and brain.
grass-fed beef has a nutritional advantage. It often contains more vitamin A and vitamin E, both of which help in the fight against heart disease. grass-fed beef usually contains more antioxidants and essential electrolytes as well.
Contains Fewer Calories
grass-fed beef also contains fewer calories. It’s not a massive difference, but if you consume a significant amount of meat this difference will certainly add up over time. It’s also an easy place to cut some calories if that’s your current dieting need.
Could Contain Less Bacteria
grass-fed beef often contains fewer bacteria than conventional, grain-fed beef does. This is part of the reason why it’s generally considered healthier.
Reduces the Risk of Developing Antibiotic Resistance
Some factory farms end up giving their cows antibiotics to stave off disease. Unfortunately, this stays in the meat and can end up causing antibiotic resistance in humans. This is a major problem and contributes to the development of resistant “superbugs,” so grass-fed beef is the better alternative if you’re concerned about that.
Does Less Damage to the Environment
Grain-fed cows often have greater effects on the soil and their manure can end up in the water supply. The fertilizer used to grow their food can end up in the water supply as well.
Gives Cows More Space to Roam
Grain-fed cows are often confined to crowded barns where disease can run rampant. A grass-fed cow has more room to roam and a bit more freedom. If you’re looking for a more ethical food source, many would agree that this way of raising cattle is preferred.
Learn More About Organic Food Options Near You
If you want to learn more about organic markets and other great food options near you, visit the Organic Restaurants blog. We’re always doing our best to keep up on the latest healthy eating trends!