"Why Grassfed Beef is Best!"

The Health Benefits 
of Grass Farming

Author: Jo Johnson
"Why Grassfed is Best!"

Consumers have been led to believe that meat is meat is meat. In other words, no matter what

an animal is fed, the nutritional value of its products remains the same. This is not true.

An animal's diet can have a profound influence on the nutrient content of its products. 

The difference between grainfed and grassfed animal products is dramatic. 

First of all, grassfed products tend to be much lower in total fat than grainfed products.

For example, a sirloin steak from a grassfed steer has about one half to one third the

amount of fat as a similar cut from a grainfed steer.  

In fact, grassfed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken

or wild deer or elk.When meat is this lean, it actually lowers your LDL

cholesterol levels.


Because grassfed meat is so lean, it is also lower in calories.  

Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared with only 4 calories for protein and

carbohydrates.  The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories.

A 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer has almost 100 fewer calories

than a 6-ounce steak from a grainfed steer.  

If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to grassfed beef

will save you 17,733 calories a year—without requiring any willpower or change in

eating habits.  If everything else in your diet remains constant, you'll lose about six

pounds a year.  If all Americans switched to grassfed meat, our national epidemic

of obesity would begin to diminish. 

Extra Omega-3s 

Although grassfed meat is low in "bad" fat (including saturated fat),

it gives you from two to six times more of a type of "good" fat

called "omega-3 fatty acids."  

Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. 

For example, of all the fats, they are the most "heart friendly." People who

have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high

blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat.  Remarkably, they are 50 percent l

ess likely to have a serious heart attack.

Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well.  People with a diet rich

in omega-3s are less likely to be afflicted with depression,  schizophrenia,

attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer's disease.4   

Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer.  

In animal studies, these essential fatty acids have slowed the growth of a wide

array of cancers and kept them from spreading. Although the human research

is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse

the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer. They can also

hasten recovery from cancer surgery.7  

Furthermore, animal studies suggest that people with cancer who have high

levels of omega-3s in their tissues may respond better to chemotherapy

than people with low levels.8 Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and

certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found

in grassfed animal products.  

The reason that grassfed animals have more omega-3s than grainfed animals

is that omega-3s are formed in the green leaves (specifically the chloroplasts) of plants.

Sixty percent of the fat content of grass is a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha

-linolenic or LNA.  

When cattle are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they lose

their valuable store of LNA as well as two other types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. 

Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.9  

The graph below illustrates this rapid decline.


When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs

also become artificially low in omega-3s.10 

Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 20 times more omega-3s

than eggs from factory hens. 

Switching our livestock from their natural diet of grass to large amounts of grain is

one of the reasons our modern diet is deficient in these essential fats.  It has been

estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume a sufficient supply of these

nutrients.  Twenty percent have levels so low that they cannot be detected.11 

Switching to grassfed animal products is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.  

The CLA Bonus   The meat and milk from grassfed ruminants are the richest

known source of another type of good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid"

or CLA.  When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their milk and meat

contain as much as five times more CLA than products from animals fed

conventional diets.12   

CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer. 

In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA --- a mere 0.1 percent

of total calories ---greatly reduced tumor growth.13  Researcher Tilak Dhiman

from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk

of cancer simply by eating the following grassfed products each day: one glass

of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat. You would have to

 eat five times that amount of grainfed meat and dairy products to get the same

level of protection. 

There is new evidence suggesting that CLA does reduce cancer risk in humans. 

In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60

percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of CLA. 

Switching from grainfed to grassfed meat and dairy products places women in this

lowest risk category.14 Vitamin E In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA,

meat from grassfed animals is higher in vitamin E.  

The graph below shows vitamin E levels in meat from: 1) feedlot cattle, 2) feedlot cattle

given high doses of synthetic vitamin E (1,000 IU per day), and 3) cattle raised on fresh

pasture with no added supplements.  The meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher

in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as

the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements.15  

In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.  This potent

antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties.  Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E.



      The NY Times best selling author, Jo Robinson, has an informative book "

Why Grassfed is Best!" on the benefits of  grassfed beef.  She has done a great service

educating America about this healthy beef and her book is a "must have" in your library

of health books.  Please visit her web site at www.eatwild.com to purchase the book and

learn more about this healthy beef.



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