It’s time to settle the age-old debate. Is grass-fed beef actually healthier for you than grain-fed beef? And why?
If you look at the nutritional value of grass-fed beef, it has less calories than grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is a more “lean” meat, meaning that it has less fat, and therefore, less calories.
The nutrients of an average 3.5oz serving of grass-fed beef include:
- Calories: 198
- Protein: 19.4 grams
- Fat: 12.7 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
But, the question remains. What really sets grass-fed beef apart?
Grass-fed beef has more healthy nutrients
Grass-fed beef is naturally chock-full of nutrients that our bodies can’t produce, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
What makes these acids important? Omega-3 fats are “an integral part” of your body’s cell membranes, because they “provide the starting point for making hormones regulating blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation” (Harvard).
Since your body can’t produce these fats on their own, it’s important to supplement your diet with sources that contain it.
Not only are they vital for your cells, they also help prevent disease. “Omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions” (Harvard).
While both grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef contain omega-3 fatty acids, grass-fed beef has five times more.
(Ready to bring home your own grass-fed beef? Learn how here.)
Grass-fed beef helps you digest other foods better
Grass-fed beef is rich in iron, specifically in heme iron. Why should you care about this “heme iron” thing?
For one, heme iron is very easily absorbed by the human body. But for another reason, it helps your body absorb non-heme iron which is found in plant-based foods. Essentially, the iron found in grass-fed beef enables you to get iron from plants!
And it’s very good at it too. “One study even found meat supplements more effective than iron tablets at maintaining iron levels in women during exercise” (WebMD).
Adding grass-fed beef into your diet can have fantastic results in your health and in making sure you have enough iron for your body to absorb.
Grass-fed beef helps prevent disease
Antioxidants are vital in your body’s defenses against free radicals. “The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process and it is thought that free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis” (Nuffield Health).
Antioxidants fight and neutralize these free radicals. Plus, antioxidants are also attributing to helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
While our bodies do produce some antioxidants, it can’t make all of them and needs supplementing from different vitamins and foods.
It’s a pretty good thing that you can get your fill of these helpful resources with beef, then, right? Grass-fed beef contains more antioxidants than grain-fed beef, equipping your body with the nutrients you need to stay healthy now and in the future!
More health benefits of grass-fed beef
Grass-fed beef is good for
- your heart health
- disease prevention
- building and maintaining muscles
- improving your performance during exercise
- preventing anemia
With all of these great health benefits, why wouldn’t you want to eat grass-fed beef?
What “grass-fed beef” means at the Rocking A Ranch
All calves are born to the Rocking A Ranch in the spring or purchased as young calves and are butchered between September and November that fall.
They are naturally raised, grass-fed cows*, meaning that they are fed no grain and are raised entirely on their mother’s milk or non-medicated milk replacer and grass or hay with adequate space to move, grow, and thrive in a well-maintained pasture.
There are no antibiotics or medications in the meat at the time of butchering. Medication is used only when needed for the well-being of the cow.
*In some situations, mother cows will be given grain as needed through the winter. In most cases, this is rare and they thrive on a total grass diet.