Grass Fed Beef – Benefits, Nutrition

Grass fed beef is a healthy alternative for grain fed beef due to its high nutritional content. Unlike grain fed cattle which were nurtured in feedlot and nourished with huge amounts of grain and hormones, grass-eating cows were fed with a forage diet by allowing them to graze their food from the pasture, which is why they are also referred to as pasture-raised.

A lot of people, especially those who are on weight loss programs have been switching to grass fed beef because it contains less fat and more nutrients. Although beef is a well-known contributing factor to obesity, pasture raised beef is the finest way to cut back on the caloric intake, thus promoting weight loss.

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From Eating Grass to Eating Grain

Grazing animals, like cows, have the capability of converting grass into forms that humans can digest due to their rumen. A cow’s rumen is a 45-gallon fermentation tank that houses good bacteria that turn cellulose into fats and protein. By nature, cows are really designed to be raised on a grass diet.

However, for profitability purposes, a lot of farmers have come to feed their cows with grains and have been injecting them with antibiotics and hormones for faster growth. It only takes 14 to 16 months for cows fed with grains to get them ready for the slaughterhouse.  This amount of time is significantly shorter compared to the five years it takes for grass-eating cows to be ready for slaughter. But feeding cows with grains has profound dangerous effects to both cows and humans, and this has allowed healthcare professionals and experts to see and appreciate the positive effects of eating grass fed beef.

Grass Fed Beef health benefits

Consuming pasture-raised beef has a number of benefits to a person’s overall health, such as:

  • Helps in preventing heart problems and psychological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, hyperactivity and schizophrenia due to the extra omega-3 fatty acids it contains.
  • Studies also showed that meat from pastured cattle lowers the risk of cancer and diabetes. High levels of omega-3 fatty acids also aid cancer patients to have a better response to chemotherapy.
  • Eating grass-fed beef poses less risk to the immune system as it is free from hormones, antibiotics and steroids.
  • Pasture-raised meat has high conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is excellent for weight loss.

Side Effects of Consuming Grass Fed Beef

Everyone can eat grass fed beef and there are no known harmful side effects. However, there are several disadvantages in opting for meat from pasture-raised cows.

  • High cost

Beef from grass-eating cattle is more expensive than its grain fed counterpart due to the high cost of production and farm management.

  • Taste differences

Grass-fed beef is gamier and tastes slightly different. Also, the meat can become tougher than the typical grain fed beef with certain cooking techniques.

Nutritional Information of Grass Fed Beef

A cow’s diet has profound effects on its meat’s nutritional content.  It has been found that grass fed beef is loaded with lots of nutrients. Here is the nutritional information per three ounces of pasture raised beef.

  • Fat 3.5g
  • Protein 27g
  • Vitamin E 930µg
  • CLA 1.23g


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