Grass-fed beef is one of the most nutrient-dense proteins you can buy. It has an extensive micronutrient profile and contains a good amount of brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
Still, some skeptics argue that there isn’t a difference between grass-fed and conventional beef.
Below, you’ll learn the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef, seven unique health benefits of grass-fed beef
#1: Grass-Fed Beef Has Fewer Calories
“If you eat a typical amount of beef per year, which in the United States is about 67 pounds, switching to grass-fed beef will save you 16,642 calories a year,” says EatWild.com founder Jo Robinson[*].
Beef from grass-fed cattle is lower in total fat content because their diet is more natural and clean. Although it would cost approximately $300 more a year, the amount of calories you
can save is staggering.
#2: Grass-Fed Beef Helps Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Beef from grass-fed cows contains a certain beneficial fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA can help prevent several diseases and conditions like obesity and diabetes[*]. A recent randomized, double-blinded study concluded that 37% of the people who were given CLA demonstrated better insulin sensitivity over those who weren’t given CLA. Insulin sensitivity helps promote healthy blood sugar levels[*][*].
Consuming grass-fed beef while following a ketogenic lifestyle can improve blood glucose levels if you’re insulin resistant. Utilizing a low carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic prevents a rise in blood glucose, which signals the release of insulin (and can eventually lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes).
#3: Grass-Fed Beef Contains Electrolytes
One common issue with people who begin their keto lifestyle is the keto flu. This can occur when electrolytes aren’t replenished once they’re flushed out. The three main electrolytes are sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
Fortunately, grass-fed meat has ample amounts of all three essential electrolytes. One grass-fed strip steak contains 732 milligrams of potassium, 49 milligrams of magnesium, and 118 milligrams of sodium.
#4: Grass-Fed Beef Helps Fight Cancer
Grass-fed beef contains roughly twice the amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) compared to beef from grain-fed cows. Most naturally occurring nutrients containing anticarcinogenic properties are derived from plant foods, but CLA is unique because it’s one of the only anticancer nutrients derived from meat[*].
CLA is considered to be one of the strongest nutrients which can defend against cancer. A study conducted on women who were given high amounts of CLA-rich foods had roughly a 60% lower risk in breast cancer over those who had little to no amounts of CLA in their diet[*].
#5: Grass-Fed Beef Contains More Healthy Fats
Grass-fed beef provides up to six times more omega–3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. Grain-fed beef, on the other hand, contains higher levels of omega–6 fatty acids, which are already eaten in surplus in most standard American diets.
Here are some of the benefits from increased omega–3 consumption:
Alleviates Rheumatoid arthritis: Omega–3s are highly effective in decreasing all markers of inflammation[*].
Helps with depression: Researchers have seen an increase in mental well-being by supplementing with omega–3 fatty acids[*].
Helps you focus: Recent studies conducted show omega–3s to be a promising alternative to alleviate attention deficit disorders (ADHD) over stimulant medications[*].
#6: Grass-Fed Beef Contains Less Bacteria
Some studies show that conventional beef is more prone to containing bacteria than grass-fed beef. One of the largest studies conducted by Consumer Reports analyzed 300 packages of ground beef. They found an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), in three of the grain-fed samples and zero in the grass-fed packages[*].
Additionally, they found 18% of the non-grass-fed beef samples containing superbugs — bacteria that is resistant to more than three types of antibiotics — compared to only 9% of beef samples from grass-fed livestock[*]. This is extremely rare, but can lead to food poisoning.
#7: Eating Grass-Fed Beef Can Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease
Clinical evidence concludes a decreased risk of heart disease with an increased consumption of CLA, a nutrient abundant in grass-fed beef[*]. Grass-fed beef can help improve your heart health by:
Antioxidants such as vitamin E
High amounts of omega–3 fatty acids
Less unhealthy fats
Lower amounts of bad cholesterol (known as LDL cholesterol) a marker of cardiovascular disease
Written by Lorenz Mac