Is Grass-fed Beef Worth The Money: If you like red meat, and beef is a substantial part of your diet, you may have been paying recent attention to the debate about which type of meat is healthier to consume – Grass-fed beef or grain-fed meat?
Grass-fed Meat often costs 2 to 3 times more than conventional grain-fed meat. The question is: Is this meat really much healthier than conventional meat? To know, the first thing you should ask yourself is “what does it mean to feed the cattle with grass?” Is grass meat healthier?
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What does “Grass-fed” Mean?
Agriculturally speaking, the feeding period in cattle with pasture can be divided into 3 phases:
The first one extends from birth, when the animal lives exclusively with milk, until 7-9 months of age, when it begins to consume some grass.
The second phase comprises approximately half of the grass-fed one and extends from phase 1 to just before harvest (when the cattle are slaughtered). Cattle spend most of their lives in this period feeding on grains or grass.
The notorious period of completion: this is all the other half of the grass fed. It is a period of rapid growth, immediately before the harvest. Some animals are grass-fed but supplemented with grains. Since a disproportionate amount of weight is gained during the period of completion, some of the grass-fed ones argue that this is the most important moment in this process.
What Options do You have when Buying Grass Meat?
At the time of purchase, your options can be divided into 4 categories according to the amount of time the cattle were exposed to the grains. Here is the list, ordered from lowest to highest grain exposure:
Veal: This meat comes from calves that were never intentionally fed with grains; They are usually males because they do not produce milk.
100% Grass-fed: These animals spent their entire lives in the pasture.
Cattle fed with grass and supplemented with cereals.
Conventional beef, fed with cereals.
How does the Quality of Beef Affect your Health?
Interestingly, the impact of these agricultural techniques on the quality of the meat and the correlation with human health have simply not been studied in great detail. However, this fact makes the data easier to analyze.
To simplify things further, let’s just see the difference in beef that is 100% grass fed vs. 100% fed with grain. In 2008, a group of researchers compared grass-fed and grain-fed beef with samples collected on 3 separate occasions from farms across the continental United States. This is significant, because the nutrient quality of the grass and grains will vary widely depending on the geography, so it is important to select a diverse set of samples.
So, what did they find? The results showed that the nutritional profiles were actually quite similar. The grass-fed cow fat was more yellow, which could indicate more vitamin A and carotenoids, although the grass-fed beef was moderately thinner.
What are the benefits of Grass-fed Meat?
Fortunately, another group tested it directly by feeding people with beef that was finished with the grass or finished with grain for 4 weeks, afterward analyzing the blood.
The data showed that those assigned to grass-fed beef had significantly higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids in their blood, a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 and, most importantly, levels highest of “DHA”.
DHA, also known as docosahexaenoic acid, is one of the reasons why many nutritionists recommend eating more fish.
➥ In the supermarket, on average, conventional meat is cheaper and easier to obtain. Now if you want to consume meat with grass-fed cows and your wallet “do not suffer in the attempt”, these are my suggestions:
➥ Be attentive to discounts and cheap organized by supermarket chains.
➥ Find a farmers market nearby (usually, have better prices than supermarkets). Also buying in large quantities can be an advantage (and you can always freeze the pieces).
➥ Buy directly from a farm.
You do not have a cow when you decide if you need to buy beef fed on grass or grain. If you are eating red meat several days a week, you may consider choosing grass-fed beef to reap the benefits of less saturated fat and cholesterol, and more omega-3 and CLA. However, if you are like most people who only occasionally eat red meat, you do not need to worry about spending the extra dough, but you can still benefit from eating a 50-50 split between the grass-fed beef and grain.
I hope this article will help you. Do share this article with someone who needs this.
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