Following on from a previous post that looked at the difference between grass and grain fed MILK, I decided to see if the health promoting benefits of grass fed milk transferred to grass fed BEEF too!
So is ‘grass fed’ the way to go every time?
Research by Daley, Abbott, Doyle, Nader and Larson, (2010) looked collectively at research spanning 3 decades and found that gram for gram, grass fed beef was seen to favourably increase C18:0 cholesterol neutral saturated fatty acids (cholesterol lowering SFA’s) relative to C14:0 & C16:0 cholesterol (cholesterol elevating SFA’s). Their findings also found grass fed beef to be higher in C18:2, or CLA isomers, Trans-vaccenic acid (pre-cursor of CLA), and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 FA’s) which improves the ratio of n-3 : n-6 ratio (omega 3 : omega 6 ratio).
Grass fed beef was also found to be higher in precursors to vitamin A and E and other antioxidants when compared to commercially (grain) fed cattle. Overall, grass fed beef is leaner and thus lower in total fat, making it a healthful option for those aiming to optimise health and longevity.
Daley, C, A., Abbott, A., Doyle, P, S., Nader, G, A and Larson, S. (2010). A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-10. Retrieved 12th July, 2013, from http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/10