What Does The Term Grass Fed Mean?
When we relate this term to food or animals, the question really is what do cattle eat, or what do cows eat? I say cattle, because this is just another name for cows, but it alludes to the different types of cow. That being said the simple answer is that grass fed animals are those that eat the grass, which is the natural cow diet. Fortunately there are farmers out there that are still raising grass fed beef. Obviously organic grass fed beef varieties will offer the best health benefits
- What Does The Term Grass Fed Mean?
- The Origin Of The Term Grass Fed
- Nutrients We Get From Beef
- Conclusion Grass Fed Versus Organic
There’s also another term used in relation to animals eating a natural diet which includes grass, which is pasture raised animals, this often relates to chickens. The most popular animal meat that is referred to as being grass fed, are cows, which is where we get Beef, Bison, Lambs and goats.
Chickens can also eat some grass as well as other foods they may eat on the farm. This is where the term pasture-raised naturally comes from, although it does include animals that eat grass, pasture raised would basically mean that the animal is living on a farm and eating its natural foods.
Grass Fed Foods Health Benefits
Here are 3 major benefits of eating grass fed animals or pasture raised animals.
1) – Grass fed animals are lower in fat, so much so that they can contain the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast.
There is also research that shows that grass fed lean beef is able to lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels.
Because meat from grass fed animals is lower in fat, it is also lower in calories. A basic calculation done shows that you can cut out as much as 17,000 calories a year without doing any exercise at all when you eat grass fed meat. That equates to losing as much as 6 pounds a year!
2) – The second benefit of grass fed meat is that it contains omega 3. It has 3-4 times more omega 3 than grain fed animals.
These omega 3’s are commonly called good fats, these fats are the most heart friendly. Consuming them means that you are less likely to have an irregular heartbeat or high blood pressure making you 50% more likely to not have a heart attack.
Other benefits include being less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, hyper-activity and Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer.
Omega 3’s are present in grass fed animal meat because of the chloroplast in the green leaves that are eaten.
Statistics show that 40% of Americans do not have enough omega 3 fatty acids in their diet.
3) – The third benefit of grass fed meat is conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. Animals that eat grass contain 3 times more CLA than animals with an unnatural diet.
Studies show that CLA is one of the best defenses against cancer. Having more CLA in a diet in one particular test undertaken, showed that there was a 60% lower risk of contracting breast cancer.
The conclusion from this test was that eating grass fed meat and grass fed milk are the best deterrents against breast cancer.
Meat from grass fed animals are also high in vitamin E, four times higher in fact. And they still have twice the amount than animals that haven’t been eating grass, even after these animals are given vitamin E supplements.
Like CLA there are also benefits of vitamin E, such as a lower risk of cancer and heart disease, it’s also an anti-oxidant known to have anti-aging properties. Again it should be noted that most Americans are deficient of vitamin E in their diets too.
The Origin Of The Term Grass Fed
The term grass fed was applied to Beef officially in 2007 at the US department of agriculture.
Grass Fed Milk
Grass fed milk is a sensitive topic for most people. Society has taught us that full fat dairy products increase the risk of heart disease. But now studies have come out to show that consuming more full fat dairy products reduces the risk of heart attacks, although this milk must be from cows that were grass fed.
The reason why grass fed milk is so good at protecting us from heart disease or heart attack is, again because of the conjugated linoleic acid or CLA found within in it.
This is a healthy fat that is found in the meat and milk of grazing animals. When you consume food from these animals, CLA is absorbed into your system and stored in your tissues.
In a study carried out by the Journal of Clinical Nutrition with 3500 people, test subjects who had the highest levels of CLA in their systems were 50% less likely to have a heart attack. So by just drinking grass fed milk you can save yourself from a heart attack and there is no need to consume expensive pharmaceutical drugs which have side effects.
Saturated Fat In Meat
There are 3 types of acids in saturated fat found in meat.
- Stearic acid
- Palmitic acid and
- Myristic acid
Studies show that Grass Fed meat contains more stearic acid which is proven not to raise cholesterol levels.
In contrast the other two acids do raise cholesterol. Grass Fed meat also contains high levels of nutrients, such as:
Together with its high levels of omega 3 and antioxidants, minerals and other nutrients, grass fed meat is definitely the best option. Grass Fed meat includes Lamb, Bison and Beef.
Grass fed meat also contains carotenoids such as beta-carotene and vitamin A these are found in plants, grain fed animals don’t contain as much because grains don’t contain them.
Cattle, Cow, Beef Explained
Beef is the general name used for cow, but to be more specific beef is flesh that comes from animals in the vodi family, more specifically the bos-species such as bos-taurus and bos-indicus.
The different types of beef are as follows:
- Cow beef which comes from the matured female who has given birth at least once
- Hefa beef which comes from the female that hasn’t given birth at all
- Steer beef which comes from a matured male who is castrated and has never reproduced
- Bull beef which comes from an un-castrated male who is old enough to reproduce
- There is also stack beef which is not so common, which comes from a male who was castrated after reproduction.
There are more than 800 different types of cows, some of the most common names are
- Aberdeen Angus,
- Beef master ramen,
- Hereford jersey
And many more…
Nutrients We Get From Beef
Studies done in the US show that children and teenagers get the following nutrients from beef:
- Vitamin B12 14-21%,
- Zinc 13-19%,
- Vitamin B3 6-10%,
- Vitamin B6 5-8%
- Iron 8%.
Other nutrients that beef provides are, Potassium, Phosphorous and Protein (some of these were highlighted early). Unfortunately many people are not eating Grass Fed beef.
Butter, Liver And Popular Grass Fed Food
The most common grass fed products are typically:
- Cattle grass fed beef,
- Cows grass fed butter,
- Grass fed cheese,
- Bone broth from grass fed Cattle,
- Bison grass fed
- Grass fed liver
A commonly asked question is, Is liver good for you? Which I will be answering below.
In countries where grass fed butter is mostly eaten, heart disease is drastically reduced. In a study in Costa Rico results showed that full fat dairy products like butter which was grass fed, reduced the risk of heart disease and attacks by 49%.
Let me answer the question whether beef liver is good for you. Beef liver sourced from cows is definitely good for you if the cows are grass fed. It contains vitamins, minerals, protein and fats. More specifically the nutrients found in it are beneficial to brain health, it contains a number of different fatty acids such as EPA, EHA, AA and vitamin B12. Many disorders people have related to the nervous system are due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Beef liver is the best source of vitamin B12.
Grass Fed Bone Broth
So what exactly is bone broth? Bone broth is basically the boiling of the bones of healthy animals and adding spices, vegetables and herbs. It’s still consumed in many different societies today because it’s cheap to make and high in nutrients, it also tastes pretty good too.
Bone broth also contains two important amino acids called glycine and proline, these nutrients are responsible for connecting tissues together in the body and without them we would fall apart. For this reason bone broth can also aid in re-mineralizing teeth.
Here are some of the benefits that you can get from consuming grass fed bone broth.
- It’s good for treating leaky gut syndrome,
- It can help you overcome food intolerance’s and allergies.
- Great for improving joint health,
- Can reduce cellulite and
- Is able to boost the immune system.
Different Types Of Fats
There are saturated or unsaturated fats, there are also poly and mono unsaturated fats which are usually omega 3 or omega 6. These are important because we have to get them from food and our bodies do not create them their-selves. According to medical studies if the amount of omega 6 exceeds the amount of omega 3 by 4:1 you will have health problems.
This is interesting because grain fed animals have a ratio of 20:1 whereas grass fed has a ratio of 3:1. Studies show that the longer grain is fed to animals, the greater the fatty acid imbalance becomes.
Studies show that after 200 days of being grain fed the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 became 20:1. In the United States, animals are grain fed for more than 200 days.
Conclusion Grass Fed Versus Organic
It’s not uncommon for us to say where can I buy organic beef? as if this is the same as grass fed beef. Many people may be confused about the terms but grass fed and organic are not the same. For the simple reason that organic meat may not be grass fed, organic meat can be fed grain which is still not as nutritious as grass fed varieties. All beef that you buy is nutritious but when it’s grass fed it’s even more nutritious.
This is benefit number one. Benefit number two, grass fed meat has more conjugated linoleic acid. Benefit number three, grass fed meat is less inflammatory, it has omega 3 fats and significantly less omega 6 fats which are inflammatory. Benefit number four, grass fed meat has vitamin K2 which is important for bones and heart health. Benefit number five, grass fed meat has more anti-oxidants especially vitamin E.
With all the healthy nutrients and health benefits of eating animals on a natural diet it only makes sense that Grass Fed and Pasture Raised meats are our best choice. If you’re not able to get this type of meat local there’s always the possibility to mail order meat (beef), or buy bulk meat online. Although you will need to know where to buy grass fed meat, in order to order beef online. Obviously grass fed beef prices are higher unfortunately, but can you really put a price health?
- Grass fed butter health benefits
- Benefits of grass fed beef
- Liver: nature’s most potent superfood
- How to make bone broth