I’m sure you have shopped in the beef department, and have compared at least one of two things: the price and the fat content of the meat. Most often, you are beginning to see further options such as “natural”, “organic” or “grass-fed”, which all present at a higher price and lowest fat content. As you stand there, committing to a pound or two, you probably have not realized that for the past 30 years, grain-fed and grass-fed beef has been researched through and through. I want to inform you, from decades of this research, why exactly you should be purchasing the grass-fed beef.
Let’s break down the assets of grass-fed beef by talking about the contents of saturated fats, Omega 3’s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and cholesterol.
Prior research has debunked that “all” saturated fats lead to heart disease and increased total cholesterol. It has been proven that “types” of saturated fats is where the difference lies. Some saturated fats can trigger elevated levels of cholesterol, leading to cardiovascular issues, other saturated fats can lower you risk of heart disease, such as stearic acid. Stearic acid is prominent in grass fed beef, in fact, it’s 36% higher in grass-fed than grain-fed.
Did you know that the American diet consists of 11-30 times more omega 6’s compared to omega 3’s? Omega 3’s have a positive impact on heart and overall health. Foods high in omega 3’s are salmon, walnuts and flax seed to name a few. Salad dressings, vegetable oils, pastries and potato chips are just a few examples of omega 6’s. These are highly inflammable foods, that when consumed, can lead to a cascade of health issues. Long term ingestion of more omega 6’s can lead to reduced memory, depression and even Alzheimer’s disease. Grain-fed beef has a ratio of 7:1 omega 6’s to omega 3’s. Grass-fed beef has a much higher content of omega 3’s, not saying they do not contain omega 6’s, they do, but not nearly as much as grain fed, due to the feed the cattle eat.
A hot topic in the world of weight loss is conjugated linoleic acid, most often known as CLA. It is predominantly found in grass-fed beef, but not in grain-fed. Why? CLA is formed in the stomach of the cow before it is brought into the cow’s fat storage. Production of CLA relies heavily on bacterial growth. The bacteria need a specific pH to grow. When cows consume grain, the grain offsets this specific pH, and very little to no CLA is produced. Cows that consume grass can easily make CLA due to its instinctive nature of the correct fuel (grass). You need 3 grams of CLA to have any effect on the human body. One 4 ounce portion of grass fed contains up to 500-800mg of CLA.
A quick note about cholesterol. Grass-fed cows are much leaner than grain-fed, due to the nature of the food they consume. The less intramuscular fat the cow has, the less fat the animal has, leaving no stores of fat to consume.
CrossFit Tantrum has partnered with Weir Meats, a local, grass fed beef, pork and pasteurized egg company right here in Murrysville. We both invite you to come and see what Weir Meats has to offer on Saturday, July 15th at 10:30 am inside of our gym. They will have their own locally raised grass-fed beef for purchase, and we will have a FREE Community Workout at 9:30 a.m. Thanks for reading and see you Saturday!