Since grass fed beef eat only grass, there is a noticeable difference in its fat content when compared to conventional beef. One of the major findings related to grass fed beef’s health benefits is that it has less total fat and less unhealthy fats like Monounsaturated Fats and Omega 6s than its grain fed counterparts. Along with this, grass fed beef has more of the good types of fats like Omega-3s and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) despite having less fat overall.
Let’s start with Omega-3s. If you don’t know, Omega-3s are one of the most studied fatty acids in the world. They are said to have many health benefits like improving eye health, brain development during pregnancy, and they may even have potential cancer fighting properties. Most importantly to us, Omega-3s play a crucial role in heart health as they reduce blood pressure, blood clots, inflammation, and they raise the levels of those “good” cholesterols we keep hearing about. If you’re interested in maintaining a healthy heart, as we all should be, then switching to grass fed beef makes a lot of sense.
Omega-3s offer some heart-healthy benefits that we can all appreciate, but we want to talk about CLA too. Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a type of Omega-6 fatty acid that we are currently learning more about. It is one of the few healthy types of Omega-6s, and it is 300% - 500% more prevalent in grass fed beef than in its grain fed counterparts. Some initial studies on mice have shown that CLA, like Omega-3s, helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and even display some cancer fighting qualities. In addition to this, other studies are showing that CLA reduces inflammation and may even help with weight loss. There may be even more, quite numerous benefits of CLA, but we will wait for more studies until we say for certain. If you would like to read more about CLA click here and here.
Speaking of nutrients, the benefits of grass fed beef are not just in the fat content. Grass fed beef is more nutritious in the vitamins it contains as well. Studies have shown that grass fed beef contains more Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and it’s richer in other vitamins and minerals like Vitamins B1 and B2 as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron to name a few. This means that grass fed beef has less unhealthy calories than grain fed beef and it provides more of the healthy fatty acids and nutrients that our bodies need.
Source: Medicalnewstoday.com, "What are the benefits of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)?," by Adrienne Stinson and medically reviewed by Allan Carter, Pharm.D., April 2, 2019. [see link above]
Source: Mercola.com, "The secret sauce in grass-fed beef," by Dr. Joseph Mercola. [see link above]