Cows were designed to eat grass, which means that they process it and maintain a healthy digestive system. Feedlot cattle are finished with a grain diet, mainly corn and soy, which makes for a quick weight gain and a higher percentage of fat in the tissue.
Grain-fed cattle also receive hormones in the diet, again to make them grow fast and gain weight quickly. This also results in a higher fat content in the muscle. Pasture-raised cattle are not given artificial hormones and so are naturally more lean than their feedlot counterparts. According to the Duckett study, the overall total fat content of pasture-raised cattle is usually about 25% lower than grainfed cattle. Since grass-fed meat is lean, it is also lower in calories than grain-fed. Read more about grass-fed beef's nutrition by downloading the information below.
What does this mean for consumers?
antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Consider the AGA's list of the Top Ten Health Reasons to eat Grass-fed beef:
According to a 2009 study, conducted by the USDA and Clemson University, grassfed beef is better for human health than grainfed beef in ten ways:
1. Lower in total fat
2. Higher in beta-carotene
3. Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
4. Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
6. Higher in total omega-3s
7. Better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
8. Higher in conjugated linoleic acid
9. Higher in vaccenic acid
10. Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Consuming high-quality protein sources helps keep you full and combats muscle loss as we age.
According to the American Grassfed Association (AGA), grass-fed meat is lean, contains a high percentage of good fats - Omega 3s and CLA - and beneficial
Nutrition studies, calories and fat content
Nutrients in Grass-fed Beef
Fat Grams & Calories
Antioxidents in Grass-fed Beef