Scientific evidence is accumulating that grass-fed beef is significantly healthier than grain-feed beef. Compared with feedlot meat, research shows that grass-fed beef has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calories.
It also has more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. Recent studies suggest that omega-3s and CLA can be important defenses against cancer.
Grass-fed beef tends to be much lower in total fat than grain-feed beef. A sirloin steak from a grass-fed steer has about one-half to one-third as much fat as a similar cut from a grain-fed steer. Although grass-fed beef is low in “bad” fat (including saturated fat), it contains from two to six times more of the “good” fat called “omega-3 fatty acids”. (Sixty percent of the fat content of grass is an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (LNA)). People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat, and are 50 percent less likely to have a serious heart attack.1
Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for your brain. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to be afflicted with depression, schizophrenia, ADD or Alzheimer’s disease.2
Omega-3s may also reduce your risk of cancer. In animal studies these fatty acids have slowed the growth of a wide variety of cancers and kept them from spreading.3 Researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer in humans.4 They can also hasten recovery from cancer surgery.5
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