When a ruminant eats grass, not grain, health benefits abound!
As T.W. says, you know the story; here it comes again:
- Less total fat.
(Grass-fed beef has approx. the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast, or wild elk/deer).
- Fewer calories
- Between 2 and 4 times more Omega-3 fatty acids.
(The ‘good fats’! Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and a host of other undesirables. They may also help prevent cancer.*)
- Up to 5 times more 'conjugated linoleic acid' or CLA.
(Another good fat and a strong line of defense against cancer.*)
- Much higher levels of Vitamin E.
(That elusive antioxidant. Lowers risk of heart disease and cancer. Generally something you want more of.)
* For much more on this fascinating and strange subject, please visit Jo Robinson’s wonderful, well-referenced site: http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm
A note on terminology: Please harken to the fact that an animal may spend the majority of its life on pasture, then be moved to a horrible noisome feedlot and 'finished' with grain, and be (unofficially) labeled or sold as 'grass-fed.' But that beef has lost much, if not all, of the value of having been grass-fed the rest of its life. The meat doesn’t necessarily contain the heretofore-mentioned benefits unless it’s ‘grass-finished.’ When buying beef, look for ‘100% grass-fed,’ which usually encompasses the animal’s whole life, or ‘grass-finished.’ If the advertising is unclear, ask your farmer.