Grass-fed products are one of the hottest buzzwords in nutrition circles. Grass-fed products are continuing to gain popularity among supplements and food products and for good reason.
We’re big supporters of grass-fed products here at Nourishing World. Many of our supplements come from grass-fed animals. As such, we get a lot of questions about why grass-fed products are superior.
In this article, we’ll look at the top 4 reasons why grass-fed products are better for your health.
1. Grass-fed products are more nutritious
Perhaps the biggest reason we select grass-fed supplements over grain-fed supplements is because they’re healthier for you.
Grass-fed products are way more nutritionally dense than their grain-fed alternatives. Grass-fed beef, for example, has two times the amount of lutein and beta-carotene compared to grain-fed.
Grass-fed products also have a healthier balance of fatty acids than any other type of animal product. That means they have less unhealthy fats and more healthy fats.
Grass-fed meat can contain up to 6 times the amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed meat. More healthy omega-3s can help ease rheumatoid arthritis by decreasing inflammation, can help battle depression, and can make it easier to focus — especially to those suffering from ADHD.
Another major nutritious benefit of grass-fed meat is that they have nearly double the amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed meat.
CLA is especially beneficial for human health. It is known to help prevent many diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. And CLA improves your insulin sensitivity — which promotes healthier blood sugar levels.
(This is one of the reasons people following the ketogenic diet will opt for grass-fed meat products instead of grain-fed meat products.)
CLA is one of the only anticancer nutrients that come from meat — and it’s considered to be one of the strongest nutrients to battle against cancer. Researchers found that women who were given foods high in CLA had a 60% lower chance of getting breast cancer than women who didn’t eat foods high in CLA.
Another benefit of getting more CLA in your body is that it has been shown to decreases your risk of heart disease.
In addition to CLA, grass-fed meat is also loaded with antioxidants (such as vitamin E) and has lower amounts of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) — which further decreases your risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
Finally, grass-fed animals have less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories than grain-fed animals.
These reasons are the main reasons why we opt for grass-fed supplements whenever possible.
2. Grass-fed products aren’t pumped with hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs
Conventional farming practices are terrible for animals. Raising them in confinement and feeding them a high-grain diet creates unnecessary stress, suffering, and health problems for the animals.
One painful condition grain-fed cattle commonly suffer from is called “subacute acidosis.” This is where cattle kick their stomachs, go off their feed, and eat dirt.
Subacute acidosis could be fatal. So what do modern farmers do? They give animals chemical additives and a constant, low-level dose of antibiotics that end up in your food. It’s estimated that about 80% of antibiotics produced in the United States goes to farm animals.
And it gets worse.
When you use the same antibiotic over and over again, pathogens evolve and become less resistant to that antibiotic. And since animals eliminate most of these antibiotics through their waste, it ends back in the soil and water systems. Meaning, this increases antibiotic-diseases in both animals and in humans.
Grass-fed animals, on the other hand, aren’t exposed to nearly the amount of germs that factory-raised animals are. This means that farmers do not need to add antibiotics, hormones, and other drugs to prevent the animals from getting sick and dying.
Factory-raised animals also have an unnatural diet. Their diet consists of genetically modified grain and soy due to the cheap cost. Additionally, farmers of factory-raised animals also cut costs by adding “by-product feedstuff” such as municipal garbage, stale pastry, chicken feathers, and candy to the feed. Some experts believe that this unnatural diet is the underlying cause of mad-cow disease.
I was speaking to a customer recently who worked on a cow grain farm as a youngster. They were allowed a certain amount of dirt in the grain, so would add it to get to that percentage.
Not to mention, conventional farming practices erode many of the nutritious benefits that grass-fed meat have. There is clearly a huge difference.
3. Grass-fed meat contains less bacteria
Due to the poor conditions of conventional factory farming, grain-fed meat contains more bacteria than grass-fed meat. And as mentioned in the last point, this bacteria tends to be more resistant to antibiotics because factory-farmed animals are pumped with antibiotics that make bacteria more resistant to them.
Researchers found that double the amount of grain-fed meat contains superbugs — which is bacteria that is resistant to 3 or more types of antibiotics. Although this is super rare, it can lead to food poisoning.
Another study by Consumer Reports analyzed 300 packages of ground meat. They found that 3 grain-fed samples had antibiotic-resistant bacteria that causes a staph infection called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). While zero of the grass-fed samples contained this bacteria.
4. Grass-fed meat tastes better
While this isn’t a reason why we choose grass-fed products in our supplements, it’s noteworthy if you’d like to eat more grass-fed meat in your diet.
Grass-fed meat tastes better because the animals lived a better, healthier, happier, and more natural life. Grass-fed animals get to roam around pastures and live as naturally as possible.
Another reason grass-fed meat sends your taste buds on journey is because it contains more carotenoids, which makes the fat appear more yellow than white. While more carotenoids give your body more antioxidants and nutrients, it also makes the meat taste more delicious.
Grass-fed meat also has a higher flavor complexity. Meaning, grass-fed animals raised in one part of the world will taste slightly different than grass-fed animals raised in another part of the world. This is why many fine-dining restaurants will pay more to use grass-fed meat than grain-fed meat.
These are the 4 main reasons why grass-fed meat is a better choice for your food and your supplements. If you’d like some of the nutritious benefits from grass-fed supplements, you can browse our full collection of grass-fed supplements here.