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Healthy Eating

Here you will find tons of information about healthy eating and incorporating the principles of healthy nutrition into your daily life. Built around Dr. Cederquist’s nutritional foundation for healthy weight loss, these articles place a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

What Are the Health Benefits of Grassfed Beef?

Can the rising interest and research of grassfed beef encourage red meat's intake like years past? bistroMD is finding out the meaty benefits of grassfed beef!


From its associated link to heart disease to the worry of developing cancer, the consumption of red meat circulates, redirects, and ultimately storms confusion to the general population. 

Add on the trendy "all-natural," "organic," and "antibiotic-free" products, the mismatch of information may only be perplexing its approval. 

But can the rising interest and research of grassfed beef encourage red meat's intake like years past? bistroMD is finding out the meaty benefits of grassfed beef!

What Is Grassfed Beef?

According to the American Grassfed Association (AGA), grassfed/grass-fed products are defined as "ruminants, including cattle, bison, goats and sheep, as those food products from animals that have eaten nothing but their mother's milk and fresh grass or grass-type hay from birth to harvest - all their lives." 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) classification further denotes after weaning, ruminants must solely graze on grass, forage, and cereal grains in their vegetative, pre-grain state. They must also have continuous access to pastures during the growing season. 

The addition of "USDA Organic" further signifies and validates the absence of GMOs, growth hormones, and antibiotics. The practice dismisses the concept of commodity agriculture, switching the focus of quantity towards more quality heath attributions with the hopeful contribution to greater benefits.

Health Benefits of Grassfed Beef

First off, despite its unhealthful reputation, red meat is not the ultimate villain in the health game. In fact, red meats can fit into a well-balanced diet up to one to two times each week and the American Heart Association (AHA) identifies two to three ounces of cooked lean meat as protein serving, or about the size of a standard card deck. 

When choosing red meats, additional recommendations suggest "lean" and "extra lean" and any sort of "loin," such as tenderloin and sirloin to keep the fat content minimized. Putting the recommendations into viable practice offers a lean protein source filled with valuable nutrients such as iron and zinc.

In addition to the benefits of lean beef, switching to grassfed supplies the same well-recognized protein and nutrients, maybe even towards a larger extent. 

Compared to grain-fed animals, grassfed offers more meat with changes in fat content. Along with being a leaner meat, grassfed beef supplies less saturated fat, more polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), and a larger amount of omega-3 fatty acids. 

The richer omega-6 fatty acid content within grain or corn fed animals is suggested to promote pro-inflammatory responses within the body, implicated to trigger chronic disease. But when omega-6s are essentially outshined by omega-3's anti-inflammatory properties, chronic disease risk may lessen. P

owerful properties of omega-3 fatty acids have also been implied to reduce the risk of heart disease and even dementia. Further research identification in the Nutrition Journal also suggests grassfed beef displays greater potential to stimulate vitamins A and E within the body along with cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Additional Benefits

But the advantages of grassfed beef involves much more than the heath of the consumer. Eating grassfed beef may also be healthy for animals, the plant, and communities.

• Animals: Before health benefits can transpire to its consumers, we must consider the food cycle. With much reason, the AGA also advocates for the health of the animal, nourishing their bodies to subsequently nourish ours. Suggestions regarding their health include the limitation of disease and antibiotic use when devoid of grains and primarily fed with grass.

• The Planet: In addition to dismissing animal products, vegetarian and vegan practices may be implemented with the planet and environment in mind. Although cattle, compared to plants, require the most feed, fossil fuels, and water, the intake of grassfed beef is suggested to restore and improve the natural ecosystems that houses living wildlife.

• Communities: From less food waste to cultivating healthful relationships, supporting local family farms can assist in the maintenance and growth of rural communities. Switching from grain to grassfed may also heighten agriculture quality while subsiding cost, as less time and money is required to upkeep the farm and nurture the cattle. Find more on why farm-to-table should be sustained here.

Frequently Asked Questions. American Grassfed Association.

Yeager D. Grass-Fed vs Conventional Beef. Today's Dietitian.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on April 17, 2017. Updated on May 10, 2019.


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