Braised short ribs….Grilled sirloin steak…savory pot roast…a big, juicy hamburger.
If you’re like the millions of people on the planet who love beef-you’re not alone.
Beef has many beneficial nutrients: protein for building strong muscles, B vitamins to turn food into energy, zinc to boost the immune system and iron, which delivers oxygen to cells to produce energy.
But beef-like all red meats-gets a bad rap for being higher in cholesterol and saturated fat than chicken and other white meats. It’s also reputed to contain antibiotics and growth hormones. What to do?
It Has the Good Fats
David Katz, MD, of Prevention magazine says, “Grass-fed beef is higher in healthy unsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats than less expensive steak from conventionally raised cows…”
Research has proven grass-fed beef is lower in fat and calories than its grain-fed counterpoint. It is rich in the good fats-omega 3 fatty acids.
A May 2012 article in Prevention reported: “Grass-fed beef is not only better for the planet, it’s also better for people. It has more antioxidants-including vitamins C and E and beta-carotene-than grain-fed beef, and doesn’t have added hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs. And while it’s lower in fat overall, it’s about two to four times higher in omega-3s.”
You Are What You Eat
The article cited a recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition that studied healthy volunteers who ate grass-fed meat. The study group increased their blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and decreased their levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. “These changes have been linked with a lower risk of a host of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and inflammatory disease.”
Studies have also shown grass-fed beef is high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). According to the “Health Advocate,” this fat is known to reduce the risk for cancer and high triglycerides as well as to fight diabetes and abdominal obesity. Free-range-produced eggs also provide CLA but not as much as grass-fed beef.
The natural health website, mercola.com, sums it up best, “Beef, in its natural grass-fed state, is a health food of the highest order.”