Grass or Grain? You decide

May 17, 2017

Grass or Grain? You decide

When looking at the meat counter, your choices when buying beef seem endless. Not only do you have to pick out the cut of beef but you also have the options on how that beef was raised. No matter what type of beef you pick, educate yourself about your options and what your lifestyle best.

Many people think that grass fed beef is healthier for you since if contains a different type of fat when compared to conventional grain fed beef. Grass fed beef contains lower levels of saturated fat and slightly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. While this is true neither source of beef has a sufficient number of omega-3s when compared to something such as salmon, which contains 35 times more omega-3 than beef.

While grass fed, beef does have lower levels of saturated fat, the difference isn’t significant. Texas A&M recently did a study of men to see if grass fed beef would lower cholesterol levels. Their results actually show that men who consume conventional corn-fed beef improved cholesterol levels while the men that consume grass fed beef saw little to no change in their cholesterol levels.

An important thing to keep in mind is that all beef was fed grass at some point of their life. Beef cattle grow up consuming grass in pastures. The difference in their meat comes when they enter the later months of their life and are placed on finishing diets to reach market weight. From here the cattle are either grain finished or grass finished.

There are no significant health benefits in choosing grass fed over conventional beef. Each type of beef provides a great source of many vital nutrients, this decisions lands on which type of beef best fits your diet.

Video Podcasts and Webinars

  • Grass or grain? Is there a definitively sustainable beef production system?


    The webinar examined the science relating to grass-fed and grain-fed beef in terms of sustainable... read more »

  • 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Update


    Kris Sollid, Registered Dietitian with the International Food Information Council and Sarah Romo... read more »

  • Meat in the Diet


    read more »

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