The Main Nutritional Benefits of Eating Grass-Fed, Pasture-Raised Beef

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about where their steaks or cuts of beef come from, or how they are produced – how, where, and when the cows are fed, for example, rarely crosses our minds. We’ve all heard of terms like ‘grass-fed’ or ‘open range’ and though we have some vague idea of what that means, not many of us truly understand the implications when it comes to our own meals.

The differences are real, however, and it can have a big impact on our own diets. It certainly pays to get informed; people who understand the benefits tend to have a different opinion about their burgers, their steaks, and their stews. Are you wondering why the trend in raising cows is changing? Here are the main nutritional benefits of eating grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, such as that available from Blue Apron.

Reducing heart disease

Cows that are fed with grass and are able to walk around in their pastures at leisure are not necessarily ‘less fat’ than the ordinary cow (although they do tend to be a lot healthier) – but they do have a lot less unhealthy fat. That makes a big difference. The healthy cows contain more omega-3 fatty acids (great for cholesterol) and more heart-disease fighting antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin E.

Potential to fight cancer

Grass-fed cattle provide beef full of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). There are many kinds of CLAs, and many of them have been proven to prevent and treat obesity as well as cancer. Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are also under study. Many diseases could be fought and prevented thanks to grass-fed cattle.

Chemical-free

It’s normal that some cattle get injected with some hormones or antibiotics; 80% of all cattle have to undergo this. Unfortunately, this has bad consequences for us, the consumers of beef. The good news: grass-fed cattle have a lot more chance to be chemical-free and are therefore much healthier for us.

Better blood sugars

It comes back to those healthy fats that the cows contain and provide; the fat is still fat, but it’s of the healthy kind, and this is very useful for keeping your sugar levels at a healthy level.

Safer beef

An important study, reported by Consumer Reports, showed that grass-fed beef has a much smaller chance of containing hazardous materials – there’s significantly less chance of food poisoning or consumption of dangerous bacteria. It’s a lot safer.

Here’s one more great advantage to choosing the healthier option: it’s much better for the environment, and that’s beneficial for everyone. Research has shown that traditional grass-feeding methods (as opposed to grain-feeding, for example), actually benefit the environment by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting pasture diversity regarding eco-systems, and improving water drainage. It’s the natural way of doing things, and it’s still the best.