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Grass-fed animals: Why what animals eat affects your health.


Posted on October 7th, 2009 by Jeff Thiboutot M.S.

We mention in S.P.E.E.D. that there are weight loss and health benefits from ingesting  a certain amount of omega 3 fats. However, we did not mention that grass fed cows can be a good source of omega 3’s. Grass-fed cows and their resulting milk and meat will also have more CLA (more about this nutrient in a latter post), vitamin A & E, and less overall fat per serving (not that we are advocating a low fat diet) than conventional (grain-fed) cows. There are also health benefits for the cows and some environmental benefits as well.

You can get grass-fed beef and dairy at some health food stores. There are also a number of places on the web. One good source that we have used for grass fed meats is U.S. Wellness Meats. A good directory for finding grass-fed animals, as well as the benefits of grass-feeding, is eatwild.com. The one drawback is that this type of meat and milk is more expensive. But, this is one place to spend a little extra if you can because the overall benefits to your health seem worth it. In fact, a recent review of this subject concluded:

“The scientific literature supports the hypothesis that grassfed beef contains higher proportions of healthful lipids [fats] and antioxidants important to human health as compared to conventional [grain-fed] beef.” (Abbott et al)

If you want to learn more about grass-fed animals see the reference paper listed as well as the www.eatwild.com website.

Reference:

Abbott, A. et al (n.d). Enhanced nutrient content of grass fed beef : Justification for health benefit label claim. Retrieved on October 1, 2009  from http://www.csuchico.edu/agr/grsfdbef/pdf/amberabbottgrassfedbeef.pdf

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