Does Lean, Grass-Fed Beef Have Cancer-Fighting Antioxidants?
It’s become gospel among meat-eaters in the United States that eating beef can be bad for you. The only issue with that is it is simply not true.
Much like one wine can prove completely different than another, one type of beef is not the same as the other. Grass-fed, pasture-finished beef is a completely different food than industrial, grain-fed beef often includes growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics.
Educating people about the difference is part of what we do here at Acabonac Farms. 100% grass-fed and locally finished beef is vastly different than what your parents bought at the supermarket in the past.
One of those differences is a higher level of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Cancer-Fighting Antioxidants in Beef
Grass-fed cattle that are never given hormones or antibiotics - which is how they are raised on Acabonac Farms - produce beef that contains antioxidant vitamins, such as Vitamin E and Vitamin A.
Grass-fed beef also has more conjugated linoleic acid. That’s a type of fat that many believe can reduce both the risk of heart disease and cancer risks, according to the Mayo Clinic.
A study published in the Nutrition Journal and conducted by researchers from California State University backs up these findings. The study said that decades of research has shown that grass-fed beef improves “the fatty composition and antioxidant content of beef.”
The study reported a number of health benefits to grass-fed beef. They include:
- More conjugated linoleic acid
- More Omega-3
- A higher proportion of cholesterol neutral fatty acids
- A lower proportion of cholesterol-elevating saturated fats
- Elevated levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase
That’s a lot of science, of course. The point is that scientific, objective studies have found for years that grass-fed beef is simply better for your health. Just the fat issue alone shows the superiority, as noted by the California study:
“Grass-fed beef tends to be lower in overall fat content, an important consideration for those consumers interested in decreasing overall fat consumption.”
Why Is Grass-Fed Beef Better?
Another interesting note comes from the California study. To ensure the health benefits, the researchers noted, it’s important for people to eat beef from cattle who are “finished on 100% grass or pasture-based diets.”
It’s a point we’ve made here often on the Acabonac Farms site. We live in a “buyer beware” world where consumers have the power, but also the responsibility, to make the right choices. Many brands of beef are advertised as “grass-fed,” but that can also mean they were fed other things (such as grains).
That’s why we advertise as “grass-fed, local pasture finished.” Acabonac Farms cattle eat nothing but grass and are never given grain or growth-promoting steroids or antibiotics.
It’s true: not all meat is created equal. Cattle from large, industrial farms have been fed grains, hormone, antibiotics and are more likely to carry “superbugs” that have become resistant to antibiotics.
Cattle are designed by nature to eat grass. Is it any wonder that grass-fed beef not only has a better taste, but is also better for you?
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Also in In the Kitchen
Depending on what you read, beef has become the food villain. Many want to blame beef for everything from causing disease to warming the planet.
None of this is deserved. Beef, especially 100% grass-fed beef, provides many health benefits.
One of the major talking points on climate change in recent years have been this: People should cut back on eating meat, as it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute toward slowing down climate change.
That’s an attractive thought. Simply change your eating habits and help save the planet.
But is it true?