Everyone has heard the mantra you need to cut back on red meat. The underlying assumption is that all red meat is the same. In truth, grassfed beef is healthier for you than grain-fed beef, and surprise, surprise, its even better for you than chicken, especially commercially-raised chicken. A few of the compelling reasons why grassfed beef is the premium source of high-quality protein:

Less Fat

The main reason animals are fed large amounts of grain is that they grow fatter, faster. In the commercial paradigm, time is money. The net result of a high grain diet is fattier meat. Products from feed lot animals have from one-third to three times more fat than animals raised on pasture. Most grassfed meat is so lean that it has about the same amount of fat as wild game or skinless chicken breast.

Fewer Calories

Due to the fact that grassfed products are leaner than grain-fed products, they also have fewer calories. The average American that eats 67 pounds of beef a year would save 16,642 calories a year. All things being equal, you will lose 5 pounds a year by switching to grassfed beef and changing nothing else in your diet or activity level.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Grassfed beef contains up to ten times as many omega-3s than grain-fed beef purchased in the grocery store. Equally important, grassfed beef has the ideal ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s that your body needs. Research shows that people who are low in omega-3s have a higher risk of cancer, depression, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, asthma, dementia, high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. Studies show women with diets low in omega-3s are twice as likely to die from a heart attack or stroke. One reason these ailments are so prevalent in the United States is that twenty percent of Americans have omega-3 levels so low they defy detection. Taking our animals off pasture has contributed to the deficiency. Our bodies cant make omega-3s, they only originate in green plants. Whether this healthy fat is in a trout or a hamburger from a grassfed steer, it was created by plants or algae and migrated up the food chain.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid(CLA)

The term conjugated linoleic acid and its acronym CLA is a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in beef, lamb, and dairy products. Over the past two decades numerous health benefits have been attributed to CLA including actions to reduce cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and body fat. Studies show CLA levels as low as 0.05 percent of the diet can have a beneficial effect in mice. A level of 0.5 percent reduced the total number of mammary tumors by 32 percent. These results also demonstrated that CLA administered through a dietary route was effective in providing protection against cancer. Other studies show a lower level of LDL (bad) cholesterol in both rabbits and hamsters treated with oral CLA, resulting in significantly less plaque formation in the aortic artery of treated animals. In mice, rats, pigs, and now humans, dietary CLA has been shown to reduce adipose (fat) tissue. Grassfed beef contains three times more CLA than grain fed beef.

Vitamin A

Beta-Carotene. Beta-carotene belongs to a family of natural chemicals known as carotenes or carotenoids. Carotenes produce the yellow and orange color found in fruits and vegetables and is converted to vitamin A (retinol) by the body. While excessive amounts of vitamin A in supplement form can be toxic, the body will only convert as much vitamin A from beta-carotene as it needs, thus beta-carotene is a safe dietary source for vitamin A supplementation. Vitamin A is a critical fat-soluble vitamin that is important for normal vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division, and cell differentiation. The overall integrity of skin and mucous membranes is maintained by vitamin A, creating a barrier to bacterial and viral infection. In addition, vitamin A is involved in the regulation of immune function by supporting the production and function of white blood. Grassfed beef has twice the amount of Vitamin A as grain fed beef.

Vitamin E

Alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E is also a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in eight different forms with powerful antioxidant activity, the most active being alpha-tocopherol. Antioxidants protect cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are potentially damaging by-products of the bodys metabolism that may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition to the cancer fighting affects, there are some observational studies that found lens clarity (a diagnostic tool for cataracts) was better in patients who regularly use vitamin E.

Grassfed beef contains three times more Vitamin E than grain-fed beef.