Grass-Fed Versus Grain-Fed Beef

Cattle Grazing near water


According to Tri-State Neighbor – Texas A&M University Department of Animal Science researchers have published two research studies comparing the effects of ground beef from grass-fed cattle versus grain-fed cattle on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes in men.

Forty-percent of American’s total beef intake is ground beef – which is one of the most important sources of oleic acid. Ground beef from grass-fed cattle contains three times as much omega-3 fatty acids than ground beef from grain-fed cattle – but it is higher in saturated and trans-fat. Ground beef from conventionally produced, premium ground beef is high in oleic acid and lower in saturated and trans-fat than ground beef from grass-fed cattle.

These studies have shown that grass feeding cattle doesn’t increase the amount of oleic acid in beef – as a quarter pound beef patty from grain-fed cattle has more than 2-grams more oleic acid than that from grass-fed cattle. In the studies – men consumed both types of ground beef for five weeks. Older, mildly hypercholesterolemic men saw a decrease in HDL-cholesterol – the good cholesterol – when eating ground beef from grass-fed cattle. Men with normal cholesterol levels saw an increase in HDL-cholesterol from ground beef from grain-fed cattle. Neither type of ground beef increased LDL-cholesterol – the bad cholesterol.

Bottom line – no scientific evidence so far supports the claim that consuming ground beef from grass-fed cattle is a healthier alternative to ground beef from grain-fed cattle.