Ask just about anybody, and they’ll say grass-fed beef is better for you. But why? True, it’s leaner than its conventional counterpart. But that’s only part of the story. Grass-fed beef also contains plenty of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). And the benefits of CLA range from better athletic performance to weight loss and lean muscle gains. Some show it may even lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
What is conjugated linoleic acid, AKA CLA?
CLA is a natural fatty acid found in meat and dairy products. It’s naturally produced by grazing animals, like cattle. That’s because a unique enzyme in their digestive tracts converts omega-6 fatty acids found in green plants into CLA. That CLA then gets stored in the animals’ muscle tissues and milk.
Humans can’t produce their own CLA, so we have to get it from our food. And while CLA isn’t considered an essential fatty acid, it still has plenty of health benefits. In fact, it’s a highly-regarded performance supplement in the weight loss and fitness world.
Benefits of CLA
As one of the few naturally occurring, healthy trans fats, CLA comes with a whole laundry list of health benefits. Foremost among them: its ability to help our bodies burn fat and build lean muscle. In fact, research has shown that “doses of 3 to 4 grams daily build muscle mass and promote body fat loss in healthy, overweight, and obese participants.”
On a physiological level, it does this in a few ways. First, it inhibits the genes responsible for fat storage, while boosting your body’s energy expenditure by supporting metabolic function. In other words, you’re burning fat faster than you can store it. Second, CLA increases satiety, which means it makes you feel full. And when you feel full, you’re less likely to snack, leading to overall lowered calorie intake.
And researchers continue to discover benefits. For example, in small studies involving animals, CLA has been shown to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.
The rise of CLA supplements
Do you know that adage, You are what you eat? Well, it’s true of animals too. Like we said up top, CLA is stored in the meat and milk of grazing animals. That’s why, before industrial feedlots and grain-fed animals, CLA was plentiful in our diets. But when grazing animals eat mostly grains, they produce significantly less CLA. As a result, we’re getting less CLA in our diets, which has led to CLA supplements’ popularity.
The cons of supplementing with CLA
In health food stores around the world, CLA gets packaged as a pill or syrup. They’re sold as convenient alternatives to eating grass-fed beef, milk, and butter. But these supplements vary in their concentrations and often contain other additives. If you choose to purchase a CLA supplement instead of getting it straight from the source, Dr. Jean-Michel Gaullier recommends buying “a product containing 80% CLA to get maximum weight-loss results.”
Oreganic™ grass-fed beef
Here at Oreganic™, we’re committed to doing things the right way, not the fast, cheap, or easy way. That’s why our animals are always 100% grass-fed and finished. As a result, our beef contains two to three times more CLA than most conventional meat. If you’re ready to tap into CLA’s benefits, why not try going straight to the most natural source? Shop Oreganic™ products through our easy online portal.