100% grass-fed and finished beef is a red meat that is considered one of the best protein foods around. According to a study at California State University’s College of Agriculture, 100% grass-fed and finished beef nutrition includes significantly more omega-3 fatty acids and more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef. It’s also higher in precursors for vitamin A and E and cancer-fighting antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef. (1)
If you haven’t heard of CLA yet, it’s a powerful polyunsaturated fatty acid we must obtain from our diets (such as a Paleo or ketogenic diet) that’s been shown to help fight cancer, discourage weight gain and build muscle. High-quality grass-fed beef from healthy, grass-fed cows is the top source of CLA. (1)
There are actually 16 different types of CLA, each providing a unique and highly important health benefit. CLA has been shown in numerous animal studies since 1994 to promote health and fight disease. From cancer fighting to weight loss, CLA is being touted worldwide as a “must have” in your diet for optimal health today and into tomorrow. Conjugated linoleic acids have been studied for their ability to prevent and treat cancer as well as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. (3)
CLA sources have proved their ability as cancer-fighting foods in multiple animal studies. As a study published in the journal of Cancer pointed out, CLA is unique in the fact that it comes from animal source since the majority of natural, anticancer substances are of plant origin. (2)
In 2000, a Finnish study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer demonstrated that there may also be anticarcinogenic effects of CLA for humans. In this study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diets had a lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of CLA. Conjugated Linoleic Acid’s anticarcinogenic effects are still being observed, but the early results are very promising. (5)
While CLA is certainly one of the highlights of 100% grass-fed and finished beef, the list definitely doesn’t stop there. 100% grass-fed and finished beef has many heart health benefits. Some of those benefits are:
• Anywhere from 1/3 to ½ the amount of overall fat and unhealthy fats than grain-fed beef.
• 20-40% lower levels of dietary cholesterol than grain-fed beef.
• 2-6 times higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.
• 2-3 times the amount of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef.
• Up to 4 times more heart disease-fighting antioxidant vitamins (such as vitamin E) than grain-fed beef. (4)
It shouldn’t be too surprising that an animal whose diet is exactly the way nature intended is healthier for you than the animal that was fed a diet specifically meant to add fat in the shortest amount of time possible. For example, one lean 100% grass-fed & finished strip steak (214 grams) contains about:
Daily Value (DV) is based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
• 250 calories (12.5% DV)
• 49.4 grams protein (99% DV)
• 5.8 grams fat (9% DV)
• 14.3 milligrams niacin (72% DV)
• 1.4 milligrams vitamin B6 (70% DV)
• 45.1 micrograms selenium (64% DV)
• 7.7 milligrams zinc (52% DV)
• 454 milligrams phosphorus (45% DV)
• 2.7 micrograms vitamin B12 (45% DV)
• 4 milligrams iron (22% DV)
• 732 milligrams potassium (21% DV)
• 1.5 milligrams pantothenic acid (15% DV)
• 49.2 milligrams magnesium (12% DV)
• 0.1 milligram thiamin (7% DV)
• 27.8 micrograms folate (7% DV)
• 0.1 milligram copper (7% DV) (6)