Grass-fed versus grain-fed beef – what’s the difference?

What is fed to a cow can have a major impact on the combination of beef nutrients. Where livestock are often fed with granular food, during evolution, these animals roamed freely and ate grass. Many studies have shown that beef nutrition can vary depending on what a cow eats. In Bangladesh, beef is consumed all year long. When it comes to the sacrifice, the volume increases several times. About half a million cows are sacrificed all over the country. Most cattle are generally grain-fed. However, grass-fed beef is prevalent in many other countries, including Australia.

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However, does the way a cow is fed affect your health ? You need to read this article to find out.

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After the calf is born, they drink milk from their mothers and allow many of them to roam and eat grass or other edible plants that they find in their environment. It lasts about seven to nine months. After that, most beef habits are changed. They are rapidly fattened with grain-based granular foods, usually made from soy or corn bran. Also dried grass is fed in small quantities. To speed up fat, cows are often given antibiotics and growth hormone drugs. The cattle lived on the farm for several months before being brought to a slaughterhouse. Of course, it’s not really such an easy process either. Feeding methods are complex and varied.

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Generally speaking, grass-fed cows (always) eat grass, whereas grain-fed cows (in most cases) are fed an artificial diet based on corn and soy at the end of their lives.

Differences in fatty acid compounds

The same applies to beef “you are what you eat”.

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What cows eat can have a major impact on the combination of nutrients in beef . This is especially evident when it comes to fatty acid combinations. Grass-fed beef generally has a lower fat content than grain-fed beef, which means that grass-fed beef has fewer calories.

However, the difference in the combination of fatty acids:

  • Monounsaturated Fat: Grass-fed beef contains much less monounsaturated fat than grain-fed beef ( source-1 ).
  • Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fat: Grass fed and grain fed beef contains approximately the same amount of omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Omega-3s: This is where grass feeding makes a big difference, in that it is five times higher than omega-3s ( References-2 ). Omega-3s have been shown to help improve heart health, improve cognitive function, control cholesterol, fight inflammation and reduce high blood pressure.
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA):  Grass fed beef has almost twice the CLA than beef fed beef  . This fatty acid is associated with several health benefits ( References-1 , References-1 ). CLA is an essential part of your diet and is known to help fight weight loss, muscle-building and cancer.

In short, there is a significant difference in the amount of grass fed beef compared to grain fed.

Grass fed beef is more nutritious

  • Both grain-fed and grass-fed beef are a high source of nutrients.
  • Beef is full of vitamins B12, B3 and B6. It is also rich in organic iron, selenium and zinc. Basically, meat contains almost every nutrient that helps people survive. ( References 1 )
  • It contains high-quality proteins and various lesser-known nutrients such as  creatine  and carnosine, which are very important to your muscles and brain.

Grass fed is much higher in the following vitamins than grass fed beef.

  • Vitamin A: Grass-fed beef has a carotenoid similar to beta-carotene.
  • Vitamin E: It is an antioxidant that is present in the membranes of your cells and protects them from inflammation ( References-1 ).

Grass fed beef tends to be more rich in other antioxidants ( References-1 , References-1 ).

Read more: How to recognize healthy and hormone-free cows 

The additional costs and potential disadvantages of grass-fed beef 

  • It is important to remember that conventional, grain-fed beef is also very healthy.
  • Unless you  cook your beef too much  (which can lead to the formation of harmful compounds), it is a nutritious meal that can be part of a healthy diet.
  • In the country, grass fed beef is relatively expensive and for some people it may not be worth the extra expense.
  • Basically only grass-fed cows need at least 2 years to make the sacrifice appropriate. They have to escape with time. Many times, traders do not want to wait that long. Seeing this cow takes longer to grow, its meat prices are also relatively high.
  • In urban areas it is almost impossible to find a cow. In the urban areas, the beef market is set at normal and fixed prices. It is not possible to sell grass fed cows at that price. That is why households have to find cows in the countryside.
  • There are subtle differences in taste. Grass-fed beef is often thin and has a distinct taste.
  • Although grass-fed beef has a number of nutrients, it is currently healthier than grain-fed beef in terms of a balanced diet.
  • Lastly, the choice depends on your preferences and ideals. Some people like to feed the grass, while others like to feed the grain. Try both and see which one you like the most.

Taste of grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef

Because of their diet, grass fed beef and grain fed beef have different tastes. Baburchis often say that the source of the taste of meat comes from fat. The difference in diet between grass fed and grain fed cattle creates a different nutritional and fat profile for each type of meat, thus giving each type a distinct taste.

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Many Americans are accustomed to grain-fed beef. However, there is a debate as to which one tastes better than the meat. Since the choices for grass-fed and grain-fed beef tastes are different, your testbed is crucial to determine which flavor you will enjoy the most.

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Since there are specific cooking instructions for grass fed beef. Grass-fed beef is cooked 30 percent faster than grain-fed beef . Using a meat thermometer, you can verify your meat, so that it does not become over cooked. You need to remove the meat from the oven when it is 5 degrees below your desired temperature. Since grass-fed beef is low fat, you may need to add olive oil or ghee to brown the oven.

The last word

Despite all the controversy in terms of nutrition, most people are beginning to agree that the most important thing is to eat natural foods. Some people just take organic food to take this idea a step further. At the end of the day, what you eat depends on your preference and health awareness.

 

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