Recently I had a friend ask me what the big deal is about eating grass fed meat or traditionally raised meat. "Is it really that much better than the regular meat that I buy?"
So because of that conversation I decided to do a post about meat. Something that I eat. A lot.
There is a lot of misleading information out there regarding meat and animal fat. We have been told that meat and animal fat is generally bad as it will raise your cholesterol. Many people are on low fat diets, avoiding red meat and other fat sources thinking this will decreased their cholesterol, when in fact the opposite is true, if you eat the right type of meat.
More and more studies are showing that high cholesterol is related to low grade inflammation. Now there are many things that contribute to inflammation and I will do a post on this in the future but for now I will focus on meats and animal products.
If you look at the animals that our ancestors ate they were raised in fields, fed on grass and other vegetation, not supplemented with corn, grains, antibiotics, soy etc etc. Meats raised in this manner (traditionally) have omega 3:6 ratios around 1:1 or 1:2. Compare this to meats raised today on conventional diets (grains, corn, soy etc) and that ratio changes from 1:6 to 1:20. That is a huge difference! Conventional diets decrease the amount of omega 3's by such a huge amount that they are barely detectable. Your body needs omega 3 and 6 in a proportionate ratio to function properly. When you get too much omega 6 (like we have in the typical North American diet) this becomes a source of inflammation, which can lead to a whole host of health problems. Higher cholesterol is just the beginning.
As well, fat soluble vitamins are stored in fat. If animals are not fed properly they will have poor stores of these essential vitamins. Grass fed beef is higher in B vitamins, beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K and trace minerals as well as conjugated linoleic acid (a good naturally occurring trans fat).
And if all that isn't enough to convince you to make a change, I urge you to think about the health and wellbeing of the animals you are eating. Animals raised in a conventional manner are kept in confined spaces, separated from their families, forced to eat food and chemicals that are not natural to them, physically abused to behave in a certain manner and subject to many unnecessary procedures (often invasive) in order to produce meat that is made to meet certain specifications.
Compare this to animals that are allowed to roam in fields, run with their families and eat what and when they want to from the land they are raised on. Doesn't that sound like a happier living environment? It sure does to me!
Well you can all tell which side of the debate I am on when it comes to meat. I have been on a mission lately to find local sources of meat that are raised in a traditional manner and so far it really hasn't been that hard. Yes it is more expensive, but to me the extra cost is worth it. Plus the meat tastes so much better! Trust me.
Here is a link to an article that is more in depth than mine, outlining further benefits of eating traditionally raised meat from an amazing blog, Mark's Daily Apple:
What do you think? Do you buy traditionally raised meats? What is your favorite source? Will this change your buying habits?
And as always, if you have any questions just let me know!