Was ground beef from grass-fed beef actually more healthful? No, the study found. In fact, ground beef is one of the most important sources of the healthful monounsaturated fatty acid — oleic acid — in the diet.
What are the differences between grass-fed, organic and regular milk? Is one type more nutritious? Answer Story continues below advertisement Move over almond milk. Thanks to the appearance of grass-fed dairy in grocery stores, cow's milk could be making a comeback with health-conscious consumers already looking for nearly-natural foods.
While all types of milk are equivalent when it comes to calcium and vitamin D, it turns out grass-fed milk has other nutritional advantages. The main differences between grass-fed, organic and conventional milk has to do with the diets the cows are fed.
And it certainly seems that the adage "you are what you eat" holds true for cows. Milk from cows that graze on grass — versus eating a grain-based diet on feedlots — is a better source of heart-healthy fats and certain antioxidants.
Grass-fed cattle feed on pasture until the winter months when they're fed cut grasses inside the barn. A diet based on grass results in cow's milk that's higher in an essential fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid ALAan omega-3 fat that reduces inflammation in the body and has been tied to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Grass-fed milk has double the omega-3 fat content as conventional milk. Dairy cattle that produce organic milk are given some access to pasture; at least 30 per cent of their diet must come from grass. When they don't pasture, they're given organic feed that is free of antibiotics, hormones, synthetic pesticides and herbicides and genetically modified ingredients.
Most regular, or conventional, milk from large industrial providers comes from cows that predominantly live inside barns, either indoor pens or tethered to individual stalls, and eat a non-organic feed that includes grain, corn, soy and alfalfa. Corn and soy are high in omega-6 fatty acids, essential fats also needed for health.
The health benefits of essential fatty acids are achieved by getting a proper balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats can't do their job if they're crowded out with a surplus of omega-6 fats, found in many processed foods.
A ratio that's associated with good health is four parts omega-6 to one part omega An even lower ratio, achieved by eating more omega-3s or fewer omega-6s, may be more desirable. Research suggests a omega The problem is the typical North American diet contains up to 20 times more omega-6 fats mainly from processed vegetable oils than omega-3 fats, an unfavourable ratio that's thought to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Story continues below advertisement Story continues below advertisement According to data from the University of Toronto, Ontario-produced Rolling Meadow Grass Fed Dairy's whole milk has an omega Some research shows that organic milk also has a more favourable balance of the two fatty acids than conventional milk.
Milk from grass-fed cows also has five times more conjugated linoleic acid CLA than conventional milk. CLA, a fatty acid found in dairy and beef, is linked to protection from colorectal and breast cancers, diabetes and heart disease. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found people with the highest levels of CLA in their body had a per-cent lower risk of heart attack than those with the lowest levels.
Some data suggest grass-fed milk surpasses conventional milk when it comes to vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene — antioxidants that protect cells from free-radical damage. In Canada, dairy milk in general grass-fed, organic, conventional does not contain antibiotics or growth hormones.
All types of milk are also pasteurized heated at a high temperature to destroy illness-causing bacteria. Filtered milk goes through an extra-fine filtration system, which increases its shelf life by 15 days when refrigerated and unopened.
Filtration does not affect nutrient content. Many organic and grass-fed milk producers pasteurize at the lowest allowable temperatures to preserve enzymes and enhance taste, resulting in a shorter shelf-life 22 days unopened versus 40 or more. Grass-fed milk comes with a higher price tag though: While milk produced from cows that eat only grass may have a healthier mix of fatty acids, all types of milk are excellent sources of protein, B12 and calcium.
And all are fortified with vitamin A and vitamin D. Story continues below advertisement Dairy milk by the numbers Nutrient values are for one cup ml Skim fat-free 83 calories, 8 g protein, 0. Follow Leslie Beck on Twitter lesliebeckrd.The grass-fed cows had more omega-3’s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Just 80 days of grain feeding was enough to destroy the omega-3 content of the beef. CLA content plummeted in .
Grass-fed cattle can contain as much as two-to-four times more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed animals. At the same time, a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids has been linked with an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies, depression, obesity, .
Also, ground beef from grass-fed cattle has 2g more saturated fat plus trans-fat than the patty from grain-fed cattle. Sign up now for BEEF Daily and get all the latest hot topics straight to your inbox!
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They conjur images of cows cavorting through fields, pigs let loose in the woods, lambs bouncing across hillsides bliss. If all of the beef in the U.S. were grass-fed we would need an additional million cows in order to match the amount of beef produced in That would require an additional million acres of land, which is about 75% of the state of Texas.
A grass-fed steak typically has about twice as many omega-3s as a grain-fed steak. In addition to being higher in healthy omega-3s, meat from pastured cattle is also up to four times higher in vitamin E than meat from feedlot cattle, and much higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient associated with lower cancer risk.