Want to bolster the flavor of your healthy recipes?
Too often we find ourselves thinning down our favorite recipes by cutting our “fatty” ingredients.
When it comes to hamburgers or meatloaf, it’s not uncommon to see health-conscious cooks substitute ground beef for a “leaner” ground turkey or chicken. Well, prepare for some great news. When it comes to grass fed beef, you can’t get much leaner. That’s because there’s a huge difference between grass fed and grain fed beef products.
When fed natural grasses and allowed to roam freely across ecologically diverse pastures, beef takes on a more holistic flavor, overflows with nutrients, and becomes much leaner. Keep in mind this isn’t the case with conventional industrial beef, which is fed mostly corn and plumped up by hormones and inactivity. That beef, no matter how you cut it, will be less nutritious and fattier.
It might sound too good to be true, but the health benefits of grass fed beef actually outweigh those of free range chicken!
When it comes to choosing the food from which we draw our nutrients, fats, and calories, we like to gather and spread the facts. We’ll get to the bottom of the health benefits between beef and chicken real quick with two basic takeaways.
1. Lean Nutrition
Grass fed beef is not only lean, but healthier.
On average, a cut of grass fed beef has about one half to one-third the amount of fat as a similar cut from a grain fed steer. The fat content of grass fed beef could be more closely compared to that of a skinless chicken or wild deer.
When meat is this lean, it actually helps lower your cholesterol levels. Of course, grass fed beef still contains fat, but not all fats are bad for you. While grass fed beef is low in saturated fats, it’s crammed full of about six times more of a good type of fat. Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain development, have been shown to combat depression, and of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly. Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer.
2. Beef vs Chicken
Grass fed beef is great for your heart and brain. So is pasture raised chicken.
But since poultry can’t live off a 100% grass fed diet, you’ll get fewer of those nice omega-3s. There are other benefits to chicken as well. Pound for pound, poultry packs more protein than beef. It’s also full of all B vitamins and is fairly low in fat.
Still, with grass fed beef, you’re getting more nutritional bang for your buck. Next time you’re trying to prepare a lean, healthy dish for the whole family, don’t limit yourself to fish or chicken for your protein source. You can achieve similar high-nutrient and low-fat scores with pasture beef.