What are essential fatty acids?
body can do many things independently. But it depends on more outside sources for its overall well being. The
most important dependence the body has is food. There is a balance that exists for overall health and when we are imbalanced
we get sick. Every cell in the body requires nutrients to function. Among these nutrients are Omega-6 and Omega-3
fatty acids. The human body cannot produce these vital fats independently, so it is essential that we get these fats
from food and thus they are classified "essential fatty acids". These two families of fatty acids should be
balanced appropriately to help maintain and improve health. Inappropriate balance contributes to disease. A healthy
diet should consist of 1-4 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3. The typical American diet contains 11-30 times more Omega-6
than Omega-3. Many researchers believe this imbalance is significant to the rising rate of inflammatory diseases in
Omega-6s in our diets come mostly from grains,
such as corn, wheat, and oats. Omega-3s are found in green, leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and--grass.
The Omega-3's in the grass consumed by grass fed cows are stored in their tissues. Cows eating grass enhance the Omega-3
content by 60%. Therefore, eating grass fed beef will increase the amount of Omega-3's in your diet.
Eating Grass-Fed Beef gives you the same Omega-3 found in fish!
What about vitamins?
Grass-fed beef contains
less total fat, saturated fat, and calories than grain-fed beef. A grass-fed cow has twice the amount of beta-carotene (vitamin
A) than grain-fed cow. There is also three times more vitamin E in grass-fed cows than conventional cows. Switching
ruminants from their natural diet of grasses to grains lowers the nutritional value of their meat and dairy products.
What is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)?
linoleic acid (CLA) is a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in beef, lamb and dairy products. These fatty acids
are produced in the rumens of ruminant animals, like cows. There is an anaerobic bacterium called Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens
that lives in the cow's rumen and it biohydrogenates linoleic and linoleic acid into what is referred to as CLA. Green
forages contain high amounts of linoleic and linoleic acid for the cow's rumen to convert to CLA. This means that a
cow eating green grass will have more CLA present than a cow fed in confinement, 2-3 times more.
CLA has been shown to combat arteriosclerosis (clogged arteries), reduce body fat, prevent or delay
the onset of diabetes, and, most importantly, prevent and fight cancer. A human would need to consume about 5 grams of CLA
daily to achieve a positive health effect. A 3.5 oz serving of grass-fed beef provides 25% of the daily CLA requirement
for a positive health effect. The same size serving of conventional beef provides just 9.6% of the daily CLA requirement.
Grains, fruits, vegetables, poultry, and pork contain very little
CLA. Grass-fed beef and dairy are the best sources of CLA.