Christian Living

Healthy Living

Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed

By now, most of us have seen grass-fed beef in the grocery store meat department, or have at least heard of it in passing. It is glaringly more expensive than the traditional, grain-fed beef, so we wonder if eating grass-fed beef is worth the extra expense.

I would say yes, it is worth the cost. Most of us don't have any extra money to spare. In fact, most of us have less to spend than we did before, thanks to higher gas prices and the overall sluggish economy. And even those rare folks who do have extra cash to spare, nobody likes to waste it on things we don't need.

Nevertheless, I believe grass-fed beef is one of those items that is essential, if you are a meat eater at all. Those of us on a budget need to simply cut costs elsewhere in order to afford grass-fed.

Where can one cut costs? Lots of places. Let's not talk about overall budgets, that would take all day. Instead, let's just focus on the grocery budget.

The best way to cut costs is to stop purchasing beverages. Tap water is all we need to drink. Juices are loaded with sugar. Any vitamins you get from juice are better consumed in fresh, raw fruits or, better yet, vegetables. For example, spinach is a much better source of vitamin C than orange juice because spinach has more fiber and is lower in sugar.

When it comes to other beverages, they are no-brainers. Soda? Don't even get me started. You know that stuff is just empty calories. Even diet soda is bad because those artificial sweeteners don't do anything good for you. In fact, there is reason to believe they make you gain weight because they create a craving for sweets. When it comes to beverages, you don't even need bottled water, just fill up a reusable container with tap water. You don't even need to purchase coffee or tea if you work in an office. Most places offer it for free, so just wait until you get to work.

Aside from beverages, you can find extra grocery money for grass-fed beef by eliminating purchases of sweets and convenience foods. Also, you can eliminate restaurant and fast-food purchases.

So now that you've found the money for grass-fed beef, here's why you should buy it.

The main reason is because grass-fed beef contains Omega-3 fats. As you probably know by now, Omega-3 fats are desirable ones, and sadly, the ones that are most deficient in our diets. Omega-3 fats are non-existent in grain-fed beef. It is critical that we reduce our consumption of Omega-6 fats and increase our consumption of Omega-3s.

Why? Because even though both of these fats are essential for good health, the trick is to consume them in equal amounts. Tragically, most Americans consume 20 times more Omega-6 fats than Omega-3 fats, and this imbalance leads to deadly inflammation. So wherever possible, reduce your Omega-6 consumption, and increase your Omega-3 consumption....such as by taking a fish oil supplement...and eating grass-fed beef!

In addition to Omega-3s, grass-fed beef is also higher in B-vitamins, beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K and magnesium, calcium and selenium.

So that's what grass-fed does have. A big reason to eat grass-fed is for what is does not have, as well. Cows that eat only grass are not pumped with antibiotics or growth hormones, which I believe are harmful to our health.

Apart from a health standpoint, grass-fed beef is also better for the environment and the animals are treated more humanely.

So even though it's more expensive, grass-fed beef is worth the cost! You can fund this added expense by eliminating your purchases of items you don't need...such as beverages, sweets, and convenience foods.