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Grass-fed beef: What are the heart-health benefits?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/grass-fed-beef/AN02053
- With Mayo Clinic cardiologist
Martha Grogan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Martha Grogan, M.D.Martha Grogan, M.D.
Dr. Martha Grogan is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases. She is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and received her medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School. Dr. Grogan has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1995 and is a consultant in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and is an assistant professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School.
Dr. Grogan is a noninvasive cardiologist specializing in heart failure, adult congenital heart disease and echocardiography. She has witnessed firsthand the importance of patient education in the treatment of diseases such as congestive heart failure and is excited about the tremendous educational opportunities now available through the Internet.
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Grass-fed beef: What are the heart-health benefits?
Does grass-fed beef have any heart-health benefits that other types of beef don't?
from Martha Grogan, M.D.
Grass-fed beef typically comes from cattle that eat only grass and other foraged foods throughout their lives. Often, conventional beef and dairy cattle eat a diet that includes grains, such as corn, at some point. The difference in the diets of the cattle changes the nutrients and fats you get from eating the different types of beef.
Grass-fed beef may have some heart-health benefits that other types of beef don't have. When compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef may have:
- Less total fat
- More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
- More conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that's thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks
- More antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E
Lean beef that's 10 percent fat or less — whether it's grass-fed beef or another type of beef — can be part of a heart-healthy diet. But it's still uncertain whether grass-fed beef adds even more heart-health benefits. Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you're thinking about adding more lean beef, including grass-fed beef, into your diet.Next question
Butter vs. margarine: Which is better for my heart?
- Leheska JM, et al. Effects of conventional and grass feeding systems on the nutrient composition of beef. Journal of Animal Science. 2008;86:3575.
- Chahbazi J, et al. Common foods and farming methods thought to promote health: What the data show. Primary Care. 2008;35:769.
- United States standards for livestock and meat marketing claims. Federal Register. http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5063842. Accessed Nov. 1, 2011.
- Daley CA, et al. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal. 2010;9:10.