Compared to traditional meat, it contains more omega-3s and anti-inflammatory substances. The expert's opinion
- Grass fed: a health choice
- Rich in B vitamins
- The other nutrients
- A sustainable model
- How to choose grass fed meat
Grass fed: a health choice
In Italy, grass fed meat is not yet very well known, but there are already several farmers who have chosen to feed their animals with grass (defined as grass fed animals). A growth system that allows cattle to remain in the pasture for the entire life cycle, from birth to slaughter, where the only sources of food allowed are grass from pastures and hay given to animals in the winter season.
A health choice, therefore, because – in addition to providing the benefits of red meat (presence of highly bioavailable heme iron and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, cobalt, nickel, selenium and phosphorus …) – grass fed meat also has a increased nutritional quality compared to meat derived from traditional farms.
A source of omega 3 and vitamin D
Grass fed meat is a good alternative for those who do not eat blue fish in sufficient quantities, a food capable of providing the precious essential omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. The former are normally not found in the meat of intensively reared and fed animals. based on inadequate feed, but only in the meat and derivatives (milk, cheese and butter) of grass-fed livestock. “Considering that they are the substances that people need most in life to feel good – explains Dr. Francesco Marinelli, a nutrition biologist in Rome – this is an excellent reason to consume grass fed red meat. Furthermore, this type of meat contains an excellent omega-3 / omega-6 ratio, which allows it to be essential for the prevention of inflammatory and chronic diseases ". Vitamin D is also present in sufficient quantities for the body. "In particular – underlines the expert – grass fed red meat contains 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, which is assimilated faster and easier than other forms of vitamin D".
Rich in B vitamins
Grass fed red meat is, like all foods of animal origin, rich in vitamin B12, essential for the body to function properly. "Not only – continues the expert – the other B vitamins are also present in grass fed red meat. Vitamins that it would be better to assimilate them directly from animal sources rather than from substitute foods, because the nutrients of grass fed red meat are much more bioavailable than those coming from alternative sources (such as vegetable ones) or from processed foods ".
The other nutrients
Among other substances, grass fed meat contains CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). “A polyunsaturated fatty acid – underlines Dr. Marinelli – which is considered a powerful antioxidant as it can prevent chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Finally, grass fed red meat contains a lot of vitamin A and K2, which are essential for growth, the immune system and, again, for reproduction and brain health ".
A sustainable model
The grass fed system, in addition to being more respectful of animal welfare, is also more sustainable from an ecological point of view because the use of corn and soy-based feed used in conventional farms, in some areas, contributes to the consumption of soil and involves large volumes of water for irrigation of fields. The outdoor life of grass fed cattle and the diet based mainly on grass also ensures that there is almost no pesticide and preservative in the meat. And life in open and less crowded spaces also reduces the probability of contracting diseases (and consequently also the medicines used are certainly less, administered only when needed).
Of course, the costs are higher than for meat obtained in traditional farms, which guarantee rapid growth and fattening, reducing costs and allowing the sale at lower prices.
How to choose grass fed meat
“Choosing high quality grass fed meat is essential,” warns the nutritionist. Animals should only be fed what they would normally eat in nature. For this reason, among the requirements for high quality grass fed meat, attention must be paid to the grass that feeds the meat. “It should grow in pesticide-free soil and definitely be of biological origin,” advises Dr. Marinelli. "In addition, it is important to select meat from local suppliers who certify the health of the farm, the conditions in which the animals are raised and what kind of treatment the meat undergoes".
A meat fed with fresh grass, therefore, raised in a human way and without antibiotics and hormones, can become an integral part of a healthy diet with a large anti-inflammatory component. "Choose a diet that includes grass fed meat – concludes Dr. Marinelli – certainly means doing good to your body and to the planet ”.
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