IS GRASS-FED MEAT A HEALTH­IER OP­TION?

Friday - - Beauty -

Q What is grass-fed meat and why is it con­sid­ered to be a health­ier op­tion to com­monly avail­able meats?

A When a cow that is raised for its meat is given a diet rich in greens (its prefer­able sta­ple diet) we get grass-fed meat.

Sev­eral stud­ies have shown that grass-fed meat is much bet­ter than grain-fed meat. The for­mer has less fat and the qual­ity of fat is bet­ter, too. Grass-fed meat has higher amounts of good sat­u­rated fat, con­ju­gated linoleic acids and omega-3. The ra­tio of omega-6 to omega-3 is also bet­ter bal­anced in grass-fed meat.

An­i­mals such as cows and goats are meant to eat grass. But much con­ven­tional meat in the mar­ket is from an­i­mals fed grain, stale bread, hor­mones and an­tibi­otics, so that they grow big­ger faster. A few years ago there were re­ports that af­ter corn prices in the US soared, the mar­ket for al­ter­na­tive feed ra­tions for beef and dairy cows also sky­rock­eted. Dairy pro­duc­ers, who were scram­bling to keep their an­i­mals fed, be­gan in­clud­ing cook­ies, gummy worms, marsh­mal­lows, fruit loops, orange peels, dried cran­ber­ries… vir­tu­ally any­thing they could get their hands on that would re­place the starchy sugar con­tent tra­di­tion­ally de­liv­ered to the an­i­mals through corn.

Some meat pro­duc­ers have been re­ported to feed even city garbage and chicken feath­ers to the cows. Eat­ing meat of such cat­tle re­sults in obe­sity-caus­ing hor­mones and tox­ins en­ter­ing our food chain. To avoid this, when you eat meat, try go­ing or­ganic. Choose grass-fed meats, free-range or­ganic eggs, white fish and sal­mon and free-range chicken.

RASHI CHOWDHARY is a nu­tri­tion­ist, di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor and cre­ator of The Pro­tein Bake Shop

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