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Grass-Fed VS Grain-Fed

Is grass-fed products healthier for me vs. grain fed? – Alex T. 

Grass-fed has more healthier nutrients, but the question is – how much more, does it really matter, and is it worth the additional cost? 

You’ll see grass-fed on butter, but let’s examine Beef because there is more reliable data and studies. 

Grass-Fed vs Grain Fed Key Nutritional Data: 

Raw 8oz hamburger
Total Fat2844g-16
Saturated Fat1216g-4
Omega 3200100mg100
Vitamin E0.80.4mg0.4
Vitamin K2.41mcg1.4

Grass-fed is certainly higher in healthy nutrients and lower in areas such as calories and fat. 

It’s important to note that for most of the B-Vitamins and Minerals, the amounts for both are similar. 

There was one notable difference with Vitamin B-12, which grass-fed had more than double the amount.

So now the question is, does it really matter?

Beef or butter should not be your primary or secondary source of vitamins and minerals. Fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, can be much better sources, therefore to compare amounts seems a bit pointless. 

Fats and protein (meat has 0 carbohydrates), does make a difference. Protein, especially, there is no other food source that will provide the concentration of protein per calorie more effectively. 

Here you see some difference, grass-fed has more protein, less calories. That’s great. 

You’ll hear a lot about the “amazing” Omega 3 (a very healthy type of fat) composition of grass-fed products, but something to consider regarding Omega3 is, how much and is Beef the best source? 

I say, “not much and no”!  The difference for Omega 3 is 100mg, which seems like a lot, but there isn’t that much health benefit with the increase, and most importantly, if you’re looking for a healthy source of Omega 3, go grab some fish, King Salmon has 1,270mg in the same serving! 

From a nutritional perspective, grass-fed products, whether its butter or beef, have a healthier more nutrient profile than grain fed. It is important to note that grain-fed studies have shown a much closer comparison in these areas based on the type of grain fed, but grass-fed still fares out better. 

The cost for grass fed will be about 30% higher and there are taste differences, which should always be accounted for…you should enjoy the taste of your food! 

If you’re going to be consuming these products regularly, there could be a compounding benefit. All these nutrients, protein, and calories add up. 

However, if you’re compromising on the amount of protein you should be consuming because you want grass-fed and it’s too expensive, it’s not worth it (from a health standpoint). 

You should also not feel any less healthy or more vulnerable to toxins because you’re purchasing grain-fed, there has been no research to show these types of issues. 

Tip: if you see “grass-fed”, look closely to make sure it notes grass fed all the time, instead of terms like “grass-finished’.