Beef health facts can get lost in the shuffle of the midst of advertising efforts for competing products. While there are people who eat too much red meat, there are also those eating too many carbs, fat, salt, sugar, grains and calories in general. Therefore, it is unfair to single out one nutritional guilty party. Just one 3 ounce serving of cooked beef delivers 10 essential nutrients, including about half the daily value for protein – and it tastes so good! You would have to eat 3 cups of quinoa, 6.5 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1-2/3 cups of black beans, or 1-1/3 cups of edamame to equal the protein in 3 ounces of beef.
Ground beef has more essential micronutrients than ground turkey – not to mention way more flavor. Lean ground beef can be lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than ground turkey. So it is important to compare the actual nutritional facts before buying into the advertising slogans of competing meats and giving up that beef!
Nutrition is very important for good health. Many people are overweight yet, at the same time, are undernourished because they do not intake the recommended levels of important nutrients. Ground beef, steak, and roasts offer a delicious solution to provide more nutrients in fewer calories than many other food choices. A key consideration to getting the most nutritional value possible is how you cook your beef. Lean cuts wrapped in a flour tortilla with fresh veggies is a great choice to keep your appetite satisfied and your waistline slim. Beef can also be part of a heart-healthy diet, as lean beef is low in levels of saturated fat and cholesterol.
A healthy, balanced diet includes a variety of protein sources. While plant-based diets that include quinoa, edamame or black beans can contribute protein content, they are higher in calories than beef – which also gives you more nutrients than any plant protein. Elderly people, in particular, do not consume enough high-quality protein.
There is a debate on whether the nutrient content of beef is higher in grass-fed over grain-fed beef. We feel it isn’t so much that significant nutrients are lost, but more so that animals people have eaten traditionally roamed free and ate grass. The “roaming free” part of the equation is very important to those who care for and raise cattle on a family farm.
Beef Health Facts: Grass vs. Grain
Cattle raised by Ozark Prime Beef network producers are “grass-fed” which refers to what our animals eat (grass); “pasture-raised” which refers to where it eats (on a pasture); and “grain-finished” which refers to the grain fed the last 2 to 3 months prior to harvest.
Grain finishing creates the rich flavor and tenderness we all recognize in a great steak, without compromising nutritional value. In addition to meat quality, finishing on grain is essential in areas where grass does not grow year round, or in times of drought if it does grow year round. Cattle are slowly transitioned to a diet that is hay and grain-based over a period of 60 to 90 days. 100% Natural Beef is grain or grass fed, without antibiotics or growth hormone use.
Cattle raised in ag-industrial complexes are confined and fed a high-energy, grain diet and synthetic hormones to make it grow faster. Their digestive tracts become more acidic, resulting in chronic stomach pain which causes them to kick at their bellies and eat dirt. Because the conditions are unsanitary due to so many animals packed into each feedlot, the cattle are administered non-therapeutic doses of antibiotics.
Beef cattle are raised in a variety of different ways, so you have choices when you select whether to buy from the supermarket or local family farms. Review beef health facts, as well as our network farm profiles, so you can make informed decisions. Local family farmers raise animals on open pastures with fresh air and sunlight, that feast on a natural diet of grass. If you choose to buy beef from these producers, you improve animals’ welfare, maintain environmental sustainability, support family farms, and serve wholesome, healthy beef to friends and family.