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Nature has given us a healthier alternative to weight control—eat meat from animals raised on fresh pasture. The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories. In a second grazing experiment, meat from lambs finished on pasture had 14 percent less fat and 8 percent more protein than grain-fed lambs. In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. A study in the March 28th, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that as many as one out of every three cattle may play host to the deadliest strain of E. In the picture shown, the mouse on the left was raised on the high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids typical of the American diet.
In the past few years, producers of grass-fed beef have been looking for ways to increase the amount of marbling in the meat so that consumers will have a more familiar product. But even these fatter cuts of grass-fed beef are lower in fat and calories than beef from grain-fed cattle. Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain- fed animals.
Omega-3s are called "good fats" because they play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. For example, of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly. People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder hyperactivity , or Alzheimer's disease.
Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer. In animal studies, these essential fats have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and also kept them from spreading. Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in animals raised on pasture.
The reason is simple. Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s. When cattle are taken off omega-3 rich grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on omega-3 poor grain, they begin losing their store of this beneficial fat. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished. J Animal Sci 71 8: When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s.
Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 10 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens. It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Twenty percent have blood levels so low that they cannot be detected. Meat and dairy products from grass-fed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called " conjugated linoleic acid " or CLA.
When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their products contain from three to five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets. CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer. In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA—a mere 0. In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels.
Switching from grain-fed to grassfed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category. You would have to eat five times that amount of grain-fed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection. In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grassfed animals is also higher in vitamin E. The graph below shows vitamin E levels in meat from: The meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements.
This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E. Click here to read Super Healthy Milk , an article about the health benefits of dairy products from grass-fed animals. Summary References— See bottom of page. Almost half the meat and poultry sold in the US is likely to be contaminated by highly dangerous bacteria, according to research published this month April in the scientific journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The study estimates that 47 percent of the meat and poultry on US supermarket shelves contains the bacteria staphylococcus aureus "Staph". It is not, however, among the four bacteria— Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. The researchers tested samples from 80 brands of beef, pork, chicken and turkey, purchased from 26 grocery stores in five major US cities. DNA tests from staph-infected samples suggest that the farm animals themselves were the major source of contamination.
The bacteria is not only linked to a number of human diseases, but is also resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics. Click here to read more. Eating moderate amounts of grass-fed meat for only 4 weeks will give you healthier levels of essential fats, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. The British research showed that healthy volunteers who ate grass-fed meat increased their blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and decreased their level of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
These changes are linked with a lower risk of a host of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and inflammatory disease. Interestingly, volunteers who consumed conventional, grain-fed meat ended up with lower levels of omega-3s and higher levels of omega-6s than they had at the beginning of the study, suggesting that eating conventional meat had been detrimental to their health.
Volume , pages The meat and dairy products of animals raised on pasture are higher in omega-3s than animals raised in factory farms. A study of breast cancer survivors revealed that the women with the most ALA in their tissues—and therefore the most ALA in their diets—were one fourth as likely to have their cancers return as women with the least amount. Most women who die from breast cancer die from a tumor that has metastasized, not from the original tumor.
This is yet another reason to eat cheese, milk, and meat from pastured animals. Since the s, large-scale poultry producers have added arsenic to their poultry feed. Although inorganic arsenic is a toxin, small amounts speed the growth of the birds, make their breast meat pinker, and kill certain bacteria. Is this practice harmful for humans? Chronic exposure to high levels of arsenic has been linked with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a decline in brain function.
But as long as poultry meat has fewer than 0. That ruling, set in the s, must be revised. Within the past few years, studies show that arsenic is a more potent cancer promoter than first believed. It has to do with its effect on blood vessels. The reason that arsenic makes white meat pinker is that it increases the growth of blood vessels in the meat.
The more blood, the pinker the color. Cancer cells cannot speed up their growth without the creation of new blood vessels to fuel them with nutrients.
Arsenic does the trick, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The European Union banned the use of arsenic in poultry production in Arsenic should be banned in all animal feed. Organic poultry and the poultry raised by Eatwild Producers are free of arsenic and other potentially harmful chemicals. Environmental Health Perspectives , Volume , number 4, So said French researcher Gerard Ailhaud, commenting on the results of a new study showing that mice fed the amount of omega-6 fatty acids present in the modern western diet grow fatter and fatter with each succeeding generation.
In the picture shown, the mouse on the left was raised on the high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids typical of the American diet.
In addition to being grossly overweight, it has the warning signs of diabetes. The healthy mouse on the right was raised on standard mouse chow.
The two mice got equal amounts of exercise. The mice are the fourth generation to be raised on the two types of diet. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for health, but the amount consumed by most Americans increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Omega-6s are most abundant in vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oils.
Olive oil is low in omega- 6 fatty acids. Few people realize that grain-fed animals are also a major source of omega-6s. Meat and dairy products from animals fed a high-grain diet, which is the typical feedlot diet, have up to ten times more omega-6s than products from animals raised on their natural diet of pasture. This study suggests that if we switch to food with a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, we will be leaner and healthier, and so will our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
A Western-like fat diet is sufficient to induce a gradual enhancement in fat mass over generations. Journal of Lipid Research. Volume 51, pages Now, a study from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that the more full-fat dairy products people consume, the lower their risk of heart attack provided the cows were grass-fed. The reason grass-fed milk is protective is that it has up to five times more conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. CLA is a healthy fat found in the meat and milk of grazing animals.
People who eat grass-fed dairy products absorb the CLA and store it in their tissues. In this new study of over 3, people, those with the highest levels of CLA in their tissues had a fifty percent lower risk of heart attack than those with the lowest levels. Keeping Bossy on grass could prevent more heart attacks than putting people on expensive pharmaceutical drugs with all their troubling side effects.
Conjugated linoleic acid in adipose tissue and risk of myocardial infarction. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published ahead of print, May 12, Fresh pasture and dried grasses are the natural diet of all ruminant animals. In factory farms, animals are switched to an unnatural diet based on corn and soy. In general, this means waste products from the manufacture of human food.
In particular, it can mean sterilized city garbage, candy, bubble gum, floor sweepings from plants that manufacture animal food, bakery, potato wastes or a scientific blend of pasta and candy.
There is no cure for this progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, mood, and behavior. Beate Ritz, et al. American Journal of Epidemiology. Grass-fed beef is better for human health than grain-fed beef in ten different ways, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date. Compared with grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef was:. Tissue proximate, fatty acid, vitamin and cholesterol content.
Eggs from hens raised outdoors on pasture have from three to six times more vitamin D than eggs from hens raised in confinement. Pastured hens are exposed to direct sunlight, which their bodies convert to vitamin D and then pass on to the eggs.
Vitamin D is best known for its role in building strong bones. New research shows that it can also enhance the immune system, improve mood, reduce blood pressure, combat cancer, and reduce the risk of some autoimmune disorders. This latest good news about eggs comes from a study just released by Mother Earth News , a magazine that plays a leading role in promoting health-enhancing, natural foods.
Note that this benefit comes only from hens that are free to graze fresh greens, eat bugs, and bask in the sun. Most of the eggs sold in the supermarket do not meet this criterion. Better yet, purchase them directly from your local farmer.
Click on the following link, then scroll down to the yellow map of the United States. Click on your state. Find eggs from pastured hens on eatwild. Few people realize that the European Union has banned the import of all US poultry since This month, EU agriculture ministers voted to continue the ban despite aggressive pressure from the United States. The standard practice in the US poultry industry is to wash the carcasses in chlorinated water to kill bacteria. John Bowis from the UK was more outspoken.
Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of US citizens are unwittingly playing that role. In the s, scientists and food producers were creating the first plans to take poultry off family farms and raise them in confinement. It was a time of trial and error. In a experiment conducted by the U. Department of Agriculture, breeding hens were taken off pasture and fed a wide variety of feed ingredients. But when birds were fed these same inadequate diets and put back on pasture, their eggs were perfectly normal.
The pasture grasses and the bugs made up for whatever was missing in each of the highly restrictive diets. Take a cube of butter from your refrigerator, slice it with a knife, and spread it on a slice of bread. Did it coat the bread evenly or did it remain in hard lumps? Researchers have determined that the easier butter spreads, the better it is for your health.
The firmness of butter depends on its ratio of saturated and unsaturated fat. At refrigerator temperatures, saturated fat is hard and unsaturated fat is soft, or even liquid. Therefore, butter that is relatively easy to spread has less saturated, artery-clogging fat and more healthier unsaturated fat. Cows that get all their nutrients from grass have the softest butterfat of all. Butter from grass-fed cows also has more cancer-fighting CLA, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids than butter from cows raised in factory farms or that have limited access to pasture.
To find a local farmer who raises cows on grass, go to our Eatwild Directory of Farms and Ranches. Journal of Dairy Science , Eating red meat—but not white meat or fish—is linked with a moderately increased risk of colon cancer. Red meat has considerably more heme iron than its paler counterparts. Iron is essential for survival, but heme iron can irritate the lining of the colon and set up the preconditions for cancer. Another possible link with red meat and cancer is the amount of oxidized fat in the meat.
You create oxidized fat when you grill meat, sear it, or cook it above medium rare. Do you have to cut back on grilled sirloin steak and lamb chops to lower your risk of colon cancer?
Eating foods high in antioxidants along with the meat could do the trick. Research shows that antioxidants have the potential to neutralize the ill effects of both the iron and the oxidized fat. For example, a study showed that eating spinach along with red meat eliminated all irritation of the colon. Now a study reveals that drinking a glass of red wine with your meal could do the same thing.
It is likely that other foods high in antioxidants will offer similar protection. Does eating grass-fed meat also reduce your risk of colon cancer? Meat from pastured animals has more antioxidants than feedlot meat, so it is a distinct possibility. To date, no one has studied this hypothesis. Yet another study shows that grass-fed meat is nutritionally superior to feedlot meat.
This newest study examined the differences in fat content between four breeds of cattle that were either 1 raised on pasture or 2 given grain and other feedstuff in a feedlot.
As in previous research, the results showed that meat from cattle raised on pasture had much healthier fats. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, June , As it turns out, all those choices of eggs at your supermarket aren't providing you much of a choice at all.
Recent tests conducted by Mother Earth News magazine have shown once again that eggs from chickens that range freely on pasture provide clear nutritional benefits over eggs from confinement operations.
Mother Earth News collected samples from 14 pastured flocks across the country and had them tested at an accredited laboratory. The results were compared to official US Department of Agriculture data for commercial eggs. Results showed the pastured eggs contained an amazing:. Check Eatwild's Pastured Products Directory to find free-range eggs near you. A team of scientists from the USDA compared grassfed lambs with lambs fed grain in a feedlot.
Cheese from grassfed cows is more than four times richer in conjugated linoleic acid—a cancer-fighting, fat-reducing fat—than cheese from standard, grain-fed cows. Because living grass is richer in vitamins E, A, and beta-carotene than stored hay or standard dairy diets, butter from dairy cows grazing on fresh pasture is also richer in these important nutrients. The naturally golden color of grassfed butter is a clear indication of its superior nutritional value. CLA conjugated linoleic acid is a cancer-fighting fat that is most abundant in grassfed products.
Two new European studies link a diet high in CLA with a lower risk of breast cancer. In Finland, researchers measured CLA levels in the serum of women with and without breast cancer.
Those women with the most CLA had a significantly lower risk of the disease. Meanwhile, French researchers measured CLA levels in the breast tissues of women. Once again, the women with the most CLA had the lowest risk of cancer.
The most natural and effective way to increase your intake of CLA is to eat the meat and dairy products of grassfed animals. A case-control study in France. Now there's another good reason to purchase eggs from pastured poultry farmers: This information comes from a British study published in At the time, British consumers were concerned about the trend toward factory farming. Specifically, they thought factory eggs might not be as nutritious as eggs from free-ranging birds.
An elaborate study confirmed their suspicions. The eggs from free-range hens contained significantly more folic acid and vitamin B12, as you can see by the graph below. The researchers also looked for differences in the fatty acid content of the eggs but did not find any. Now we know why. In the s, little was known about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, so the researchers didn't even bother to look for them in the eggs.
Tolan et al , "Studies on the Composition of Food, The chemical composition of eggs produced under battery, deep litter and free-range conditions. Nutrition , The goal of the commercial dairy industry is to coax the maximum amount of milk out of each cow through a high-tech combination of selective breeding, confinement housing, synthetic hormones, and a high-energy grain diet.
It has succeeded admirably. Today's super cows produce as much as 17, pounds of milk per cycle—20 times more milk than a cow needs to sustain a healthy calf. Unfortunately for consumers, the cow transfers a set amount of vitamins to her milk, and the greater her milk volume, the more dilute the vitamin content of the milk, especially vitamins E and beta-carotene. According to the journal article cited below, "It follows that continuing breeding and management systems that focus solely on increasing milk and milk fat yield will result in a steady dilution in the milk fat of these vitamins and antioxidants Dairy cows raised on pasture and free of hormone implants produce less milk than commercial cows, but the milk is therefore richer in vitamin content.
This is one of those times when less is more. Until recently, all of the experiments demonstrating the cancer-fighting properties of CLA conjugated linoleic acid have used synthetic CLA.
To see whether the CLA that occurs naturally in cow's milk has similar cancer-fighting properties, researchers recently compared the two. They fed one group of rats butter that was high in CLA and fed another group of rats an equivalent amount of synthetic CLA.
As one would expect, the natural CLA proved to be just as effective in blocking tumor growth as the man-made variety. In both cases, cancer yield was reduced by about 50 percent. However, the high CLA butter had an added benefit: Researchers believe that the rats were converting another "good" fat found in the butter, trans-vaccenic acid or TVA, into CLA, giving them a second helping of this cancer-fighting fat.
Click here for more information about TVA. Japanese importers place a premium on beef with ultra-white fat, which is difficult for New Zealand ranchers to achieve because they fatten their cattle on pasture. Grass is rich in the antioxidant vitamin beta-carotene, which lends a healthy, creamy color to meat fat. In a recent experiment, New Zealand researchers experimented with taking cattle off pasture and fattening them American-style on grain. Because grain is more expensive in New Zealand than it is in the States, grain-feeding was limited to less than 2 months.
The fat color did not change appreciably, even though serum levels of beta-carotene dropped 97 percent. What's more, 1 the animals weighed less than animals that were allowed to stay on pasture, 2 their meat was tougher, and 3 the meat lost more moisture when cooked.
The scientists concluded that animals need to be fed grain for a longer period of time to use up all the beta-carotene stored in the fat. Also, longer grain-feeding is required to overcome the initial weight loss of cattle that are switched from pasture to a feedlot diet. The increased toughness was unexpected and without explanation. Standard poultry feed is supplemented with small amounts of vitamin E. But as you can see by the graph below, it doesn't come close to the bounty of vitamin E that chickens glean from fresh pasture.
This vitamin E gets passed on to the consumer. An egg from a pastured hen has 30 percent more vitamin E than the kind you buy in the supermarket. Lopez-Bote et al , "Effect of free-range feeding on omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-tocopherol content and oxidative stability of eggs. When cattle are free to forage on their natural diet of grass, their meat is almost as lean as wild game. The graph below shows that grassfed beef has an overall fat content similar to antelope, deer, and elk.
This second graph shows that grain-fed beef has a much higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids than wild game or grass-fed beef. A high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids has been linked with an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies, depression, obesity, and auto-immune disorders.
A ratio of four or lower is considered ideal. The ratio in grain-fed beef is more than 14 to 1. In grassfed beef, it is approximately two to one.
Data for both graphs comes from G. Some commercial feedlots feed stale candy to cattle in an effort to reduce costs. According to a recent review, milk chocolate and candy "are often economical sources of nutrients, particularly fat.
They are sometimes fed in their wrappers. Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops, or gum drops are high in sugar content. As long as beef producers are not accountable for the ultimate nutritional value of the meat, they will continue to formulate feedlot diets on a least cost basis and American consumers will continue to eat meat that is artificially high in fat and low in vitamin E, beta carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and CLA.
Beef and buffalo jerky fit well into a busy lifestyle. Jerky needs no refrigeration and can be easily tucked into a pocket, purse, or lunch bag to provide a satisfying, high-protein snack. When the jerky is made from the meat of grassfed animals, you're also getting superior nutritional value and no questionable additives.
If you're purchasing grassfed meat in quantity, consider making your own jerky. Be aware, however, that most traditional recipes do not specify the high temperatures necessary to eliminate the risk of E.
To solve the problem, food scientists from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension developed three different recipes for making safe jerky at home. No time to make jerky? Order it ready made from one of five different suppliers in the Eat Wild Pastured Products Directory Click on the directory and then use your browser to search in the page for the word "jerky.
In yet another short-sighted experiment, researchers at Washington State University are feeding recycled restaurant grease to feedlot cattle in an attempt to raise the CLA levels of their meat. Although grease will indeed enhance CLA levels, it cannot compete with grass when the total nutritional value of the meat is taken into consideration.
Meat from cattle raised on grass and legumes is not only five times higher in CLA than meat from feedlot cattle, it is also higher in vitamin E, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, restaurant grease is high in a type of fat called "linoleic acid" or LA that is known to stimulate tumor growth. Although grease-fed cattle will have more of the cancer-fighting CLA, they will also have higher levels of the cancer-promoting LA, perhaps canceling out the anticipated benefits.
If you use assistive technology such as a screen reader and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications dh. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use. In April , media and communications regulator Ofcom introduced broadcasting restrictions to reduce significantly the exposure of children to television advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar HFSS. The nutrient profiling NP model was developed by the Food Standards Agency FSA in as a tool to help Ofcom differentiate foods and improve the balance of television advertising to children.
Ofcom introduced controls which restricted the advertising of HFSS foods in order to encourage the promotion of healthier alternatives. The NP model was subject to rigorous scientific scrutiny, extensive consultation and review.
The NP model has been used by Ofcom since April To help us improve GOV. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Skip to main content. Home Health and social care Health improvement.