Nutrition

Nutritional Information About Grass Fed Beef

nutrition

At Open Space Meats we don’t believe that meat is just meat. What an animal is fed, greatly affects the nutritional value of the beef from that animal. The difference between grain fed and grass fed animal products is fairly dramatic. Grass fed beef is what is referred to as a nutrient dense food. That means that the amount of essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins is higher per calorie than other foods.

Grass fed beef products tend to be much lower in total fat than beef from grain fed cattle. For example, a sirloin steak of grass fed beef has about one half to one third the amount of fat as a similar steak from a conventionally fed animal.  In fact, grass fed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken or wild deer or elk. When meat is lean, it actually lowers your cholesterol levels and because grass fed meat is so lean, it is also lower in calories. The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories. A 6 oz steak of grass fed beef has almost 100 fewer calories than a 6 oz steak from a grain fed animal.

Although grass fed meat is low in bad fats (including saturated fat and trans fats), it gives you from two to six times more of a type of good fat called “omega-3 fatty acids.”  Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in every cell and system in our bodies people that intake larger amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or irregular heartbeat and are only half as likely to have a serious heart attack.

Omega-3 fats have been linked to brain function as well.  People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer’s disease.  Abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in grass fed animal products.

When cattle are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.

Cooking Tips

One of the good things about beef is it is customizable. You can cut a steak as thick or as thin as you like and it will be a different eating experience depending on your cut. As you have probably learned by now, Grass fed beef is very different from grain fed beef. This means that the way you handle grass fed beef should be a little different for the best experience.

Because grass fed beef is so lean it will tend to cook about 20% faster than regular beef does. Thus you should cut a grass fed steak thicker than a grain fed beefsteak. The exterior fat will be 1/8th inch or less so there will not be much grease, so gravy from a grass fed beef is hard to make.

Everybody likes his or her steaks different so don’t be afraid to cook it the way you want. It should be noted that if you cook your steak to well done, it may be dry or tough. Remember a lot of the eating experience depends on cooking.