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Pasture-fed red meat is richer in healthy fats, study proves

Red meat

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(NaturalNews) Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) might be the most efficient and profitable ways to raise meat from an economic standpoint, but these methods drain the life, energy and health out of animals. The harsh conditions these animals suffer through don't end in the pen, the mud and the slop. How humans treat these animals has a rebound effect. How we treat animals is passed backed to us through the very meat we eat. Meat raised in confined conditions on genetically modified grains is less nutritious and carries a level of negative energy that affects the very spirit of the man or woman who consumes the meat.

This is apparent when examining the fatty acid profile of meat that's raised in a CAFO compared to meat raised freely on pasture land. Pasture-raised meat is given access to more nutrients, beneficial bacteria, and a more peaceful, natural environment. This allows healthy biological processes to take place within the animal, making way for higher-quality meat.

Pasture-raised livestock have greater access to antioxidant-rich plant flora

The best red meat is low in saturated fat and high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Through pasture-feeding, farmers are able to enhance the lipid composition of the meat, reducing saturated fat while increasing omega-3 content. By raising cattle on the pasture, a farmer allows the animals to access a wide spectrum of plant species that provide antioxidants and less common nutrients like vitamin E. These antioxidants help slow the oxidation process that occurs in polyunsaturated fats in the meat, prolonging shelf life and enhancing the meat's color.

Livestock raised in a pasture is less predictable, since the animal's diet is less controlled and is more varied relying on the native plants in the field. If the plants that livestock consume are higher in antioxidants, the resulting meat can be higher in nutritive value.

Meat itself isn't always bad for the body: It's the way meat is raised that matters most

Recent developments in the Western world have shown how today's red meat is unbalanced in its dietary fat content. Meat consumption is now being linked to colorectal cancer. Dietary guidelines are now in place telling consumers to limit their saturated fatty acid intake coming from red meats.

Still, meat contains high-quality protein, iron, zinc and other important minerals. It's not meat that is bad; it's that the quality of meat is being degraded. The way animals are raised is degrading and produces subpar-quality meat that's higher in saturated fats. Today's meat is missing quality pasture time and access to full-spectrum nutrition from wild plants. Environmental changes due to pesticide contamination and industrial waste are changing the very quality of pastures too, impacting the diversity of plant life that high-quality meat and its dietary fat composition depend on.

Pasture-based diets increase presence of beneficial bacteria species that help slow oxidation of the meat

In one study, grass-fed diets were shown to favor the growth and activity of the beneficial bacteria species Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens. These bacteria help breakdown protein and fiber, aiding in hemicelluloses degradation and biohydrogenation regulation, ultimately reducing the production of conjugated linoleic acids.

Linoleic acid is oxidized 10 times faster than oleic acid and 25 times faster than linolenic acid. When vitamin E-rich plants are consumed and the antioxidant is stored in the muscle of the animal, the undesirable process of lipid peroxidation is slowed. This means that pasture-fed meat enjoys a longer shelf life and prevents rancid odors and off flavors.

Some of the highest-value forages for livestock include turnip, Cichorium intybus (chicory), red clover, white clover, Lotus corniculatus (birdsfoot trefoil), Onobrychis viciifolia (sainfoin), Hedysarum coronarium (sulla) and plantain.

At the end of the day, there are many complex metabolic processes taking places inside livestock. The fatty acid content of an animal's meat is influenced by the diet they are fed. Pasture-feeding helps protect the animals from the process of biohydrogenation, paving the way for higher-quality meat. The common red clover herb is one example of a plant species that slows this process of biohydrogenation, elevating the long-chain fatty acid content of the meat.





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