For Dr. Joseph Mercola, a healthy diet is an essential component of good health. High on his list of recommendations are natural and unprocessed foods, including meat.
The average American eats almost twice his or her weight in meat each year, as it has always been part of the typical American diet. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the U.S. consumed an estimated 28.1 billion lbs of beef in 2007, second only to Argentina.
Beef is a rich source of proteins, Vitamin B and minerals like zinc, iron and magnesium. But did you know that beef, when grass-fed beef, is also a major source of Omega-3?
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids which the body needs but cannot produce on its own. Studies have shown that Omega 3 may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, while excessive levels of Omega 6, on the other hand, may increase the risk of a number of diseases. Experiments on fat determined that if the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 exceeds 4:1, people may develop more health problems.
Cattle are typically grain-fed, usually with corn, soya and other types of feeds to shorten the fattening time and increase the yield from dairy cattle. Traditionally-raised cattle are also given antiobiotics, vaccines and other drugs not only for them to gain more weight, but also to keep them disease-free.
Grass-fed beef is leaner and lacks marbling (streaking of fat), lowering the levels of fats and calories it contains. Studies have shown that grass-fed cattle have an Omega-6-Omega-3 ratio of 3:1, while grain-fed cattle can have ratios that may exceed 20:1.
Making the switch from grain-fed to grass-fed beef is not a radical change; it is simply returning to the diet of our ancestors. Beef, in its natural grass-fed state, is a quality health food.
Dr. Mercola has been providing expert advice on diet, exercise, therapy and other health-related topics for free at Mercola.com, the world’s top natural health website. Learn more about grass-fed beef and other healthier food options. Log on to Mercola.com now!