By: Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD

Why Grass-fed and Finished Beef is Important

The keto diet continues to enjoy a dedicated following among those looking for ways to drop weight rapidly and curious about its other potential health benefits. For many people, beef is one of the staple foods on a keto diet.Ā 

While beef in general is widely accessible, there are important nutritional and health differences between grass-fed beef and conventional grain-fed beef from factory farms. Hereā€™s why we recommend choosing grass-fed and finished beef to support your keto diet whenever possible.Ā 

Grass-fed versus Grain-fed: Whatā€™s the Difference?

As its name suggests, grass-fed beef comes from cows who graze on pasture and can consume a variety of plants, grasses, and other forage throughout their lives. This diet is more aligned with the natural digestive system of cows.Ā 

On the other hand, grain-fed beef ā€” sometimes called vegetarian-fed ā€” comes from cows that are provided with a diet based on grains like soy or corn. A grain-based diet is intended to promote rapid weight gain as beef is typically priced and sold per pound.Ā 

Nutrient Composition

Regardless of the diet you follow, optimizing your nutrition should be a top priority. The overall nutritional quality of your diet is a key factor in your overall health, but also the success of any diet like the keto diet. Weā€™ve outlined some of the important nutritional differences between grass-fed beef and conventional grain-fed beef below.Ā 

Grass-fed Beef

Grass-fed beef contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer benefits for heart, skin, eye, and brain health. It also contains more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an essential omega-6 fat. CLA has benefits for heart health and may help your body burn more fat.Ā 

Additionally, grass-fed beef is a rich source of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage. Some of the antioxidants are vitamins C and E. Youā€™ll also get higher levels of micronutrients in grass-fed beef as a result of their diet, such as potassium, zinc, and iron.Ā 

Grain-fed Beef

Comparatively, grain-fed beef contributes more omega-6 fatty acids to your diet. While essential, when consumed in excess and without enough omega-3 fats, omega-6 fats promote inflammation. Grain-fed beef also has less beneficial CLA and micronutrients compared to its grass-fed counterparts.Ā 

Furthermore, thereā€™s a higher risk of unwanted additives in conventional feed grown in a factory farming environment. For example, grain-fed beef is likely to contain added antibiotics and hormones.Ā 

How Grass-fed Beef Supports Weight Loss

Choosing grass-fed versus grain-fed beef can better support your weight loss goals on a keto diet. Why? Grass-fed beef tends to be higher in overall nutrient quality while also being lower in calories per serving compared to conventional beef.Ā 

Plus, a higher intake of CLA has been associated with long-term health and a healthier weight. Youā€™ll find more of this in grass-fed beef than in supplements and grain-fed beef.

Looking for a keto-friendly snack that offers a good nutrition profile, and satiety, and helps support weight loss goals? Chomps meat sticks are made of grass-fed and finished beef, which is always free from added hormones and antibiotics.

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