As awareness increases for the cruel, dirty, and otherwise undesirable conditions under which beef in America is made for consumption, so too does the demand for a better option.

Because of this awakening, grass fed beef has become a popular choice because it is seen as being more natural, clean, and overall, better for your health.

We know that grass fed beef is better for us because it’s cleaner and more natural.

But what some people may not know is if and how it can be beneficial to those on a ketogenic diet.

Does grass fed beef have any benefits other than the obvious ones of being cleaner and free of unwanted chemicals?

Where’s The Beef?

Today’s beef industry is complicated, controversial, and inefficient.

Beef farms force thousands of animals into small spaces, which creates measurable effects on pollution and climate change due to the sheer amount of waste that is produced by them.

Cows are often standing knee-deep in their own waste.

That’s the meat that is provided to the overwhelming majority of consumers in the United States.

If you’re hesitant to eat factory-farmed beef, you aren’t alone. In addition to being raised in small pens swimming in their own waste, cows are also fed a diet that is unnatural to their bodies:

Corn. Lots of corn.

Corn is overproduced in the United States and is used to feed cattle because it’s cheap.

This diet is not natural nor is it good for the cow, and can in fact cause lots of health problems in their bodies that unfortunately gets passed down to the person that ultimately consumes the meat.

Also included in the diet of the animals we eat is steroids—and lots of them.

Beef farmers use steroids to accelerate the growth of their stock to reduce turnaround time and make more money.

A side-effect that they seem to overlook is that they are effectively feeding the consumers steroids as well through the meat. In part because of these practices, we have a generation of people that are unhealthy and larger than their elders.

Not only is this process incredibly bad for the consumer, it’s also just not efficient and doesn’t make business sense.

Taxpayers subsidize farmers who lose money on this operation often, and the business is not self-sustaining.

Surely, there must be a way to consume meat without the negative effects, right?

Bring On The Grass Fed Beef!

As it turns out, raising healthy beef isn’t all that complicated.

Because of raised awareness for the dangers of traditional beef, more people have been turning to grass fed beef, which is a more natural approach to raising cattle.

Not to mention, it is an excellent source of fat on the keto diet (minus the unwanted steroids and chemicals of traditional beef!).

Cows have the amazing ability to consume grass and turn it into flesh that we can consume due to their four stomachs, which are able to properly digest grass.

This ability makes them an amazing source for sustenance for humans. They eat grass and fertilize pastures at the same time without polluting the environment and also do the whole process without steroids.

Cows are perfect for human consumption when raised correctly. When fed grass, cows have no need to consume corn, which is unnatural to them.

Providing corn to the large cattle operations accounts for a staggering amount of fossil fuel usage, which is terrible for the environment.

Now that you know the ethical advantages to grass fed beef, it’s time to dive into nutrition!

Grass Fed Beef On A Ketogenic Diet

Not only is grass fed beef more ethically palatable, it also happens to taste better and have fewer calories [1], too.

The average American consumes 67 lbs of beef each year. When you switch to grass fed beef, you save almost 17,000 calories!

There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of body fat, which means that switching to grass fed beef could lose you 5 lbs in a year.

That’s an incredible result for just having to switch the type of beef you’re consuming. The reduction in calorie consumption is likely the most significant attribute for ketogenic dieters.

Another benefit to grass fed beef consumption for keto dieters is that it can help regulate your blood sugar levels.

A ketogenic diet in combination with grass fed beef can be a powerful combination in helping your body eliminate the need to produce extra insulin. This diet is often recommended to those who need help with this.

Grass fed beef can also help prevent the “keto flu” that arises when there’s not a replenishment of electrolytes.

A single grass fed strip steak has:

  • 732 milligrams of Potassium
  • 49 milligrams of Magnesium
  • 118 milligrams of Sodium

Related: Top 3 Micronutrient Deficiencies On The Keto Diet (And How To Avoid Them)

These are essential electrolytes and are very good for someone on a ketogenic diet, especially if they are just transitioning.

Another benefit to consuming more grass fed beef is that it’s packed with way more healthy fats than regular beef and is also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids [2]. It’s actually a suitable alternative to fish, which as we all know are excellent sources of these healthy fats.

Finally,

Sticking with grass-fed beef contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) [3] which is known for helping prevent and treat obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.

CLA is an incredibly valuable nutrient and grass fed beef has more than double the amount of it as regular beef.

Summary

Beside the obvious moral and ethical benefits of choosing grass-fed beef over traditional beef, it’s also extremely beneficial to your health no matter what diet you’re on.

It’s particularly valuable to ketogenic dieters, however, because of the huge reduction in calories and the addition of healthy fats and nutrients.

Grass fed beef is an excellent substitute to regular beef for all of these reasons and more, and is very keto-friendly

So, eat up!

More Readings!

The Amazing Benefits of Collagen-Backed By Science

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts

5 Reasons (and Benefits) to use MCT Oil for Ketosis

References:

[1] Van Elswyk ME, McNeill SH. Impact of grass/forage feeding versus grain finishing on beef nutrients and sensory quality: the U.S. experience. Meat Sci. 2014 Jan;96(1):535-40. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.08.010. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

[2] McAfee AJ, McSorley EM, Cuskelly GJ, Fearon AM, Moss BW, Beattie JA, Wallace JM, Bonham MP, Strain JJ. Red meat from animals offered a grass diet increases plasma and platelet n-3 PUFA in healthy consumers. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan;105(1):80-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510003090.

[3] Daley CA, Abbott A, Doyle PS, Nader GA, Larson S. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J. 2010 Mar 10;9:10. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-10.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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