Like everyone else growing up in America, I was always told to limit red meat. But, as a true Texas gal with roots in Nebraska, I love my steak, hamburgers, brisket, roast and fajitas.
My obsession with learning all things Primal/Paleo started with beef. So…you’re telling me beef is best?? How awesome is that!
Beef and Your Heart
It seems the notion of red meat contributing cardiovascular disease and cancer is overstated. One substantiated from an OBSERVATIONAL study based on food frequency questionnaires. But, I digress. There are many articles from smarter, more credible folks than I. If you want to get geeky, check these out.
One of the reasons beef can be problematic is the Omega 3/Omega 6 ratio. This stems from decades of feeding corn to cows and keeping them fat instead of letting them roam the beautiful pastures to graze on grass. Because corn is subsidized (the govt gives farmers money to make more corn), it’s cheap and easy. We all know, you get what you pay for, right?
Think of Omega 3/6 as yin and yang. One is pro-inflammatory (6) and one is anti-inflammatory (3). Humans need equal levels of both to stay in balance. When cows eat corn and stay fat, their omega 6:3 levels lean toward pro-inflammatory. This is why grass-fed beef is best.
I had this conversation with my lovely mother and sister (who are both nurses), and I got hella reverb.
“Nebraska beef will always be the best. Look at your 90-year old grandmother.”
I admire her hometown loyalty. “Corn-fed and proud to Go Big Red.” However, the fact that my grandmother is 90 has nothing to do with it. She wasn’t introduced to processed food until her 50s and she lived on a farm most of her life with fresh meat and veggies.
Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef
- Higher in Omega 3 for your heart and brain
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) for anti-cancer properties
- Lower LDL cholesterol
- More Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium
- More Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene
- Less calories per serving
Beef on a Budget
If you’re thinking you can’t afford grass-fed beef or it’s too hard to find. Think again. The Paleo Diet Budget Shopping Guide by Robb Wolf is a great place to start.
Recently, I found A Better Way Beef, which delivers grass-fed beef to my doorstep at a budget-friendly $5.50/lb. We get a 25lb box of hamburger, sirloin, brisket, ribeye, soup bones, roast and more, which last us about one month. Can’t beat that! Try Googling “grass-fed beef” + your zip code. You may be surprised.
If all else fails…don’t reach for biscuits and gravy instead of conventional meat 😉
What’s your favorite steak marinade?