What’s the Beef?

A healthy FYI for all of you meat eaters: When buying beef, it’s best to buy grass-fed since it contains more beneficial omega-3s and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), but less saturated fat and calories than grain-fed beef. If you opt for organic then the beef should also be free of antibiotics, hormones, nitrates, and other harmful additives.  Wondering what CLA is good for? CLA is believed to improve heart health, reduce cancer risk and increase lean muscle mass.

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Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in grass-fed meat and dairy, are changing the way we think about fat. More and more science is showing the benefits of certain fats and the low-fat craze isn’t as crazy as it once was, but you can definitely still see remnants of this craze left and right when you look at common misconceptions still affecting store shelves and consumer choices today.  There was a point in time when it was being portrayed as if every fat was bad for us – no egg yolks, no butter, etc . Interestingly enough, we have we seen a dramatic increase in obesity with the increase of low-fat and non-fat products.

So I have to break the news – the healthy, slender people of the world are not living on sugar-free, diet, non-fat, low-fat, reduced-fat, low-sodium processed foods. You’ll find that the healthiest and happiest among us tend to have a diet of mainly whole foods. Those flavorful, nutrient-dense, wonderful foods in their original form. Yes, whole foods not only taste better, but are far more satisfying than their processed versions. In addition, you are much less likely to overeat when you’re eating whole foods.

Think about it: You have that 50 calorie yogurt that has no fat yet it has artificial flavors, colors and 30 grams of sugar.  Does that sound healthy? Does that sound like something your body will easily know how to process? NO and NO!

We need fat because fats provide us with a concentrated source of energy. Not to mention, they are the main material for cell membranes and various hormones. Without fat in your diet it is extremely hard to feel satiated and if you don’t feel satiated then you are going to keep eating… Is anyone getting skinnier with that equation? Nope.  The low-fat craze demonized all fats and neglected to inform consumers of the fact that fat has healthy forms and fat has a good and essential place in our diets!

So if you want to consume a healthy, balanced diet, you have to include the right fats. These good fats are found in a wide range of foods like fish, meat, milk, cheese, nuts, and olives. Even butter – yes, the real deal golden bar (again, organic grass-fed is best and the yellower it is the more nutritious it is) – is actually beneficial in small amounts and when eaten with something like steamed broccoli, it helps your body absorb the broccoli’s nutrients. Also, butter is much better for you than margarine – that scary  man-made, chemically altered fat.

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So remember that not all fats are the enemy and there are many sources of healthy fat, which should be included on a daily basis in a well-balanced diet!

5 comments

  1. Yes. THANK YOU! I couldn’t agree more.

    It’s crazy how far we have strayed from just a normal (whole food) diet of normal food. Unprocessed.

    I find that I do eat far less and am so much more satisfied with some fat in my diet. I have also observed the same for my kids (who should be eating fat for healthy brain development)! Great post, Annie.

    1. EXCELLENT point you added, Lauren — kids need to be eating fat for healthy brain development. It scares me to think that people start their kids off on low fat diets in their early years!

  2. Hi Annie,
    Hope you’re doing great.
    I’ve been hearing and seeing more and more about grass fed beef. I grew up in a small town and most of my family own farms in Brazil, so I understand the benefits.

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