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Grass-Fed Beef - An Important Part Of A Healthy Diet



For years obesity experts have been warning us against saturated fat found in red meats, but when the animals are raised exclusively on grass, these fats can actually help you lose weight, strengthen your immune system, and yes, protect you against heart disease.

Fat soluble vitamins are vital for human health, and vitamins A, D and K2, (a vitamin discovered by Weston A. Price), are found most plentifully in the fat of grass-fed animals. These vitamins help to prevent heart disease. They also support the function of the endocrine system, and are needed for the absorption of calcium. Calcium has been shown by a number of recent studies to help people lose weight. Children need these vitamins to build strong bones and teeth.

Weston A. Price pointed out that:

"It is possible to starve for minerals that are abundant in the foods eaten because they cannot be utilized without an adequate quantity of the fat-soluble activators [vitamins]."

Back in the 1930s when Price analyzed the vitamin and mineral content of the 'primitive' groups that he studied, and compared their diets to that of the 'modern' diets of industrialized countries, he found that traditional people ate as much as 10 times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins as we do, and far more calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

If Price were still with us, he would tell us that the current fat-soluble vitamin content of the 'Standard American Diet' is now even worse. After all, he made his comparisons before the popularity of low-fat diets, and before the existence of factory-farms.

One of the protective foods that Price brought back from traditional societies to use in his own practice was high-vitamin butter from cows eating fresh spring grass. He used spring butter as a medicine to reverse dietary deficiencies in his patients. He also prescribed plenty of raw milk from grass-fed cows, just as Sir Robert McCarrison did when he left India to start his own practice in England. These foods were medicinal because of their high fat-soluble vitamin content, and the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in the butterfat.

Raw milk from grass-fed cows is now difficult to buy in the United States, and few people still make their own butter, but CLA can also be found in beef, if the animal has been raised naturally.

CLA is a powerful antioxidant and has been proven to protect against cancer in laboratory animals. It also promotes the development of muscle instead of fat, and it makes body fat burn faster.

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Take Control of Your Health, CLA is found primarily in grass-fed beef and dairy products and cannot be produced in the human body. CLA is produced naturally by the bacteria that live in the rumen of ruminant animals like cattle, sheep, and goats.

Research has shown that grazing animals raised strictly on their natural diet of grass can have levels of CLA hundreds of times higher than animals raised on grain feeds. Also, a study done by the Department of Animal Science at Southern Illinois University in 2003 found that beef finished off on soybean oil reduced the amount of CLA produced by ruminant animals. In fact, feeding animals anything other than their natural food reduces both their health and ours.

Recent human studies have shown that volunteers who were given CLA supplements lost a significant amount of body fat, and bodybuilders who were given CLA were able to lift far heavier weights, indicating the growth of muscle mass. This substance is so important for weight loss and cancer prevention that factory farmers are now trying to find ways to artificially force confined, grain fed animals to produce the CLA that is created naturally when the animals are raised on grass.

The loss of this special omega-6 fat from our food supply may be one of the reasons why the obesity rate began to skyrocket in the 1960s and 70s, shortly after most family farms and ranches gave way to giant factory farms.

It isn't just the missing CLA that makes grain-fed meat less healthy. Factory-raised animals also have less of the important omega-3 fats than naturally raised animals. The healthiest proportion of omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats is one to one - even portions of both. Since factory raised animals don't have this healthy balance in their fat, the American Heart Association is probably right - saturated fats from confinement raised animals are not good for us. But this is only true if we remember that they're talking about the saturated fats found in factory-raised animals.

Fortunately, there are still small ranches and farms that raise healthy, grass-fed beef cattle. It takes time to find them, but the health benefits for you and everyone in your family makes it worth the trouble.

Jonni Good shows you how to power-up your healthy diet with delicious, satisfying natural foods. Learn how the right foods can help you control your appetite, reduce food cravings, and burn fat faster. The same wholesome foods also keep your kids from getting fat. For details, visit http://www.RealFoodDietRevolution.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jonni_Good

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