Inflammation and Health
Inflammation in the body can be harmful to an individual’s overall health, particularly if it is chronic in nature. While it is sometimes desirable – in the healing process, for example, inflammation is a natural occurrence that promotes repair – chronic inflammation has been linked to health concerns such as diabetes and heart disease. Taking steps to reduce your inflammation is a great way to help improve your health.
Note that this doesn’t mean that you have to completely overhaul your life or your eating habits. In fact, sometimes simply changing your diet in small ways can help produce an improvement in your health by reducing the inflammation in your body. One example is swapping grain fed meat for grass fed meat.
Grass vs. Grain Fed Meat in Mice and Inflammation
A study published in 2011 investigates how meat sources affected inflammation in mice. The mice were divided into groups and fed specific diets for two weeks. After this period of time, they were tested for how the various diets affected their inflammation levels (among other health issues). The mice that consumed range-fed or grass fed elk, range-fed bison, and range-fed beef were found to have lower inflammation than those that ate grain-finished beef. The mice eating meat from grass fed sources, in other words, saw a reduction in their inflammation levels while those that ate grain fed meat had the highest levels of inflammation in the study.
What exactly does this mean? Well, it shows that meat quality could affect your health. Eating meat from an animal that was primarily fed grain could lead to higher inflammation levels in your body than eating meat from an animal that was fed grass.
If you’re wondering why exactly that is, then you might be interested in the next study I’m going to discuss below.
Grass vs. Grain Fed Meat: Fatty Acids & Antioxidant Content
Another study published in 2010, takes a look at how different feeds affect the meat of an animal. Over three decades of study, researchers found that cows fed a grass-based diet produced meat with higher antioxidant content and improved fatty acid composition than those that were fed a conventional grain based feed. Additionally, it cites several studies that have found evidence to suggest that grass fed animals actually contain less cholesterol-elevating agents and higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants than those fed grain.
In conclusion, the beef from grass fed cows seemed to have more antioxidant content than beef from non-grass fed cows and also contained a lower overall fat content and better fats than the alternative. This means that if you switch from grain fed meat sources to grass fed meat sources, you could be eating less bad fat, increasing your antioxidant content, and potentially increasing your overall health. It might seem surprising that simply changing your meat source could impact your health in such a significant way, but the evidence points to grass fed meat being healthier for you than meat from other sources.
If you’d like to reduce your inflammation levels, consider making the switch to grass fed meat!