Score Ten for Grassfed Beef

Grassfed beef is better for human health than grain-fed beef in ten different ways, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date. The 2009 study was a joint effort between the USDA and researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina. Compared with grain-fed beef, grassfed beef was:

  1. Lower in total fat

  2. Higher in beta-carotene

  3. Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

  4. Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin

  5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium

  6. Higher in total Omega-3s

  7. A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)

  8. Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter

  9. Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)

  10. Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease


S.K. Duckett et al, Journal of Animal Science, (published online) June 2009, “Effects of winter stocker growth rate and finishing system on: III. Tissue proximate, fatty acid, vitamin, and cholesterol content.

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