A Real Deal Guide to Buying Healthy Meat

A Real Deal Guide to Buying Healthy Meat

A 'Real Deal' Guide to Buying Healthy Meat

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Meat has recently gotten an extremely bad rap and rightly so... but not for the reasons most people would think. Important data (that has just received some media attention) is showing that scientists now believe America's leading health problems are not due to saturated fats or cholesterol - but to diets higher in omega 6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. They have determined that human beings need a very specific balance between these two essential fatty acids in their diet to maintain good health. Their experiments are concluding that the ideal omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cell membranes is 1:1 and that if the ratio exceeds 4:1 people tend to develop more health problems (primarily due to inflammatory pathways).

Now back to meat. Regretfully, conventional meats found in most supermarkets are fed grains, which are very high in omega-6 fats. Therefore it turns out that conventional meats have an omega-6 to omega-3 ratios anywhere from 15:1 to 20:1! No wonder meat has lost its reputation as a valuable protein source. Does this mean you will never be able to enjoy a succulent steak without fearing severe health consequences? Not at all. The big difference to your health depends on the manner in which the cow was raised. You see cows are ruminants that are meant to eat plants based diets. But conventional farmer want to hurry the maturation process so rather than allow these cows to graze on grasses they are genetically meant to eat, they are fed an artificial grain diet leading to fatty acid imbalances. The good news is that "grass fed" meats have an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 1:1. Exactly what the scientists have determined to be good for your health.

The key then for your continued good health is finding these ideal grass fed meats and staying away from conventionally raised meats. Simply looking for organic or pastured raised meats in grocery stores is not good enough. You see pastured meats means that at some point the animal was pastured but probably also grain fed if you do not also see the terminology "grass fed" on the label. Same goes for organic. This term guarantees that the meat is free of antibiotics, hormones and genetically modified grains (GMO) but according to the law they are permitted up to 70% non GMO gains and the time in pasture of these animals only has to be 120 days. Grass fed / grain finished is also not good enough. Some ranchers "finish" their cows on grain the last few weeks before processing to improve the taste and texture but at the same time destroying the good essential fatty acid ratio. So do not get caught by that terminology. The word "natural" also does not mean much. The term has nothing to do with how the cow was raised or fed; it simply implies that it contains no artificial ingredients or added color. "Naturally Raised" is another USDA term seen on some packages that means the cow was never fed animal by products, growth hormones or antibiotics but the feed could have been grain or grass. So investigate and ask questions before buying that succulent steak.

The term "grass fed" on a package is a legal term from the USDA, which means the cow has been fed nothing but grass from weaning to processing. This does not however guarantee that the cow was not given any antibiotics or hormones. To be assured that a cow was raised on 100% grass diet and not fed antibiotics and hormones you must look for AGA (American Grass-fed Association) Certified grass fed meat. This is a legal USDA term that guarantees that the cow was only fed grass its entire life and has never been given antibiotics or hormones. It also certifies that the animal was raised in the United States, You may only find these meats at specialty stores or on line and yes, they will cost more than conventionally raised meats. Your health is worth it!

So now that you have found the perfect steak that satisfies both your taste buds and health you must remember not to overcook it and certainly not to broil it to a crisp causing AGEPs (Advanced Glycation End Products). But that is for a completely another article.

- , CEO, Wise Choice Health, Inc

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