Grass Fed Beef or Conventional Beef? – Which is healthier?

One of the most important questions you can ask about the Primal diet is rather or not to consume Grass-Fed Beef or Conventional Beef. Now we all have heard the old saying “You are what you eat”. This is not just true for us Humans, but it also holds true for the animals that provide the meat we eat.

Scientific Studies.

Various scientific studies have been made that wholeheartedly agree that Grass Fed Beef is highly beneficial to your health (1, 2). Grass Fed Beef has a more desirable Saturated Fatty Acid lipid profile as compared to Conventional Beef.

it is also higher (about 2 – 3 times more than Conventional Beef) in conjugated linoleic acid and trans-vaccenic acid (3, 4) which helps in the reduction of Cancer tumors such as Breast, Colorectal, Lung, Skin, and Stomach. It also helps with reducing the symptoms of Asthma, Cardiovascular disease, High blood pressure, High cholesterol and triglycerides, Osteoporosis, Insulin resistance, Inflammation, Immune system invaders, among others.

Grass-fed beef tends to be lower in overall fat content, an important consideration for those people interested in decreasing overall fat consumption. Because of these differences in Fatty Acid content, grass-fed beef also has a distinct grass flavor and unique cooking qualities that should be considered when making the transition from Conventional Beef.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Grass Fed Beef is also higher in Omega-3 fatty acids resulting in a better omega-6:omega-3 ratio that is preferred by nutritionists. In Grass Fed Beef  this ratio is about 1.53:1, while in Conventional Beef the ratio is a whopping 7.65:1.  Grass-fed beef is also higher in precursors for Vitamin A and E and cancer fighting antioxidants such as GT (glutathione) and SOD (superoxide dismutase) as compared to grain-fed beef.

Saturated Fats

As far as Saturated fat is concerned, the three main types of saturated fats found in red meat are stearic acid, palmitic acid, and myristic acid. Grass Fed Beef consistently contains a higher proportion of stearic acid, which even the mainstream scientific community acknowledges does not raise blood cholesterol levels. This higher proportion of stearic acid means that grass-fed beef also contains lower proportions of palmitic and myristic acid, which are more likely to raise cholesterol.  On the other hand Conventional Beef is higher on palmitic and myristic acids and lower on stearic acid.

Other Important Nutrients

Grass Fed Beef also contains higher levels of beneficial nutrients, including zinc, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. (5) It’s safe to say that Grass Fed Beef gives you more bang for your buck on all fronts, with its significantly higher levels of omega-3s, antioxidants, minerals, and other important nutrients.


Grass Fed Beef and Conventional Beef have the same amount of omega-6 fats, cholesterol, and total polyunsaturated fats.

One of the most important health markers is your omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio.  A  healthy ratio is 2:1 and make sure the omega-6 you eat is mostly uncooked.  Most Americans have a ratio of 20:1 to 30:1.  Along with other dietary measures, consuming Grass Fed Beef will help improve this ratio. Grass Fed Beef have more omega-3’s, CLA, and TVA.  Grass Fed Beef has more antioxidants, and a broader spectrum of healthy fats.  The higher antioxidant content in Grass Fed Beef will also protect the omega-3’s and omega-6’s from oxidizing.


Hope this information will help you make a wise choice in order to lead a more healthier and fulfilling live.  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on Grass Fed Beef vs Conventional Beef.

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    • GabeTheGreat369 on August 2, 2017 at 6:19 am
    • Reply

    Nice analysis! I was always curious between the difference in the two, as I’ve known a few people to make quite a big deal over it.

    It’s neat to see that there is not that much of a difference, and that the difference really comes down to our diet and how we prepare/consume the things we eat. This gave me a new perspective for sure, thanks!!

    1. Hi Gabe: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.  In the short run there are minor differences but in the long run these differences do add up and will be the difference between being healthier especially when it comes to the Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio.

    • Teresa on August 2, 2017 at 5:36 pm
    • Reply

    I have known that grass fed beef was better for you. I always thought it was because of all the stuff that was added to the grain the cows ate. It didn’t dawn on me that it also due to the grass itself.

    So, if I’m reading this right, grass fed beef helps with inflammation and immune system invaders. I have an auto immune disorder and have been told that red meat was not good for auto immune disorders. I wonder if grass fed beef changes things. I’ve certainly got a good farmer’s market in my community for grass fed beef.

    Have you read or heard anything about this?

    1. Hi Teresa: Thank you for visiting and leaving your comment.  My recommendation would be yes.  Grass fed beef would be beneficial to your conditions.  

      Grass-fed beef provides a number of health benefits since it is rich in the many nutrients and minerals found in soil. Eating beef from an animal that has been fed chemically treated corn can negatively affect your health and trigger degenerative diseases, autoimmune conditions, and learning disabilities.

      Grass-fed beef is high in omega-3 fatty acids that neutralize the inflammation caused by omega-6 fatty acids. Grass-fed beef also contains CLA, a healthy fat that can help you to slim down and lose body fat. Grass-fed beef is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, as well as the amino acids L-carnitine and carnosine.

      But very important: When shopping for beef, make sure that it is grass-fed and green-finished. Just because a product is labeled organic does not mean that it came from grass-fed cattle!

    • Helen on August 2, 2017 at 6:47 pm
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    What a great read! I love all the juicy science facts about the differences between grass fed and conventional beef. I had no idea it was nutritionally better for you. I thought that grass fed beef meant that there are no antibiotics used but I guess that’s organic, not grass-fed.

    Thanks for the awesome info!



    1. Hi Helen: Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your comment.  Yes, there is more to grass fed meats then meets the eye and this will go for every meat type out there, not just grass fed beef.

    • swangirl on August 3, 2017 at 2:01 am
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    I know grass fed beef is better but I did not know the science behind it such as the ratios of omega 6s to omega 3s etc. This is great information!

    I had recently seen an explanation about the cause of Alzheimer’s being a defective protein. The protein is consumed from meat that is raised in modern conditions where normally vegetarian animals (like cows) are fed meat products ground up in their food. The protein gets spread up the food chain and can end up affecting humans! This was enough to make me think twice about eating conventional meat since I am at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s according to blood tests…scary!

    1. Hi Swangirl: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. Like I mentioned the old saying “You are what you eat” holds true for the animals which meat we eat.  If these animals are fed food that are not natural to them it will reflect in their genes and then that would also be transmitted to us in the meats that we eat.  If you have access to grass fed beef, I would recommend that you make the switch as soon as possible for a healthier you.

    • MilanK1 on August 3, 2017 at 9:51 am
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    Thank you for this thorough insight into the grass fed beef and its nutrition values. I assume it is more beneficial to eat grass fed beef rather than conventional beef. I have a question: is it still safe to eat conventional beef if we are not in position to buy grass fed beef where we live, or should we stop eating conventional beef at all?

    1. Hi Milank1: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. I would recommend that if you do have access to grass fed beef to make the change as soon as possible.  Since the health risks with conventional beef is an accumulative affect, it takes time to see the damage that it slowly does to your body.

    • Simon on August 3, 2017 at 10:22 am
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    Great read, you really outlined the benefits of grass-fed beef nicely there.

    I’ve heard that the conventional beef is packed with estrogens. This is presumably due to the antibiotics that they use on the cattle. It would only make sense that these chemicals and estrogens are transferred to us when we consume this meat.

    What are your thoughts about that? Would be curious about your opinion.

    1. Hi Simon: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. I defiantly agree with you 100%. All does chemicals that are added to the foods these animals eat are passed on to us when we consume their meats. That is why the damage caused by these meats are cumulative in nature and they will slowly but surely have a negative impact in our bodies.

    • Win Bill on August 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm
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    Personally I haven’t tried a grass fed streak yet. However,I used to have a buddy who is a firm believer of eating organic foods. He let me try one of his grass fed beef jerky. It was so good. It also has a nice pungent taste to it. I guess I understand why grass fed beef taste so good. If we think about it carefully, cows are meant to eat grass not something that’s artificially made. That’s why grass fed cows have such high omega three composition relative to conventional beef. Do you know if there are any restaurants in New York that serves this delicacy?

    1. Hi Win: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. I’m very glad you are willing to try grass fed beef. I guarantee that once you try it you will never go back to conventional beef.  Here is an article with different restaurants in New York that serve grass feed beef.

    • Matt's Mom on August 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm
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    I try to buy organic whenever I can. I never really considered it too much for the beef. After reading this post, I can definitely see how beneficial grass fed beef really is. Just the scary thought of cancer alone is enough to make me switch! I don’t really see that the cost difference is really too much and the benefits definitely outweigh this factor. Glad I researched this and found this information!

    1. Hi There, thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.  I am so glad you were able to see the health benefits of grass fed beet.  But this doesn’t apply just to beef, it also applies to other meats as well, like pork for example.

    • Janine on August 3, 2017 at 9:31 pm
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    I didn’t know beef was so healthy. So this is interesting information. I’m glad you’ve pulled it together for those of us not familiar with meat. What part of beef is the best? I mean I’ve heard grass fed is best but a cow is really big so what part of the cow is healthiest?

    1. Hi Janine: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.  Glad you enjoyed my article. As far as which cuts are the healthiest, this article will help you with that

    • Al on August 3, 2017 at 10:00 pm
    • Reply

    Hi – you refer a number of times to “conventional beef” in this article, but I’m not sure what that means?

    Can you explain how I can make the disticntion between grass fed and conventional beef as I am not sure how to make this determination at present?

    Are there any particular packaging clues I should be looking for?

    1. Hi Al: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.  Conventional beef is the beef that you normally buy in the store.  On the other hand Grass Fed Beef will be properly labeled as such in it’s packages.  Here is a guide to purchasing 100% grass fed beef.

    • mikol on August 3, 2017 at 10:50 pm
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    HI primo ,
    Great article it is good to know something like this , sometimes we people eat something that we don’t have knowledge about it . now I know that I shouldn’t be eating the conventional beef . I will make sure that I do away from it ,thanks

    1. Hi Mikel: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. So happy you found value in my post.  Grass fed meats are the most healthiest meats money can buy.

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