Grass Fed Beef Benefits for the Athlete

Introduction

I am a 55 year old Brazilian Jujitsu student. I also lead an active life style that involves various types of physical exertion. Proper nutrition is critical for my training. I believe this is true for all serious athletes. However, at my age it is vital.
I do not care for many of the sources of protein that athletes use. These unnatural protein and energy shakes are full of chemicals that I not interested in processing through my body. Plus they taste funny and are hard to digest. Commercial meat scares me for reasons I will list in this blog.
I love beef, but was concerned about its bad reputation. Then I discovered that its reputation was caused by modern commercial farming techniques.  Grass fed and pasture raised beef met my nutritional and taste needs.

Why grass fed beef is different and better

Corn Fed Beef

What would you look like if you were confined to a small area, not allowed to exercise and fed a low quality high carbohydrate diet? What if you were fed food that you were not designed to efficiently digest?  How healthy would you be if this diet was supplemented with hormones and low level does of antibiotics? You would be obese, unhealthy and headed for a heart attack. This is how most of the beef you eat is raised.
The cattle raised this way produces beef that is high in fat and calories and low in trace minerals and nutrients. It is calorie dense and more likely to have added chemicals and other potentially toxic substances.  This process has helped give beef a bad reputation.

Grass Fed Beef

What would you look like if lived in open space, with room to exercise while being fed an all-natural diet? How would you feel if you not given any unnatural substances and your body was allowed to develop as nature intended?  You would be stronger and healthier. This is how grass fed cattle are raised.
Grass fed beef has a different nutritional make up than corn fed beef. Grass-fed beef is leaner and lower in fat. It is also higher in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. Omega-3 fats cannot be made by the body and must be obtained from the diet. These fats have been shown to decrease inflammation in the body. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and CLA is a naturally occurring trans fat that research has shown can protect against certain cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis and possibly might improve body composition. 
A typical American that switched from corn fed to grass fed beef will reduce their caloric intake by over 17,000 Calories per year. Grass fed beef is actually lower in fat than the commercial chicken you buy in the supermarket.   An excellent analysis of the benefits of grass fed beef can be found at http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

Grass Fed Benefits for the Athlete

1. Excellent source of Omega 3 for anti-inflammation without the risk of mercury found in fish oil supplements 
2. Natural Source of Lean Protein
3. Contains trace minerals and vitamins that are necessary for recovery and muscle development
4. Lower in fat than commercial chicken
5. Low Caloric density
6. No artificial Hormones or unnatural ingredients
7. Less risk of bacterial contamination
8. Nutrient Dense
9. Tastes Great