Does grass-fed beef have any heart-health benefits that other types of beef don't?

Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Possibly. What cattle eat affects the nutrients and fats in different types of beef. Grass-fed beef generally comes from cattle that eat only grass and other foraged foods throughout their lives.

Often, conventional beef cattle eat a diet that includes grains, such as corn, at some point. When compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef may have some heart-health benefits. Grass-fed beef may have:

  • Lower total fat content.
  • More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • More omega-6 fatty acid called linolenic acid.
  • More antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E.

However, grass-fed beef and conventional beef, called grain-fed, both contain saturated fat. Such fat has been linked to unhealthy cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat.

When choosing beef — whether it's grass-fed beef or another type of beef — opt for lean beef. Lean beef has 10% fat or less. Grass-fed beef is generally more expensive than conventional grain-fed beef. Also, there is limited long-term research to definitively prove that grass-fed beef is better for you. Talk to your healthcare professional or dietitian if you're thinking about adding more lean beef, including grass-fed beef, into your diet.

Jan. 12, 2024 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Health foods
  2. Angina
  3. Atkins Diet
  4. Automated external defibrillators: Do you need an AED?
  5. Blood Basics
  6. Blood tests for heart disease
  7. Bradycardia
  8. Transplant advances
  9. Butter vs. margarine
  10. Calcium supplements: A risk factor for heart attack?
  11. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  12. Cardiac ablation
  13. Cardiac amyloidosis — Treatment options
  14. Cardiac amyloidosis — What is amyloid and how does it affect the heart
  15. Cardiac catheterization
  16. Cardioversion
  17. Chelation therapy for heart disease: Does it work?
  18. Chest X-rays
  19. Complete blood count (CBC)
  20. Coronary angiogram
  21. Coronary angioplasty and stents
  22. Coronary artery bypass surgery
  23. Coronary artery spasm: Cause for concern?
  24. Cough
  25. CT scan
  26. Daily aspirin therapy
  27. Dizziness
  28. Don't get tricked by these 3 heart-health myths
  29. Echocardiogram
  30. Ejection fraction: What does it measure?
  31. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  32. Heart transplant to treat dilated cardiomyopathy: Elmo's story
  33. Erectile dysfunction: A sign of heart disease?
  34. Exercise and chronic disease
  35. Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health?
  36. Fatigue
  37. Flu Shot Prevents Heart Attack
  38. Flu shots and heart disease
  39. Healthy Heart for Life!
  40. Heart arrhythmia
  41. Heart attack
  42. Heart attack prevention: Should I avoid secondhand smoke?
  43. Heart attack symptoms
  44. Heart Attack Timing
  45. Heart disease
  46. Heart disease in women: Understand symptoms and risk factors
  47. Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease
  48. Heart murmurs
  49. Heart transplant
  50. Herbal supplements and heart drugs
  51. Holter monitor
  52. Honey: An effective cough remedy?
  53. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs)
  54. Leg swelling
  55. Mediterranean diet
  56. Menus for heart-healthy eating
  57. NSAIDs: Do they increase my risk of heart attack and stroke?
  58. Nuclear stress test
  59. Numbness
  60. Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
  61. Omega-3 in fish
  62. Omega-6 fatty acids
  63. Organ transplant in highly sensitized patients
  64. Pacemaker
  65. Pericardial effusion
  66. Polypill: Does it treat heart disease?
  67. Pseudoaneurysm: What causes it?
  68. Pulmonary edema
  69. Red wine, antioxidants and resveratrol
  70. Shortness of breath
  71. Silent heart attack
  72. Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting?
  73. Statins
  74. Heart disease prevention
  75. Stress symptoms
  76. Stress test
  77. Tachycardia
  78. The Last Brother's Heart
  79. Integrative approaches to treating pain
  80. Nutrition and pain
  81. Pain rehabilitation
  82. Self-care approaches to treating pain
  83. Trans fat
  84. Triathlete transplant
  85. Coronary angioplasty
  86. Video: Heart and circulatory system