5 reasons you should be paying more for your food

5 reasons you should be paying more for your food

Too often when I tell people that they need to eat food from grassfed animals, the response I get is that it’s just too expensive. My question is: Compared to what?

Sure, meat from grassfed cattle can cost as much as one dollar more per pound than meat from the factory-farmed feedlots. But what are you sacrificing in order to save a few bucks? It could be more than you bargained for. The food that comes from grassfed animals has far more of the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and fight disease.

Read a few of the power-packed benefits and then decide for yourself if it’s worth it.

1. Reduce your heart attack risk by 50 percent

Meat from grassfed animals has 3 to 4 times more omega-3s than that of grain-fed animals, and eggs from pastured hens has 10 times more of this nutrient. Why should you care? Because the more omega-3s you have, the less your chances of getting heart disease, cancer, or degenerative brain diseases. In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that having plenty of omega-3s can reduce your risk of a heart attack by as much as 50 percent.

The saying, “you are what you eat” applies to cattle as well as well as humans. The amount of omega-3s found in meat is directly related to what the animal eats. Green grass is rich with omega-3s, while grain simply isn’t. It’s no wonder 40 percent of Americans don’t get enough of this healthy fat.

2. Reduce your risk of developing allergies, depression, and immune disorders

It’s one thing to have plenty of omega-3s, but it’s just as important to have a good balance between omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats. A healthy balance is a 1:1 ratio. But let’s face it… How many people these days eat a healthy balance of anything? Most Americans have at least ten times more omega-6s——and some even have 20 times more. The more out of hand this ratio gets, the greater your risk of cancer, heart disease, allergies, depression, and autoimmune disorders.

The good news here is that one of the best ways to get back to a healthy balance is to switch from grain-fed beef to grassfed beef. While grain-fed beef contributes to that unhealthy balance with a 14:1 ratio, grassfed beef has a much healthier 2:1 ratio.

Again, the answer is found in the fat content of the food these animals are eating. Pasture has more than twice as much omega-3s as omega-6s, whereas grain and soy can have as much as 5 times more omega-6s than omega-3s. It’s an unhealthy balance that finds its way into your body if you’re not paying attention to the food that your food is eating.

3. Lower your chances of getting heart disease and cancer

Meat from grassfed animals is 4 times higher in vitamin E than that of grain-fed animals, and eggs that come from pastured chickens have 30 percent more vitamin E than the typical supermarket variety. As with omega-3, the more vitamin E you have, the lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.

4. Protect yourself against osteoporosis, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis

Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because you convert sunlight into vitamin D in your body. One of the main reasons so many Americans are so deficient in this all-important nutrient is because the sun haters have convinced people that sunlight will kill you. This has led to a country full of pale people who look unhealthy because they are unhealthy.

Animals aren’t much different. Hens that are raised in the good ol’ outdoors get plenty of sunshine——and their bodies convert it into vitamin D, which get passed to their eggs. Tests have shown that these eggs can have as much as 6 times more vitamin D than typical supermarket eggs.

Sure, they might cost more, but consider this: Not getting enough vitamin D can leave you vulnerable for developing weak bones, cancer, diabetes, and even multiple sclerosis.

Even if eggs are organic or free-range, there’s no guarantee that the hens were raised in the outdoors. So to get the most out of your eggs, make sure the carton says the eggs are from “pastured” hens.

5. Lower breast cancer risk by 60 percent

Grassfed meat is also full of a healthy fat called conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. In fact, compared to meat from grain-fed cattle, studies have shown that it can have as much as 5 times more of this cancer-fighting good fat.

One study from researchers in Finland showed that women who have the highest levels of CLA can lower their risk of breast cancer by as much as 60 percent. In another study, when the researchers compared women with breast cancer to those without, they found that the women who had the most CLA had a 74-percent lower risk of breast cancer.

Here’s the best part: The best way to get this cancer-fighting protection is to eat meat and dairy from grassfed animals. In fact, in one of the studies, the researchers discovered that simply switching the women from grain-fed beef to grassfed beef put women in the lowest risk category for breast cancer.

The benefits don’t end there, but you get the idea. The food from grassfed animals has also been found to be higher in…

* Folic acid and vitamin B12

* Vitamin A

* Lutein and zeaxanthin

* Beta-carotene

* Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium

If you don’t think these benefits are worth budgeting in a few extra dollars for your grocery bill each week, then all of that soy junk food must have gone to your head.

Here’s what to do:

Although in 2006, grassfed beef represented less than 1 percent of beef sold in the U.S., each year the market continues to grow. That means that now, more than ever, you’re likely to find grassfed beef in a local store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

You can also visit www.eatwild.com to find a directory of over 1,000 pasture-based farms in the United States.

For most health-conscious consumers, eating organic or grassfed meat is all about avoiding the harmful chemicals that can be found in the meat of feedlot cattle. Clearly there’s more to the story.

If you’re not eating meat from grassfed animals, you’re missing out on nutrients that play a big role in keeping you healthy and helping to fight disease.

Besides, it just tastes better.