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Q: I hope that you will be able to help me. I am in the process of switching to grass fed beef (and yes, I like the taste). I understand that it has higher CLAs, is rich in omega 3, and is lower in fat and calories. I log my food and have not been able to find basic data for grass fed beef (ie, calories, fat, saturated fat, protein) I realize that every cow is different but I am hoping that you have some numbers or can point me to a site that contains this basic data. My preferred choices in cuts are tenderloin, flank, and rump roast. Any help that you can provide would be deeply appreciated.
A: So, basically the question is: "What is the nutritional information regarding grass-fed beef or all grass-fed meats for that matter?" Well, let's put it this way. The Hunter Gatherer never logged his food. He just ate. The idea of logging food developed with the introduction of grain farming and the concocting of foods. When that happened and man starting eating grain, bodies started failing and man responded by trying to figure out what was wrong. So he sought out vitamins, minerals, and other nutrient supplements as he tried to achieve optimal health. Even the Keto approach, which we recommend, tries to balance fat with protein. But critters don't have the same fat to protein ratios 365 days a year. Nor do they all match one another. Grass-fed and OMega-3 critters are very similar as to nutrient density and diversity and the balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3, but fat to protein--that's elusive.
And before you give up your search for details, I provide some at the end of my little rant.
If you eat like a Hunter Gatherer it makes no sense whatsoever to try to log your food. That's because the diet of man prior to the invention of grain farming provided exactly 100% of his nutrient needs in perfect balance. For millions of years human bodies looked for no more or no less. Today, if you eat concocted foods, there is no way that logging the foods will give you the answers for appropriately calculating exactly what your body is missing, what it's overdosing on, and how to correct the problem. Therefore I believe that man is pretty arrogant if he thinks he can calculate what's required for optimal body function when he's not eating the Hunter Gatherer diet in the first place. There's not one professional nutritional scientist on the planet who believes man knows how to concoct the perfect diet (a concoction of nutrients he measures) other than to just simply eat the foods of the Hunter Gatherer.
And, future food for thought: Grass-fed meat is the only food group you can eat exclusively and still have optimal health. You can not do it with veggies, fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts. That's because the foundation food for all animal life is the green leaf. If you eat an animal that ate the green leaf you will get all the nutrients (known and unknown) for optimal body function in perfect balance. If you eat improper foods, they will create an imbalance and no amount of perfectly balanced grass-fed meats will be able to correct the imbalances.
For this reason and more reasons we leave it to others to try to figure out the numbers you request. It is totally unnecessary and will not provide the big picture because there is a far longer list of really important nutrients beyond the few you have asked for. For an example of what I mean about a list of nutrients go to this link for Nutritional Composition of (Grass-Fed) Red Meats and scroll down below the article to the tables of data. Furthermore, the balance of essential nutrients is of critical importance. So, unless you know exactly the entire spectrum of nutrients that are required for optimal body function in addition to their appropriate relative weightings, then you will still be in the dark as to what to do with the few parameters you've asked for. So keep the quest for a "perfect" diet simple. Simply eat like a Hunter Gatherer (who always got it right) and forget about trying to figure out something even the best scientists can't possibly fathom.
For additional information on foods go to our Food Analysis page. For more information about fatty acid profiles in grass-fed meats go to Fatty Acid Analysis. Also, if you want to calculate fat/protein ratios the USDA provides a Ground Beef Calculator for grain-fed meats and it also provides a partial listing of nutrients.