All Fats Are Not Created Equal
Fats have gotten a bad rap in diets today. Most people trying to lose weight would say to avoid them at all cost. Fats, however, are incredibly beneficial and important in your diet. According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fats are not only good to have, but are necessary for vitamin and nutrient absorption. The important differentiation is in the type of fat you consume. Saturated fats, those that are solid at room temperatures, are the type that clog arteries and promote heart disease. Unsaturated fats, those that are liquid at room temperature, are completely different in their structure and impact on the human body. These types of fats protect you from illness and disease.
What is the fatty acid ratio of commercially grain-fed beef to grass-fed beef?
Grass-fed beef has a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of 1.65 versus 4.84 for grain-fed beef. In addition, it is higher in vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and is lower in saturated fat and overall fat content.
Essential Fatty Acids
There are two essential fatty acids that must be attained in the diet: alpha linoleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. The way in which these two fatty acids interact with each other is very important. One, omega-3 fatty acid, has an anti-inflammatory response. The other, omega-6, has a pro-inflammatory response. Both of these responses are needed in the body, but the careful balance of them is critical in a well-functioning body. If the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is not low — low being around 2 or 3 to 1 — you promote inflammation, heart disease, autoimmune diseases. The diets of today promote an unfavorably high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Our ancestors from the Paleolithic time period had ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 of about 3 to 1, while today's average ratios are 10 to 1 or higher.
It is critically important that babies get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy or run the risk of developing vision and nerve problems.