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

Answers from Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.

Possibly. The difference in the diets of the cattle changes the nutrients and fats you get from eating the 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:

  • Less total fat
  • More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  • More conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that's thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks
  • More antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E

Lean beef that's 10 percent fat or less — whether it's grass-fed beef or another type of beef — can be part of a heart-healthy diet. Although many people think grass-fed beef tastes better, it's generally more expensive and there is limited long-term research to definitively prove that grass-fed beef is better for you. Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you're thinking about adding more lean beef, including grass-fed beef, into your diet.


Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.

Feb. 10, 2018 See more Expert Answers