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What types of meat/fish for strict aip paleo?

Answered on October 11, 2014
Created October 07, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Hi, 

I am on my second week of strict aip paleo to combat my stage 3 Hidradenitis Suppurativa. My first week consisted mainly of beef because I know what to look for in beef, i.e. 100% grass fed to avoid consuming the grains the cow ate.

However I am not so sure about other types of meat like pork, lamb, game, poultry and fish. What are the special considerations here? Is there even such a thing as a chicken that never eats grain?

Any help would be much appreciated. I love beef and all, but that stuff is so expensive..

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5 Answers

1
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on October 07, 2014
at 02:30 PM

What does it matter if the animal eats grain? Those grains are completely broken down into the constituent sugar, fat and protein molecules that they are composed of in the digestive system of the animal that ate it and turned into meat (muscle and fat) by that animal after it is absorbed. Eating a cow that ate grains is not the same as actually eating grains, you are still eating a cow and the cells of that cow are nearly 100% identical to the cells of every other cow in terms of composition. If eating grain-fed cattle was the same as eating grain, would eating grass-fed cattle be considered eating a salad? Of course not, it just doesn't make much sense.

Don't be afraid of meats, most of them are very healthy, and the fact that the animal ate grains is irrelevant because ultimately it is transformed into flesh. Fish is exrtremely healthy and I would highly recommend it, it's what I eat the most and I think it is highly underrated these days. Lamb is superb and very tasty. I'm also a huge fan of pork, very delicious and quite rich in monounsaturated fat (lard). Chicken is ok, but not a whole lot going on there in the flavor department so I don't care too much for it (unless it's the thighs or wings, then I might), try turkey or duck instead, much tastier in my opinion.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 10, 2014
at 05:52 PM

"Those grains are completely broken down into the constituent sugar, fat and protein molecules that they are composed of in the digestive system of the animal that ate it and turned into meat (muscle and fat) by that animal after it is absorbed."  Cows evolved to eat grass and a bit of roughage, not grains.  Much like humans, cows suffer gut dysbiosis from eating grains, with all the ensuing inlfammatory havoc at remote sites in their bodies.  Grains also distort the fatty-acid profile of cows, especially the GLA content.  Moreover, cows, like every mammal, sequesters toxins that it's body can't eliminate in its fat.  In the case of grain-fed, hormone-pumped, antibiotic-loaded cows, those toxins are partially-conjugated toxins from grains the cow's liver tries to process in its stage 1 detoxification that can't be handled in stage 2.  There will also be hormone and antibiotic metabolites sequestered in the cow's fat.

So yes, it matters quite a bit whether a cow's grass-fed or grain-fed, even without considering the difference in taste and texture.  That said, if one can't afford grass-fed beef, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  Better to eat corn-fed beef than no beef at all.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 10, 2014
at 05:45 PM

"Salmon has 2018 mg of Omega-3 (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4102/2)."  The mistake that the USDA makes by putting foods in a bomb calorimeter, incinerating it, and then analyzing the ash is that the analysis assumes that every nutrient is distributed evenly throughout the food.

In the case of salmon, this is a big mistake.  Their O-3 oils are mainly behind their eyes, along their bellies, and over their sex organs.  You'd need to eat a boatload of salmon (pardon the metaphor) to get your daily supply of O-3 fats.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on October 08, 2014
at 02:55 PM

Belgium? Wow, that's nice. Sorry I wasn't sure if you were from the USA so I provided you with advice based on our regulations (USDA = United States Department of Agriculture) about hormones and cattle. If you live somewhere where hormones in meat are banned, then I don't see how there would be a substantial difference in the quality of meats you would have access to. I think you have no reason to worry about it and you should eat whichever meat you prefer. 

That being said, if I had to make a recommendation, I would say I consume meats in this order (greatest to least):

(Most) fish & seafood > pork > lamb > beef > poultry (Least)

But then again that is my personal preference, you could eat more beef and less fish than me and still be perfectly fine and have a very healthy diet because these meats are all very healthy, even if the animals ate grains.

By the way, just for the record, there's no such thing as a grass fed pig (pigs are omnivores that naturally eat roots, insects, mushrooms, etc.) so ultimately all pigs you eat will probably be fed a diet of grains, which is actually just fine since they are accustomed to eating just about anything they find. I know in Spain some pigs are raised on hazelnuts, I bet they taste delicious :)

716479b2910440b3df3def13398b468a

(-2)

on October 08, 2014
at 10:07 AM

@TheGastronomer:

Thankfully I live in Belgium, where, like in the rest of the EU, the use of hormones to raise any kind of meat is banned. 

Although you've provided me with a lot of helpful information, my original question remains unanswered. The beef I eat comes from cows who spend their whole lives roaming free on pastures, eating nothing but grass. So I am ok on the beef front.

But what qualifies a good piece of lamb/pork/game/poultry/fish and what should be avoided?

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on October 07, 2014
at 04:23 PM

@shwick grass fed meat (beef or lamb) is a pathetic source of omega 3 and contains so little omega 3 that it is laughable. I don't consider beef a significant source of omega 3s. If I want omega 3s I just eat some fish (which I consume pretty much every day). If I started eating grass fed beef instead of fish that would actually decrease my omega 3 consumption.

Example, 100 grams of ribeye vs 100 grams of salmon:

Beef ribeye steak has 240 mg of Omega-3 (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/3271/2)

Salmon has 2018 mg of Omega-3 (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4102/2)

That means salmon has more than 8 times as much omega 3 as beef. So if it's the omega-3 that makes it good, then beef is pretty pathetic compared to fish. And as far as I know, wild-caught sardines or salmon can be a lot cheaper (and more nutritious) than grass fed beef.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on October 07, 2014
at 04:10 PM

@inkbiegel Well, the ironic thing is that "grass-fed" beef and "grass-fed" lamb can legally contain hormones per USDA regulations (unless the packaging or product specifically says it was grown without the use of hormones). Pork and poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, etc.) cannot contain any added hormones by law. So ironically, you are eating one of the few meats that can be produced with the use of added hormones (beef) while at the same time avoiding the meats which by law cannot contain added hormones (pork and poultry).

7ac49d04dce6a08fcd35a5584dbf27d1

(103)

on October 07, 2014
at 03:16 PM

have to disagree with you on that
"Omega-3s: This is where grass-fed really makes a major difference, containing up to 5 times as much Omega-3."

http://authoritynutrition.com/grass-fed-vs-grain-fed-beef/

716479b2910440b3df3def13398b468a

(-2)

on October 07, 2014
at 02:43 PM

Hmm, everywhere I look for beef recipes for example on the numerous paleo sites, it says use 100% grass-fed beef. I assumed that was to avoid the grains but I guess it's more about the other crap they put in with the grains like hormones etc.?

I am certainly not afraid of meats just their quality and how it affects the succes of my 2 months of aip.  

0
Medium avatar

on October 11, 2014
at 03:20 AM

Unfortunately, it seems that following a paleo diet can sometimes cost people more time and money when they first start out, not to mention flavor. Although, however discouraging this may be, it doesn't have to be that way forever! As it is with almost anything new, it might take a little while to get adjusted in certain ways, but once you finally figure out what works for you, including where or how to obtain your food, what products to get, and how to best prepare things, the diet will seem much easier and a lot more tasty ;) Luckily, there's a ton of info available today, and I would provide a link, but apparently since I'm new here and don't yet have any feedback, I'm not allowed to do so :( BUT, I do beleive that grass-fed chicken does exist and you should also search online for 'non grain fed chicken' if you haven't done so already. Hope it helps and happy eating! 

0
7ac49d04dce6a08fcd35a5584dbf27d1

(103)

on October 07, 2014
at 06:25 PM

@TheGastronomer
I
 c

I eat grass fed beef mainly because I think its raised in a proper environment on a farm, isn't rushed to maturation and no hormones/antibiotics are used.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on October 08, 2014
at 06:41 PM

@PaleoHQ 

Feeding an animal antibiotics is not necessarily a bad thing. Keep in mind that animals have livers and kidneys which are responsible for excreting the antibiotics and other medicines which are administered to them. So these medicines will have a short term impact (to improve the health of the animal) and then will be eliminated from their body quite efficiently. When you eat the meat there won't actually be any substantial amount of antibiotics present, except for maybe some infinitesimally small and insignificant trace amounts (completely harmless to humans) if the antibiotic was administered close to the date of slaughter.

Just keep in mind that humans can consume antibiotics directly and still live to 100 years, there is no reason why an almost undetectable, minute amount would cause damage to humans. You are 100 times more likely to be poisoned by the Nutmeg in your eggnog (nutmeg beyond 2 teaspoons is poisonous) than by antibiotics in meat.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on October 08, 2014
at 06:34 PM

@shwick

Well, I like pork more than I like beef, but like I said, everyone has their preferences, so if you like beef more than pork, that's perfectly fine. It's a personal taste, I don't see how I can be wrong about a personal taste.

Also, keep in mind that most of what you read regarding grass fed organic beef is marketing, not all of it will be objectional research, since many people have a lot to gain by selling you beef at double the price of their competitors; that's not a conspiracy theory or something, just a simple fact about how the business works. Marketing, my friend, is the art of getting gullible people to pay more money for the same thing.

7ac49d04dce6a08fcd35a5584dbf27d1

(103)

on October 08, 2014
at 05:54 PM

@TheGastronomer

I've read a lot and I am sticking with my grass fed organic cows.  I disagree with you ranking pork above beef.

5f8663f4f67d479b9d9f7b1117dda021

(0)

on October 08, 2014
at 03:17 PM

 What about all the anti-biotics and other chemicals they treat cows with? Isn't eating its meat harmful?

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on October 08, 2014
at 03:01 PM

Well, they could very well be using antibiotics on your grass-fed beef, after all if a steer suddenly gets sick from an infection, the farmer isn't going to just let it die. Hell, I would bet most people wouldn't think twice about taking an antibiotic if they had a severe bacterial infection, so I don't see antibiotics as being bad necessarily, when used in the correct situation. On the other hand the regulations for grass fed beef do not say that the steer had to be free of hormones or antibiotics, unless the packaging states it. 

So ironically, you could probably find grain-fed beef that is hormone-free and at the same time find grass-fed beef that has been raised with the aid of hormones. The terms grass-fed and hormone-free do not mean the same thing.

-1
2b294e366b1be564bed0fb9e38903b01

on October 10, 2014
at 03:46 PM

Grass-fed beef is also healthier because it has a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats, so it's less inflammatory... kinda important for autoimmune issues.  Cows are meant to eat green grass much more than ripened grain, grain and soy diets make them sick so then they make you sick when you eat their flesh. 

To OP, in my area whole organic chickens are fairly easy to get and cheap, like $7-8.  It's rare to find 'pastured' or 'free-range' chicken meat I think, but this is good enough for me.  I hate the boneless skinless breasts, though, I think that's a terrible idea and you're cheating yourself of the best parts of eating chicken.  I think it's much better to buy them whole than to buy breasts or legs, both because you get fuller nutrition that way, and because it's more fun to roast them whole with veggies inside.  The store brand I buy usually gives you the liver and neck too.  I get 2+ weeks of meals out of one, but I don't eat much meat, and I eat the liver and boil the bones for soup too.  This time of year you can also get whole turkey more cheaply, and they don't allow hormones in turkey anyway.  For birds, the same is true of cows that they're much healthier & more nutritious if they eat a diet like what they eat in the wild, and get sunlight & exercise.  You will see 'vegetarian-fed eggs' a lot, which is partly good & partly stupid - chickens are bug-eating omnivores by nature, but if the hens are 'vegetarian-fed' they're at least not eating factory farm animal waste products.  I've also found good deals on wild-caught salmon at the health food store, which is great for Omega-3 (the bright red stuff, not the pale orangey-pink).  And they have hook & line caught can tuna for the pantry.  The cleaner, more nontoxic, nutritious, and environmental animal products are definitely more expensive but I think it makes you appreciate them more and not throw out food.  There are a lot of 'peasant' type dishes you can make that mix the meat with vegetables to make it go further, too.  :)

-1
1063d95d25a2653b990d3e65d027cc8a

on October 08, 2014
at 02:29 PM

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