2

votes

Grass fed beef has more N6 than N3, so why eat it?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 12, 2012 at 11:56 PM

If I understand it correctly, it's not that Grass Fed Beef doesn't have Omega 6 fats, it just that the ratio of Omega3 to Omega6 is more favorable than conventional cow.

Basically, that grass fed beef has more omega 3 than conventional beef.

I've read here how people refer to the grass fed fat as "liquid gold" and use it very liberally.

If we are meant to improve (lower) the ratio of N6:N3, I don't see how that can be accomplished by eating fats that have more of what you don't want than what you do want (ie: more omega6 than omega3)

What am I missing?

Thanks,

Mike

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

n-6 oils aren't bad, just way to much is bad. The ratio in grassfed beef is usually quite good (should be roughly 4:1 or less), and as long as snack foods, commercial seed oils, and grains aren't in the diet that is just about the right amount.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 18, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Your answer made was particularly helpful. I punched in my food into cronometer.com and it became very obvious that the qty of omega 6 from nuts and other sources was much more significant than the little bit of omega 3 I get from the grass fed beef.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 03:22 PM

It very much depends on if that is feedlot beef or partially /mostly pasture raised and then just finished on grain typically 2-4 weeks. It takes a good 2 seasons to mature a completely grass fed steer. Many places do have their cattle out on the range but supplement with grain either over a winter or at the last few weeks of finishing. The 6/3 levels vary depending on that. If they eat any grain or a mix they are not usually called grass-fed. Grass finished is the most absolute with no grain meals at all. You can ask your grocer or butcher where they get their beef and research the farm.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:51 PM

So, with all that said: is it better to have lean conventional cow with coconut oil as added fat, OR, grass fed beef with its fat?

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 06:04 AM

My conscience has more to do it than anything, and I make as little money as anyone. I buy in bulk and eat simple meals to make it work. The n3/n6 ratio always seemed like a really weird nit-picky thing to focus on with beef, like focusing on the vitamin B levels of different cultivars of asparagus or something.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 13, 2012
at 03:18 AM

Thank goodness for a little sanity. For financial reasons, I find myself eating a lot more conventional beef than I'd like. Obviously, the n-3/n-6 ratio is only one of many issues surrounding grassfed/humanely raised meat. However, looking just at the fact content, beef is mostly saturated and monounsaturated. So the *total* amount of PUFA is very low overall.

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6 Answers

15
Medium avatar

(19479)

on May 13, 2012
at 12:15 AM

From Mark's Daily Apple ("The Differences Between Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed Beef")...

"I???ve been one to bang the omega-6 in feedlot beef drum, perhaps as loudly as anyone, but I think a revisiting is in order. Simply put, while the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in CAFO beef is worse than the ratio in grass-fed beef, it???s not because the omega-6 content of beef fat skyrockets with grain feeding; it???s because the omega-3 content is basically nonexistent. The absolute totals of omega-6 in grass-fed and grain-fed are roughly similar. Grass-fed is even richer in PUFA by percentage, owing to the increase in omega-3s. As long as you???re avoiding or limiting the real big sources of linoleic acid in the diet, like seed oils, bushels of nuts, and conventionally raised poultry fat, the omega-6 content of conventional beef fat won???t throw your tissue ratios off by much (if at all). What will, however, is the lack of omega-3 fats in grain-fed. Eat some fatty fish or take some high quality fish oil to round it out."

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 13, 2012
at 03:18 AM

Thank goodness for a little sanity. For financial reasons, I find myself eating a lot more conventional beef than I'd like. Obviously, the n-3/n-6 ratio is only one of many issues surrounding grassfed/humanely raised meat. However, looking just at the fact content, beef is mostly saturated and monounsaturated. So the *total* amount of PUFA is very low overall.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:51 PM

So, with all that said: is it better to have lean conventional cow with coconut oil as added fat, OR, grass fed beef with its fat?

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 13, 2012
at 03:22 PM

It very much depends on if that is feedlot beef or partially /mostly pasture raised and then just finished on grain typically 2-4 weeks. It takes a good 2 seasons to mature a completely grass fed steer. Many places do have their cattle out on the range but supplement with grain either over a winter or at the last few weeks of finishing. The 6/3 levels vary depending on that. If they eat any grain or a mix they are not usually called grass-fed. Grass finished is the most absolute with no grain meals at all. You can ask your grocer or butcher where they get their beef and research the farm.

5
4dda29dc4fbada49bd68a6fbd76bf40c

on May 13, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Omega 6 is very important.. being fervently against omega 6 can run the risk of a deficiency... in fact people far over emphasis the omega 3:6 ratio. 1:1.. I doubt that.. do you think our ancestors eating a primarily land meat based diet even came close to that? I think not. I personally believe tallow has too little omega's but lard is the perfect fat. Getting about 8% calories from omega 6 and 2% from omega 3 is about all you really need... You can have a smaller/larger amounts but I wouldn't go below 8% total pufa in the diet. Eat fatty fish 1-2 times a week and you've got all the o3 you'll ever need... moreover you wont need to touch those nasty fish oil pills.

2
8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on May 18, 2012
at 03:30 AM

Why worry about the n-6/n-3 ratios in beef? The overall amount of PUFAs is so low that it kind of doesn't matter

The important thing is that you get better saturated fats with grass-fed beef than you do with grain-finished beef.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 18, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Your answer made was particularly helpful. I punched in my food into cronometer.com and it became very obvious that the qty of omega 6 from nuts and other sources was much more significant than the little bit of omega 3 I get from the grass fed beef.

2
3845f2c0b587f20f763814d38f8a7a91

(20)

on May 13, 2012
at 09:58 AM

Omega 3:6 is important but, without grass in their diet it's the fact that feed lot cows have no CLA in their meat. Grass fed cows have high levels of CLA which is a powerful anti cancer agent.

0
5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 13, 2012
at 05:37 AM

Organic grass fed beef should contains less toxins and antibiotics than factory farmed beef. The animals will be happier and healthier, which personally is important to me. Cows shouldn't eat grains. It makes them fat and sick.

0
0126713ae1b2865f6a63362f0ef6e4db

(70)

on May 13, 2012
at 12:48 AM

Would supplementing omega 3 pills suffice as well? If you're not a fish fan?

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