Grain-fed vs. Grass fed: what makes grass fed products a better option

  • August 7, 2021
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Grain-fed vs. Grass fed: what makes grass fed products a better option

Presently, naturally groomed and naturally fed livestock are more besought and that is making grass fed products high in demand. The market demand is raising a soft question if grass fed products are superior that grain-fed products. 

What is grass fed and grain fed? How the diet affects?

#Grass and grain are the different diets of the cattle used for producing meat and dairy. #Grassfed cow and sheep are used for producing grass fed meat and grass-fed cow milk is used for making #grassfeddairy products like grass fed butter and ghee, etc.

The major aspect of grain-fed cows’ diet is the cows are fed on grains such as corn, sorghum, cottonseed, and soy.

As grain-based feeds are not a species-appropriate diet, the ethics of feeding cattle food which is likely to make them sick.

For instance, studies have shown that grain-fed cows often display some digestive issues and they are more likely to suffer from certain bacterial contamination.

One particular study shows that 11.1% of #grainfed #cows suffer from liver abscesses after 120 days in a feedlot. In contrast, the rate of afflicted grass-fed cows was only 0.2%.

One specific study demonstrates that 11.1% of grain-fed cows frequently suffer from liver abscesses after 120 days living in a feedlot. In contrast, the rate of afflicted grass-fed cows was only 0.2% (4).

Grass-fed cows spend their days in a relaxed way by ruminating and eating green grass, which is a completely natural diet for cattle. The diet type stands responsible for one of the prime advantages of grass fed product consumption: Grass-fed cows are on superior quality natural diet as they enjoy better health, they product better quality milk.

“Grass-Fed”: it’s meaning

The word “grass-fed” can be a bit confusing for common people because cows and other grass-fed animals may eat a wide variety of plants besides grasses. Grasses—including Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Bermuda grass, Fescue, Timothy grass, Foxtail, Sorghum, Brome grass, Orchard grass, Quack grass, And Canary grass—are commonly planted in pastures and almost always play a fundamental role in the diet of grass-fed cows.

However, many non-grass plants are also found in pastures, including legumes like alfalfa, vetch, sainfoin, and bird’s foot trefoil as well as red, white, and crimson clover. Depending on the season and region of the country, 100% grass-fed cows may have eaten a mixed variety of the plants above, along with other naturally occurring vegetation. (5)

Grass fed vs. grain-fed cow’s milk: How it differs?

According to study, 100% grass-fed cow’s milk comes from cows who have grazed in pasture year-round rather than being fed a processed diet for much of their life. Grass feeding improves the quality of cow’s milk, and makes the milk richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and CLA, which is a favorable fatty acid named conjugated linoleic acid. 

What is CLA? What is the significance of grass fed milk for CLA?

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a type of fat associated with a wide variety of health benefits, including immune and inflammatory system support, better bone mass, better-quality blood sugar regulation, lower body fat, abridged risk of heart attack, and successfully maintaining the right amount of lean body mass.

 According to recent studies, we can find at least 75 milligrams of CLA from an 8-oz serving of grass-fed cow’s milk. In some cases, you may even get two to three times of CLA from the same amount grass fed milk this amount. The amount of CLA in cow’s milk tends to increase along with consumption of fresh grasses by the cows, and when cows have had ample access to fresh pasture, you are likely to get increased amounts of CLA.

Since the CLA content of milk from 100% grass-fed cows is typically two to five times greater than the CLA content of milk from conventionally fed cows, 100% grass-fed milk can provide you with increased health benefits in the areas described above.

What is Omega 3 fat? How it helps?

Improved intake of omega-3 fat is another vital health benefit which can be acquired from 100% grass-fed cow’s milk. The omega-3 fat content of grass-fed cow’s milk may vary widely, because of the wide variety of forage crops usually planted or naturally grown in pastures. This omega-3 content of milk also may vary with the age, breed, and health of cows and seasonal plant cycles in pastureland.

At the lower end of the range, recent study shows 50-65 milligrams of omega-3s (in the formula of alpha-linoleic acid, or ALA) in 8 oz. of grass-fed cow’s milk. At the higher end of the range, those same 8 oz. of grass fed cow milk may offer its consumers 120-150 milligrams of omega-3s. While these amounts of ALA are not large in quantity, they’re can be recognized to be helpful to many individuals suffering from the deficiency in omega-3s.

The relatively low ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in 100% grass-fed cow’s milk may also enhance the benefits that you get from these omega-3s. This ratio archetypally falls amid 2:1 and 3:1—quite different from the ratio in milk from conventionally fed cows, which often come into the range of 8:1 or higher.

Since omega-6 metabolism may interfere with omega-3 metabolism, the comparatively reduced quantities of omega-6s in 100% grass-fed cow’s milk may help in improvement of the metabolism of omega-3s in the body of consumers on ingesting the grass fed milk or milk made products.

Quantity of good fat in grass fed milk marks difference

Based on recent research and studies, the overall fat composition of 100% grass-fed milk is quite impressive. There are about 8 grams of total fat in 8 oz. of whole grass-fed cow’s milk. About 2 grams (or 25%) come from monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic acid or omega-9 fatty acid.

This omega-9 fatty acid can easily replace other types of fat in a common diet plan, and it is found associated for the natural reduction in high blood pressure as well as decrease in high blood cholesterol levels. However, the type of saturated fat in 100% grass-fed cow’s milk is not the typical “unwanted” fat type. Out of it, about 6-7% of this saturated fat is categorized as “short-chain” saturated fat and it can function as a “probiotic” that offer support for retaining the friendly bacteria within the intestine.

Grain-fed vs. Grass fed
Grain-fed vs. Grass fed

Nearly half of the saturated fat of grass fed cow milk is “medium chain” saturated fat. Medium chain saturated fat can get more easily digested and metabolized in the body, and in some studies, it’s been linked with natural immune system benefits. When taken as a whole, the fat composition of 100% grass-fed whole cow’s milk functions in a balanced way in terms of reduced health risks and concurrent benefits than many people can easily assume, and that makes grass fed cow milk more nutritious than its grain feed counterfeits.

Grass fed milk makes better dairy products:

 Grass fed cow milk is a highly nutritious food that contains an arrangement of macro and micro components. Scientifically it is proven to be beneficial for human health of all ages. While the composition of milk is impacted by a wide variety of factors, for example, genetics, health, lactation stage etc., the animal’s diet plays a key mechanism by which its nutrition and processing characteristics can be improved.

Pasture feeding has been confirmed to have a positive impact on the nutrient profile of milk, increasing the content of some beneficial nutrients such as Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vaccine acid, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), while reducing the levels of Omega-6 fatty acids and palmitic acid. These resulting modifications to the nutritional profile of “Grass-Fed” milk resonate with consumers who desire to have healthy, “natural”, and green dairy products.

This is one of the reasons, clarified butter made of grass fed cow milk offers its consumer’s a plethora of health benefits. Health benefit is one of the USPs grass fed milk or grass fed milk made dairy products.

Why grass fed milk variety is over the grain feed milk variety?

From a nutritional standpoint – studies have validated that grass-fed cows produce more nutrient-dense foods. These grass fed foods like dairies contain higher levels of health-friendly Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA are high in antioxidants and are richer in beta-carotene, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E.

Grass-fed animal products are richer in color, texture, and flavor, which is a sign of its nutritional value.  In reality, grass-fed butter actually spreads more easily as the unsaturated fats are softer!

A new fact was released by a research that Grass fed milk tested 147% higher in Omega-3 and 125% higher in CLA than conventional cow milk. Modern health freaks give their children grass fed milk and grass fed milk made dairies because of the dose of calcium, but the dose of anti-inflammatory Omega-3s also makes a marked difference than conventional grain fed cows’ milk.

Grain-fed vs. Grass fed
Grain-fed vs. Grass fed

There are two types of fatty acids essential for human health: Omega-6 and Omega-3. Omega-3s are “good fats” that play a dynamic role in every human cell and related system in the human body. Scientists believe that omega-6s are pro-inflammatory, while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory.

Unfortunately, an average American diet is mostly found deficient in Omega-3s and overloaded with Omega-6s die to random consumption of oils such as sunflower, canola, corn, soybean, and cottons.

Usually raised meats like chicken and pork may also be high in omega-6. This misbalance leads to unusual inflammation in consumers and often increases the risk of obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, spell of depression, and resurgence of autoimmune disorders.

How the label of grass fed works?

The evidence endures to mount in favor of organic and pastured dairy. It contains about 50% higher omega-3 fats than traditional grain fed dairy, which means it offered a physiological impact. In case of dairy consumption especially if it is about a kid or a pregnant lady, its grass fed variety is a reliable source of getting adequate edible calcium in diet for better health benefit.

 When you are buying grass fed cream or butter or ghee, you are adding more pure milk fat, heightening the health benefits of grass-fed dairies. Studies indicate that concentrated grass-fed milk fat is really better than the conventional milk or milk made stuff.

The real difference between grass-fed, organic, and conventional milk.

Grass-Fed Milk

 According to the study, Grass-fed milk is one of the healthiest milk option, as it is a better source of heart-healthy fats along with some antioxidants. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly, are found to be double as much in grass-fed milk in comparison to grain-fed cows’ conventional milk. And this happens due to the diet of these two categories of cows.

As the name suggests, the milk collected from the cows with a strict diet based on natural grass all year round. These cows graze on open pasture until the winter when they are then fed cut grasses inside the shed. This natural diet results in an improved quality of milk with higher content of omega-3 fatty acid named alpha-linoleic acid, helpful in reducing inflammation and nourishing positive heart issues.

Is grass-fed milk worth it?

Studies have actually revealed that extra quantities of omega-6 fatty acids usually promote the pathogenesis of multiple diseases, including cardiovascular disease and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Having a stable intake of both groups of fatty acids is indispensable, and while taking omega-3 supplements can surely help with fine-tuning the ratio, the coolest way is to modify something we eat every day.

And for many consumers, switching the type of milk, i.e., grass fed variety we drink makes a big variance.

If you’re planning to make a variation to eating healthy or adjust to a better omega fatty acid ratio, switching to grass-fed milk or grass fed milk made products are easily the fastest and most manageable options. Plus, the cows that procure the milk are happier too!

The Benefits of having Grass-Fed Dairy

According to Beitchman, when cows are grass-fed, “it improves the quality of the milk they produce; the chemistry of the fat particles changes when it is grass-fed as a replacement for the grain-fed variety. When a cow is eating grass in diet, its fat is enriched with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, which auto-immune and Paleo diets mostly tend to focus on.

Cows fed with grains mostly produce pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats.” A study published in Food Science and Nutrition also displayed that grass-fed milk has more percentage of omega-3 fats than both organic as well as conventional milk quality. The anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fats is medically proven effective to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and it may protect the body from other fatal conditions such as cancer.

This is the reason the bulletproof diet is so motivated to use only grass-fed butter or ghee into the Bulletproof Coffee. Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof, has explained, “If you want the finest fuel for your body, grass-fed ghee/butter is the finest deal, as it’s enriched in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy saturated fats. When grass-fed ghee is used in your coffee, your body uses the caffeine in a different way. Fats take time to break down, which outcomes in a slow release of caffeine. Proteins in milk and cream prevent the body from absorbing the antioxidant polyphenols in coffee.”


The word grass fed is significant in many ways. It is not only an assurance about food quality, it is a quality of food that ensures better nutrition, higher health benefits, and promotion of healthy immunity of body, which works well for people of all ages and of all types of health.

Therefore it is important to include grass fed products in your diet, but at the same time validation of grass fed label has to be authenticated.

Reference Links :

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