As further awareness grows for many topics in nutrition, there has been a move towards healthy alternatives to consume. One which significantly stands out is the move towards grass fed animal products. If you haven’t read up on the benefits of grass fed animal products, you probably came to the assumption that cows which are grass fed are generally healthier cows.  Very similar to eating grass fed beef being a cleaner alternative, the dairy products the cows produce, such as natural whey protein powder, are also cleaner when they come from grass fed sources.

What’s the difference between grass fed cows and grain fed cows in both the means of production and consumption?

Before we get into all of that.

Let’s take a trip back in time to 1940, where cows weren’t fed anything else but grass. Why you ask? In 1940, the demand for beef and dairy products was nowhere near anything like the beast of a beef market we have today, and to some that might seem strange as you probably think of cow products as pretty universal to our everyday diet. That’s quite true, it generally always has been, but through one emerging industry the beef market has very literally been abused. It doesn’t take an expert guesser to figure out what industry we’re talking about here. Yep you guessed it, the fast food industry.

The global fast food industry accounts for more than half of a trillion dollars in revenue each year with the total increasing annually.

But the fast food industry hasn’t been the only significant influence in this demand, we can also account this to the rapid global population increase. Given that both of these factors have significant influence on the increase in the demand of beef, what does this have to do as to the way cows are fed?

The diets of farmed cattle experienced a dramatic change when the demand for beef and dairy products rapidly increased. In order to produce beef and dairy in a more efficient manner, cows were switched to a grain diet and treated with hormones to create weight gain and larger cows so they could be used for meat and dairy production more efficiently.

While this way is much more efficient for the production of large amounts of beef and dairy, research has shown that products from grain fed cows lose significant amount of nutritional value when they are produced in this manner. So whilst in production there is more beef readily available, in relation to our consumption, nutritional value is lost, but may not necessarily be where you might think. Cows fed with grain have shown to have significantly less health benefits due to of an 80 percent decrease in Omega 3 fat content Where the value is lost is in the consumption of Omega 3’s and CLA

Why are Omega 3’s and CLA important?

Grass fed natural whey protein powder contains more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and more Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fats have a range of health benefits which have been backed continuously by science. Just some of the benefits include healthier skin, improves eye health, lowers the risk of heart disease, can fight inflammation. For more of the benefits, visit my article which goes into detail of the health benefits of Omega 3 linked here and available on the Natural Protein Powder website.

Perhaps more importantly Omega 3’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity and tell our body to use stored body fat more frequently is the most appealing to anyone who aims to not only feel good but also enjoys the confidence of looking good. There has been an astonishing amount of evidence from studies to suggest that eating foods which are rich in omega 3 improved brain performance during mental tasks. Results which were published by the British Journal of Nutrition projected faster reaction times and lower levels of tiredness in people aged 18-35 in the first three months of use.

While Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven time and time again to have a positive influence on the body in a plethora of different ways both physiologically and mentally, what do we know about Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)?

Can CLA have a similar rap sheet of health benefits that we now know Omega 3 has? Almost.

CLA has been studied and tested for combatting disease. Results which have come from a wide variety of animal testing show that as little a 0.5 percent CLA in your diet can possibly reduce tumors by more than 50 percent. This study includes and relates to breast, rectal, lung, stomach and skin cancer.

Similar to Omega 3, CLA has also been shown to help reduce inflammation, help with osteoporosis, lower risk of cardiovascular disease and be beneficial in lowering body fat by improving insulin action.

In conclusion, the natural diet for cows, is grass. Cows have digestive systems designed for digestion of grass. When cows are fed grass only, the amount of CLA is are between three to five times higher than cows which are fed grain based diets. In addition to this grass fed products from cows are higher in vitamins B and E, higher in potassium, calcium and magnesium, have a healthy ratio between omega 6 to omega 3, lower in total fat and lower in saturated fats, which are linked with heart disease.

It goes without saying that the grass fed vs grain fed debate has an obvious winner for consumers and an obvious winner for the corporations and the profiteers. And they’re two different winners for either side. We at Natural Protein Powder want you to make the best decision for your health and we offer the peace of mind that the health of our consumers are our number one priority. We not only want to give you the product to help you make the right investment in your health, we also want to give you the information so you can make the choice yourself. Invest in yourself and go grass.