Blog Categories


Grass-Fed Beef: Nutrition, Benefits, Disadvantages, and More


The choice between grass-fed and grain-fed beef goes beyond taste. What a cow eats affects nutrients, health benefits, ethics, and more.


Join 90k+ people who are losing weight with Keto Kickstart, our doctor-developed program designed to give you real weight loss results.

In this article, we talk about what grass-fed beef is, its benefits, downsides, and debunk some of the common misunderstandings about it.

What is Grass-Fed Beef?

Grass-fed beef refers to meat that comes from cattle that primarily graze on natural grasses and forage. On the other hand, conventionally raised cattle are often fed a diet consisting of grains, such as corn, wheat, and soy. This difference in diet gives grass-fed beef its unique characteristics and sets it apart from traditional beef.

Is Grass-Fed Beef Better Than Grain-Fed Beef?

The diet of grass-fed cattle contributes to higher levels of certain essential nutrients. For instance, grass-fed beef tends to have a healthier balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, with increased omega-3s that are beneficial for heart and brain health. It also contains higher levels of antioxidants like vitamin E, which play a role in protecting cells from oxidative damage.

Furthermore, grass-fed beef is often leaner than grain-fed beef. This leaner profile is likely due to the cattle’s more active lifestyle and natural grazing habits.

Beyond nutritional considerations, grass-fed cattle farming practices generally align with more humane and environmentally conscious approaches, emphasizing open pastures and reducing the reliance on confined feedlots.

Grass-Fed Beef Nutrition

A 150 gram grass-fed Australian tenderloin steak contains (*);

  • 226 Calories
  • 0 Grams of carbs
  • 11.4 Grams of fat
  • 30.8 Grams of protein
  • 3.32 mg of iron
  • 0.095 grams of omega 3 fats

What are the Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef?

Below are some of the reasons why grass-fed beef is better than grain fed beef;

Lower in fat and calories

Grass-fed beef offers a leaner option compared to grain-fed beef. For instance, a 150-gram grass-fed Australian tenderloin steak contains approximately 11.4 grams of fat when sourced.

In contrast, the same amount of grain-fed steak contains 32.7 grams of fat (*). If you were to enjoy grass-fed steak once a week for a year, you could potentially spare yourself an additional 1107 grams of fat compared to consuming grain-fed options.

Antibiotic and Hormone Free

A key advantage of grass-fed beef lies in its commitment to more natural farming practices. Conventional farming often involves the use of hormones to speed up growth and antibiotics to counter disease risks.

However, the presence of such substances in meat consumption can raise concerns about potential health effects. Hormones, when introduced into the human body through consumption, may disrupt normal hormonal balance and potentially lead to health issues.

Furthermore, the excessive use of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria evolve to withstand the drugs designed to kill them making common infections more difficult to treat.

Higher Omega 3 Content

Grass-fed beef boasts elevated levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for optimal health (*). Omega-3s are known to have many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, supporting cardiovascular health, and promoting brain function (*).

Their presence in grass-fed beef contributes to a more balanced omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in the diet. This helps reduce the risk of health concerns associated with modern diets that are rich in omega-6 fats.

Higher Micronutrient Content

There is a higher concentration of certain essential vitamins and minerals in grass-fed beef vs. grain fed beef.

This variety of nutrients includes heightened concentrations of vitamins A and E (*)(*). Vitamin A supports healthy vision, skin, and immune function, while vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage.

Additionally, grass-fed beef tends to be richer in minerals like zinc and iron (*). Zinc aids immune system function, while iron is crucial for energy production.


Join 90k+ people who are losing weight with Keto Kickstart, our doctor-developed program designed to give you real weight loss results.

More Humane Farming Practices

Grass-fed beef often aligns with more humane farming practices due to its emphasis on open pastures and natural way of life.

In the US, the American Grassfed Association (AGA) provides certification for grass-fed products, ensuring cattle are raised in conditions that prioritize their well-being. This certification requires farmers to stick to specific animal welfare standards, including access to grazing areas where the cattle can roam freely.

Offers All Benefits of Grain-Fed Beef

Grass-fed beef doesn’t just bring its unique advantages; it also offers all the essential benefits found in conventional beef. It is still an excellent source of high-quality protein, crucial for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function. Additionally, grass-fed beef provides a rich supply of essential nutrients like iron, which is vital for oxygen transport in the body.

Are There Any Disadvantages of Grass-Fed Beef?

While there are no known inherent disadvantages to consuming grass-fed beef, there are practical considerations to bear in mind.

Grass-fed beef tends to be relatively more expensive than conventionally raised beef due to the extended time it takes for cattle to mature on a natural diet. Additionally, access to grass-fed beef may be limited in certain regions, as the practice requires suitable grazing land.

Grass-Fed Beef Myths and Misconceptions

Below, we talk about some of the common but wrong beliefs you might have heard about grass-fed beef.

Grass-Fed Beef is Tougher

One prevalent misconception is that grass-fed beef is tougher than its grain-fed counterpart. While grass-fed beef may have a slightly different texture due to its leaner nature, it can still yield a tender and flavorful result if cooked right. You may have to adjust cooking methods to suit the leaner profile of grass-fed beef to ensure a consistently tender texture.

Grass-Fed Beef Means the Cow Only Ate Grass

The idea that grass-fed beef implies cows exclusively eat grass is not entirely accurate. While grass is the main component of their diet, cows may also consume other forage and plant materials. The emphasis lies in minimizing grain consumption rather than excluding all non-grass elements from their diet.

Grass-Fed Beef and Organic Beef are the Same

Another misconception is equating grass-fed beef with organic beef. While some grass-fed beef may also be organic, the two terms are distinct. “Grass-fed” refers to the diet of the cattle, whereas “organic” covers various farming practices, including feed quality, antibiotic and hormone use, and adherence to specific regulations. Grass-fed beef may or may not be organic, and vice versa.

Grass-Fed Beef Lacks Flavor

Some believe that grass-fed beef lacks flavor compared to grain-fed beef. While grass-fed beef can have a slightly different taste due to its nutrient profile, you will likely grow to appreciate its more natural, earthy flavors.

Grass-Fed Beef is Always Lean

Even though grass-fed beef generally has a leaner fat profile, not all cuts are lean. Just like with any type of beef, the fat content can vary depending on the cut.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we address some of the common questions on grass-fed beef.

Does grass-fed beef taste different from grain-fed beef?

Yes, grass-fed beef can have a slightly different taste due to its leaner profile. It often offers a more natural, earthy flavor that many people love. If you cook it right, you can truly enhance its unique taste.

Is grass-fed beef more expensive than grain-fed beef?

Yes, grass-fed beef tends to be pricier due to the longer time it takes for cattle to mature on a natural diet. However, the cost is worth the nutritional benefits and ethical considerations associated with grass-fed practices.

Are there any cooking tips or considerations specific to grass-fed beef?

Yes, grass-fed beef is leaner, so it’s best cooked at slightly lower temperatures to prevent overcooking and maintain tenderness. Using marinades and tenderizing techniques can also enhance its texture and flavor. Like any type of beef, resting the meat after cooking helps retain juices.


Join 90k+ people who are losing weight with Keto Kickstart, our doctor-developed program designed to give you real weight loss results.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the choice between grass-fed and grain-fed beef goes beyond mere taste preferences. The differences impact not only nutrition and health benefits but also ethics and environmental considerations. Despite the higher price tag, the nutritional, ethical, and environmental benefits make grass-fed beef a worthy choice for anyone looking to give their diet a boost. We believe in the power of grass-fed which is why we use grass-fed ingredients in our products including our Beauty + Sleep Collagen, Keto Collagen, Keto Whey Protein, and Mallow Munch.

7 References

FoodData Central.

FoodData Central.

Daley CA, Abbott A, Doyle PS, Nader GA, Larson S. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J. 2010 Mar 10;9:10. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-10. PMID: 20219103; PMCID: PMC2846864.

Gammone MA, Riccioni G, Parrinello G, D’Orazio N. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Benefits and Endpoints in Sport. Nutrients. 2018 Dec 27;11(1):46. doi: 10.3390/nu11010046. PMID: 30591639; PMCID: PMC6357022.

De la Fuente J, Díaz MT, Alvarez I, Oliver MA, Font I Furnols M, Sañudo C, Campo MM, Montossi F, Nute GR, Cañeque V. Fatty acid and vitamin E composition of intramuscular fat in cattle reared in different production systems. Meat Sci. 2009 Jul;82(3):331-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2009.02.002. Epub 2009 Feb 14. PMID: 20416720.

Descalzo AM, Insani EM, Biolatto A, Sancho AM, García PT, Pensel NA, Josifovich JA. Influence of pasture or grain-based diets supplemented with vitamin E on antioxidant/oxidative balance of Argentine beef. Meat Sci. 2005 May;70(1):35-44. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2004.11.018. Epub 2005 Jan 5. PMID: 22063278.

Krusinski L, Maciel ICF, Sergin S, Goeden T, Schweihofer JP, Singh S, Rowntree JE, Fenton JI. Fatty Acid and Micronutrient Profile of Longissimus Lumborum from Red Angus and Red Angus x Akaushi Cattle Finished on Grass or Grain. Foods. 2022 Oct 31;11(21):3451. doi: 10.3390/foods11213451. PMID: 36360064; PMCID: PMC9656263.


Join the Internet's largest keto newsletter

We'll send you articles, product guides, and exclusive offers customized to your goals.