As a nutritionist, I always look for food that is nourishing and will support my body to perform at it’s best. The benefits of consuming grass fed and free range meat versus conventional meat are many. Not only is grass fed and free range meat more sustainable for the environment, it also contains more nutrients. Here are just some of the reasons why I choose to eat free range, grass fed meat:
- Higher levels of Omega-3 (2-4 times the amount compared to conventional meat). Omega-3 is required for brain function, growth, development and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Higher mineral content such as zinc and iron compared to intensely farmed meat. Especially higher levels of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant.
- If cooking organ cuts or using bones for bone broth I highly recommended using free range and grass fed. Using Grass Fed, Free Range Bones will further maximise the nutritional value of the broth and you don’t want to be leaching out antibiotics or growth hormones that can be found in conventional bones.
- You can tell by the taste and texture of the meat that the quality is better.
Protein is an essential nutrient required as one of the building blocks of the human body. It plays an important role in the body as it is responsible for biological processes, repair and maintenance (including development and repair to hair, eyes, skin, muscles and organs).
Role of Protein in the body:
- Energy – Consuming protein allows our blood glucose (sugar) levels to remain stable, therefore stabilising our energy levels and avoiding a slump of energy. (Which often leads to late afternoon sugary cravings!)
- Hormones – Protein is required for the production of certain hormones such as insulin; a hormone responsible of regulating blood glucose (sugar) levels so your energy levels don’t fluctuate.
- Enzymes – Protein helps to facilitate biochemical reactions such as lactase helping to breakdown lactose found in dairy products. If the lactase reaction doesn’t occur, a person consuming dairy products may experience the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Protein itself is made up of smaller ‘building blocks’ called amino acids. The human body is amazing in that it can produce most amino acids, however it requires a further 9 essential amino acids to be obtained from the food we eat. Complete protein means that is contains all the 9 essential amino acids that the body requires. Meat, eggs and fish are sources of complete protein. Here’s how much protein is in a 100gm serving of meat:
- Chicken = 27gms
- Lamb = 25gms
- Beef = 26gms
- Pork = 27gms
* Note: My recommendation of how much protein to consume a day is: 0.80grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Therefore if you weigh 60kg you should aim to consume 48 grams of protein throughout the day.
I’ll leave it there for this week and next week I’ll cover off on the other nutrients in meat and it contributes to reaching our recommended daily intake amounts.
Disclaimer: This article is written for information purposes only. Information included in this article is not intended to treat or cure individuals. As every individual is so unique, so too are their dietary needs and restrictions. Always seek the advice from a healthcare professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.