This is a critical element when selecting beef. I have touched on this a bit in “The Ketogenic Diet.” You know how they say, “you are what you eat?”
Well, in reality, you are what you eat, eats.
The quality of the beef is directly related the diet of the cow. You see, vital nutrients are found in the soil and grass. Cows eat the grass and obtain the nutrients. These nutrients are stored in muscle and fat tissue. Humans consume these meats and obtain the nutrients stored in them. That is what you could call the “cycle of life”, in a nutshell.
The soil has been depleted over the countless years of farming and ranching; however, it’s still critical that we consume quality meats. To make up for that nutrient depletion, supplements are great gap-fillers (more on that in the future!)
Grain-fed livestock do not offer the same quality nutrients in their meat and fat, as do grass-fed animals. Grass-fed meat is a good thing to look out for when buying beef, lamb, bison, or deer.
This is very similar to what I said about beef, but with seafood. I live in the United States, and I know there is a huge difference between wild-caught and farm-raised seafood.
It doesn’t take an expert to figure it out either. I walk back to the fresh seafood section in the grocery and compare the color of a wild-caught and farm-raised salmon (I would challenge you to do the same). The wild-caught has a vibrant pinkish-orange color. The farm-raised is quite dull and bland looking.
What’s the difference, you ask? The fish’s diet.
Wild-caught fish are in their natural habitat and eat their natural diet. Farm-raised fish are put into a habitat that is similar to their natural one but are fed grain, corn, and who knows what else.
The quality of the nutrients, especially the fat, depends on the diet of the fish. Most people consider fish to be a great way to get your essential fatty acids (DHA and EPA specifically). That is true. Most seafood provides great quality fat but only if they eat a natural diet.
When it boils down to it, the quality of the nutrients is essential. The better the food, the more quality nutrients, the healthier you will become. Do your best to give your body the best and it will reward you.
On the flip side of that, don’t stress too much if you occasionally don’t eat wild-caught, organic, etc., it’s what you eat 80 percent of the time that will determine your health. Enjoy some foods you that you like, on occasion, and strive for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.