Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, had an interesting blog post this morning about the health halo of grass-fed beef.
Grass-fed beef has long been praised for its greater omega-3 fat content when compared to conventionally raised beef. She notes that, while it’s true that grass-fed beef has 125% more omega-3 fats than conventionally raised beef, the level of omega-3s is still only 7% of the recommended amount that we get each day (while there isn’t a Daily Value for omega-3s, many recommend we get 1.2g or 1,200mg each day).
Why does this matter? It’s a great example of a food with a health halo and how inaccurate perceptions of a food’s health benefits can lead us to put it on a pedestal. It’s perfectly fine to opt for grass-fed beef (or other foods) due to ethics/environmental impact preferences. However, as with any food, it’s important to get an accurate picture of its health impacts.
Sadly, there isn’t any perfect or cure-all food (there would be magic pills by now if that were the case!). Instead, it’s more about eating a well-balanced and well-rounded eating pattern with a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy and enjoying delicious foods in moderation. And having fun! And making it realistic and tweaking it to fit your personal lifestyle and beliefs.