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Are you getting the proper fatty acid ratios from your diet?

written by

Julia Mullins

posted on

April 23, 2024

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Fats- yikes! Most of us have been conditioned to recoil at the mere mention of "fat" in relation to our food. But what if I told you that fats play a vital role in our health?

  • Fats are a key source of energy.
  • Fats facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (including A, D, E and K).
  • Fats support brain health and prevent mental fog.

There are two essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot synthesize and must be acquired through diet. Those are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both play a pivotal role in our well-being.

The problem is that Americans are falling short on obtaining adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets. A healthy diet should consist of a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. According to BioMed Central, “The typical American diet tends to contain 11 to 30 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3.”

This imbalance has been associated with numerous chronic diseases and health ailments prevalent in American society today:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Age-related memory loss
  • Depression
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So what’s the remedy?

As we've witnessed, there has been a surge of interest in products that are labeled “grass-fed” or “grass-finished” but do you know why?

Research indicates that a grass-finished diet significantly alters the fatty acid composition of the meat. And we can prove it!

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That’s a result of 1.759 omega-6 / omega-3 directly from our grass fed and finished beef.

“Grass-based diets resulted in significantly higher levels of omega-3 within the lipid fraction of the meat, while omega-6 levels were left unchanged. In fact, as the concentration of grain is increased in the grass-based diet, the concentration of n-3 FAs decreases in a linear fashion. Grass-finished beef consistently produces a higher concentration of n-3 FAs (without affecting n-6 FA content), resulting in a more favorable n-6:n-3 ratio… The effect of the feeding regimen is a very powerful determinant of fatty acid composition.” -BioMed Central

Until the 1940s, the majority of beef was grass-fed. It was during this period that the feedlot industry expanded, prioritizing efficiency in food production. Unfortunately, efficiency and nutrition often do not go hand in hand.

Today, NRCD reports that roughly 97% of our beef in the U.S. comes from feedlots. Cattle at these feedlots are fed a high-energy diet, primarily consisting of soy and corn, enabling faster finishing rates. Thus, while efficiency increased, nutrition became compromised.

The Solution?

  • A return to traditional practices and methods of food production.
  • A return to nutrient-dense foods with health-promoting properties.
  • A return to understanding the connection between your food and its upbringing.
  • A return to fostering a deeper connection to the land, the food we consume, and the people who cultivate it.

This journey involves building a more transparent food system that prioritizes health, ethics, and the well-being of communities. Here at Spring House Farm these values hold a top priority when it comes to providing the finest food our earth can naturally produce. We strongly encourage you to learn more about us and our Regenerative Farming Practices at www.springhouse.farm

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Sources

Daley, C.A., Abbott, A., Doyle, P.S. et al. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxid

ant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J 9, 10 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-9-10

https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-9-10#citeas

Feedlot Operations: Why It Matters Where Your Grain-Finished Beef Was Produced. (2014, November 13). https://www.nrdc.org/resources/feedlot-operations-why-it-matters

https://www.nrdc.org/resources/feedlot-operations-why-it-matters


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