Professor Aidan Moloney of Teagasc and Professor Frank Monahan of University College Dublin, reported that grass-fed beef had higher concentrations of several minerals and fatty acids which are of benefit to cardiovascular health.
The findings come from a recent project by Teagasc and UCD, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, set out to examine the nutritional benefits associated with grass-fed beef.
Grass-fed beef is already well known to be a more cost-effective method of feeding animals, as opposed to concentrates.
Professors at UCD used a predictive modelling analysis to demonstrate that consumption of grass-fed beef could improve population adherence to dietary recommendations for total fat, saturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
In a facilitated workshop, Professor Maeve Henchion of Teagasc worked with the industry and academic workshop participants to identify how these research results can be used to benefit Irish consumers, meat companies and farmers.
“Grass-fed beef is different to other beef on the marketplace. We need to use this evidence, and continue to support the strong position of Irish beef in the market,” Professor Henchion said.
Dr. Breige McNulty of UCD, said that their work “has shown that consuming grass-fed beef can help more people to meet their dietary recommendations for total fat, saturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids”.
These modelling exercises have demonstrated that supplementing a high-fat diet with a small amount of the beneficial fatty acids found in grass-fed beef can improve what are known as “biomarkers” of cardio-metabolic health.
This highlights their potential to reduce the negative effects of high-fat diets, Dr. Helen Roche, UCD, said.
She added, however, that subsequent work in the form of a pilot human study did not show that grass-fed beef resulted in improved health profiles.
“This was a pilot study of short duration,” Roche said, “a more prolonged intervention may specifically improve risk factors relating to heart disease and diabetes risk.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.