Doctor James on Health and Wellness

Common sense answers to your most burning health questions

Light Your Money on Fire, Or Eat Grass Fed Meat!

Posted by doctorjames on February 28, 2008

It is in the news again! The horrible treatment of animals for human consumption is downright disgusting. There is no dignity in living or in death for these animals. They are treated unfairly and live a miserable life caged up, beat up, filled with sickness and disease, and housed in unsanitary conditions.

Whatever happened to treating animals with respect. Well, there is such a case of respect for animals when a farmer decides to let his animals go cage free and live off of the pasture. Yes, it is still cruel to kill another animal for our palate, but at least if we are going to continue this practice we need to let these animals live a healthy life. In fact, if they are being abused and are eating poorly, you are taking in what they were. You are eating a very unhealthy piece of meat even though it looks great. The statement could not be more true…you are what you eat!

Believe it or not, cows are designed to only eat grass! This is why a cow has four chambers. They ferment the food they eat. Their chambers of the “stomach” are designed to make every protein they need to sustain a healthy life! Pretty simple isn’t it?

The problem is that the farmer learned that a cow could gain more weight by having them pasture less and eat more grain, soy, and corn. When a cow eats these items, they gain weight very fast in the form of unhealthy fats because of their inability to process all the sugar. They are just like us! We may love to eat our cereal everymorning, but our pancreas hates us! The more sugar we take in, the heavier we get. We are proving it right now with our kids. They take in sugar ladened substances full of high fructose corn syrup and their weight increases dramatically. This very same thing happens to the cow.

To save the day we do have cows, chickens, pigs and other animals that are allowed to live a great life roaming the farm. Cows allowed to roam and graze, chickens allowed to roam and peck, and pigs allowed to run around and use their nose to find food do exist.

In this article, my focus is on grass feed beef and the health advantages of including them in our diet. The most important reason to eat grass fed beef is because of its ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats. In a grass fed cow that is free to roam the pasture…(gets exercise)…the balance of omega 3’s to 6’s are on a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. On the other hand, a cow that does not get exercise and eats grain, corn, soy, and sileage has

Why is this important? In the most basic understanding of these fats, omega 6’s are pro-inflammatory (creates inflammation) and omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory. In America today, we consume and abundance of omega 6 fatty acids. In fact, our ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats stands at about 20:1 to 50:1. Folks, this ratio is supposed to be 1:1 to live a healthy life!

In fact, DHA which comes from omega 3 fats, makes up 60% of the fat in our brains. When we disturb this omega 3 to 6 ratio, the omega 6’s become the cell membranes in our brain which greatly affects cell to cell communication! Do you think that improving this ratio can help with things like depression, ADD/ADHD, Parkinsons, M.S., and other various brain lesions? Studies are underway right now on many of these subjects, and some have already been done with very positive results. The simple fact is that our brain is affected by a heavy intake of omega 6 fats without an appropriate balance of omega 3 fats.

Since our ratios are so imbalanced between omega 6’s and 3’s, we live in a pro-inflammatory state. This pro-inflammatory state can lead to further degeneration and diseases like cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, diabetes, eye problems, intestinal diseases, etc. Science has linked most of our degenerative diseases to inflammation as the start. This means that virtually any disease you name can be affected by improving your ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats!

By improving your ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats, you are reducing your rate of degenerative diseases! Omega 6 fats are very prevelant in most of our processed foods, not to mention the beef that is full of these fatty acids due to the overwhelming amount of feed they consume.

For those of us who do choose to eat meat because we are the top of the food chain (trust me, if we weren’t, we would be running from tigers, lions, etc…they would eat us just like we eat them…it is the balance of the world), we can improve our health by looking for grass fed meats, or we can continue to lead our bodies down the path of inflammatory changes and resultant disease.

If you are spending your money on typical grocery store beef, you might as well go back home to your house and put a $100 bill in the fire! Really, a $100 bill for that $15 steak, because you are inflaming your body with every bite! Inflammation is the path we take towards destroying our health, so that “great” $15 steak will produce health care costs at some point in time. All those “great” rib eyes and sirloins will bring about thousands of dollars of medical costs. Do you want to spend your money on quality meat now, or medical care later…it is your choice! Of course you have to fix other things in your diet too, not just the meat, but this is one step closer to living a healthy life. Pay now for abundance in health, or pay later for our incredible sick care system we live in today!

A quality purveyor of grass fed beef is On their website you can order online and have it shipped to your door. What a perfect way to enjoy meat the way nature intended us to eat it. There are various other internet sites for grass fed beef, but make sure there cows truly only roam the pasture and eat grass. A cows diet does not need to be supplemented in any other way! Enjoy eating your grass fed beef and your amazing health.

Your health and wellness advocate,

Dr. James R. Haakenson


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