Omega-3 content and grass-fed/pastured meat?

Hi!

I'm on the AIP diet, and as a result one thing I'm hoping to track for anti-inflammatory purposes is the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in my diet.

My understanding is (in the US) pastured meats have meaningfully higher amounts of omega-3 than conventionally farmed meat.

Frustratingly, though, there don't seem to be many/any generic "meat" (chicken [thigh/breast/etc], homemade broth/consomme, beef/pork cuts, etc) database entries that specify grass-fed or pastured, which means I'm using generic entries, which means my daily omega-3 and omega-6 micros are presumably being undercounted and overcounted in my reports, respectively. Specific brand names sometimes show up when I add "pastured" or "grass-fed", but it's hard to gauge how that might relate to the meat I'm getting from local farms.

Is there anything I can meaningfully do here? Is there a good data source I just haven't found within the app yet to get good proper micronutrient data for pastured meats?

Thanks!

Comments

  • Just from a local small farm perspective I think that would be quite difficult to do. The omega-3 content of what animals consume can vary by location, pasture composition, season, weather and grazing patterns the end result of which affects the omega-3 content in the final animal product. Without frequent cost prohibitive testing on both ends (what the animal is consuming and the final consumer product) it is all just a best guesstimate and as such probably not as accurate as you would want and likely why you can't find specifics for grass-fed or pastured.

    I like using generic entries from these sources:

    From the user manual "If your priority is to use the most detailed information for a food, we recommend choosing entries from the NCCDB (Nutrition Coordinating Center Food & Nutrient Database) or USDA SR28 (United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference) in the Common Foods Tab. These entries along with those found from the CNF (Canadian Nutrient File) and IFCDB (Irish Food Composition Database) have compiled results from lab analyses and research papers to provide us with a comprehensive nutrient profile."

    Then using "Ask the Oracle" (Gold membership required) to locate foods with a specific nutrient (such as omega-3) if I need to include it in my menu to achieve the ratios I want.

    Lastly, using "Nutrition Report" daily averages for that last 7 days I find more helpful than trying to constantly balance everything on a daily basis and adjust accordingly.

    Hope some of this is useful to you.

  • I came across this article today in the Nutrition Journal and thought it maybe of interest to you.

    CITE: Daley, C.A., Abbott, A., Doyle, P.S. et al. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J 9, 10 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-9-10.

    Access here: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-9-10

    It contains enough information to create custom foods with the profiles you are wanting.

    From the article: "A healthy diet should consist of roughly one to four times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. The typical American diet tends to contain 11 to 30 times more omega -6 fatty acids than omega -3, a phenomenon that has been hypothesized as a significant factor in the rising rate of inflammatory disorders in the United States[40]. Table 2 https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-9-10/tables/2 shows significant differences in n-6:n-3 ratios between grass-fed and grain-fed beef, with and overall average of 1.53 and 7.65 for grass-fed and grain-fed, respectively, for all studies reported in this review."

    Hope this is useful.

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