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Tami

Lean% in Beef

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I was purchasing grass fed beef today at Whole Foods and noticed the 90% lean was $2 more/lb than the 85% lean (I think those were the numbers, but my point is the higher the fat, the cheaper) ... and started to realize I don't know the paleo stance on fat in beef. Society has trained me to be scared of all fats and I'm finally turning around to things like full fat coconut milk and pastured butter, but I don't know about beef...is higher fat better? I'm trained to go with the leanest when it comes to food...hard to switch my thinking sometimes...

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Really great question. Here's my take, if you're buying grass-fed organic beef don't concern yourself with the fat content. If you're eating unhealthy farm factory beef, there's some potentially nasty stuff trapped in the fat and you'd be better off eating lean. In general, I pay no attention to the fat content of any of my meat (but 95% of what I eat is from a local farm I trust).

That said, I have heard in this circle, that often-times paleo recommendations for people entirely new to this way of eating will be to eat lean meat...because that's what they want (need) to hear. You can quickly solve many of the dietary and health issues people have with paleo regardless of quality of meat or meat fat content in a short period of time, and once you win them over, you can get into why fat is in fact, a good thing for you but for total newbies, that's a hard pill to swallow.

Another note is...if you're balancing your protein with various sources, some will be very low in fat by nature (ie chicken or some fish) and it all balances out (but again, I'm not really concerned with fat anyway :)).

I buy the cheaper beef. It cooks down quite a bit and a lot of liquid runs off but I think it's tastier. $1 for $1 it's probably similar to the lean meat.

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No problem. Glad it was helpful! I will add that early iterations of paleo diets (like Loren Cordain's early books) emphasized low fat meats as best options so another source of confusion will be some outdated material that's still floating about.

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Note that Cordain's early "low fat" recommendations was at least partially due to the lack of availability of grass-fed/pastured meat at the time. Now that it's a lot easier to find, the recommendations have changed.

Johnny basically said all that, but just wanted to add to it :)

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