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Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratios in Grass-Fed Beef: HB Weighs In

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Everybody says that their beef is the healthiest option, but how do you really know? We recently submitted samples of our beef for nutrition testing by the esteemed Dr. Susan Duckett, a Meat Scientist at Clemson University. We've gotten back our results and, truly, we couldn't be happier.

First, let's start with Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios.

What are Omega-6 and Omega-3?

We want to say this first: while fats get a bad wrap, the right ones are incredibly important to a healthy diet. To put it simply, food fats fall into two categories: saturated or unsaturated fats. More complicated, unsaturated fats can be either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. Omega-6 and Omega-3 are both forms of polyunsaturated fats and EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) that our bodies cannot produce from consuming other types of fats, so you can only get them by eating foods that contain them. That's where we come in.

Benefits of Omega-6 and Omega-3

Omega 3's have been studied for a long time for their health benefits. The long list includes (but is not limited to): improving heart health, supporting mental health, reducing weight, decreasing liver fat, supporting brain development, and fighting inflammation. High amounts of O-3s are most commonly found in fish and several nuts.

Omega 6's are not nearly as well-known, but are essential to a healthy diet as they provide energy and are commonly found in a variety of nuts and seeds.

Why is the Ratio Important?

A little fun fact for you - Anthropologists have found that back in the Prehistoric days (Paleolithic Age), cavemen consumed a diet that had an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of 1:1. It's not a coincidence that disease was rare and that our ancestors were, arguably, healthier than us.

Fast Forward to the 20th Century - The U.S. started heavily processing foods and adding cheap vegetable oils as a way to cut the cost of production. Now, the typical Westerner's diet contains a ratio of 20:1. Not only that, but this change has directly impacted the influx of diseases we see today.

Studies show that a healthy diet will consist of an Omega-6 to 3 ratio of no greater than 4:1. But, of course, the optimal ratio is 1:1 (keep that in mind as we move forward).

Ratios in Store-Bought Beef

Most store-bought beef is grain-fed with a common Omega-6 to 3 ratio of between 15:1 and 20:1. Yikes. When it comes to grass-fed beef, which is typically from a smaller or more niche farm, we see a common ratio closer to 3:1, well within the 4:1 guidelines of a standard healthy diet. But... could you buy better?

How HB Compares

Drum roll, please... According to scientist Susan Duckett, our grass-fed beef has a common ratio of 1:1.4, which would more commonly be listed as 1:1. That's right. Just about as good as it gets. To compare, that's about the same ratio that's found in anchovies. Our beef just tastes a lot better.

We don't usually like to brag, but we're pretty proud of the quality that we're providing to our customers. We've always believed our beef to be healthier, but now we have the scientific tests to prove it. We truly stand by the Hi Bräu difference, and we encourage you to experience it for yourself.

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