Episode #158

Dr. Stephan van Vliet

Comparing the Nutrient Density of Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Meat

We find that, on average, pasture-raised animals have two-and-a-half times more phytochemicals in their meat. Click To Tweet

Dr. Stephan van Vliet is easily one of my favorite guests of all time on this show.

He’s a treasure trove of information and he’s one of the few people I know that can really change the food system based on his incredible research.

His work is so good that more people need to hear it, which is exactly what I’m hoping to do in this podcast episode.

That’s why I sat down with Dr. van Vliet to discuss his work on the nutrient density differences between pasture-raised grass-fed meats versus conventional grain-fed meats.

His research goes beyond just the omega fatty acid level differences and dives into other important nutrients that we don’t often focus enough attention on.

Dr. van Vliet also chats about what the soil health has to do with the health of the animal and how this affects those who eat it, how plant-based meats compare, how grass-fed meat is comparable to endurance athletes, and so much more.

You’ll also learn about Dr. van Vliet’s background and how he found himself studying nutrient density differences in protein sources.

Higher intakes of long-chain saturated fats are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. It's those long-chain saturated fatty acids that we see are two to three-fold higher in grass-fed beef versus grain-fed beef. Click To Tweet

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Stephan van Vliet, he earned his PhD in Kinesiology and Community Health and his Master’s degree in Nutrition Science.

He’s also a member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute within the Duke University School of Medicine and he’s currently an assistant professor and researcher at Utah State University.

Dr. van Vliet’s work has also been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Journal of Nutrition, and the Journal of Physiology.

When you tune into this episode, you’ll hear about the following topics:

  • Dr. Stephan van Vliet’s background and how he found himself in this space
  • Dr. Stephan’s research on comparing the protein in whole eggs versus egg whites 
  • The results from studying grain-fed versus pasture-raised beef
  • How close to 400 compounds differed in grass-fed versus grain-fed meat
  • The fatty acid difference in grass-fed versus grain-fed meat
  • How the fatty acid profile in meat impacts people who eat it
  • Comparing grass-fed meat to endurance athletes
  • Dr. van Vliet’s Beef Nutrient Density project
  • How the risk of heart disease changes with grass-fed versus grain-fed meats
  • What happens when animals consume more phytochemicals in plants and how this affects us
  • The anti-inflammatory effects of pasture-raised food
  • How these other key nutrients differ in grass-fed versus grain-fed meats
  • Comparing saturated fat levels in meats
  • How soil health effects the nutrient profile in meat
  • What happened to the nutrient profile of bison when they had a choice of what to eat

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