According to a recent study1 published in Food Science & Nutrition, cows fed a diet based on 100 percent organic grass and legumes produce milk with more omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA, another extraordinarily heart-healthy fatty acid), which provides a substantially healthier balance of fatty acids. The improved fatty acid profile in grass fed organic milk and dairy products brings the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio to a near 1-to-1, compared to 5.7-to-1 in conventional whole milk.
Studies have previously determined that eating organic beef or dairy lowers omega-6 intakes and at the same time increases omega-3 intakes as well as CLA, another extraordinarily heart-healthy fatty acid. Collaborative clinical studies conducted in four countries, including the U.S., have concluded that cows on a 100 percent organic grass- and legume-based diet produce milk with higher omega-3 and CLA levels, which makes for more balanced levels of fatty acids.
Undertaken at Newcastle University in England, Southern Cross University in Linsmore, NSW Australia, the University of Minnesota and Johns Hopkins University, the studies further indicated that the superior fatty acid profile in grass fed organic milk and dairy products, which the researchers refer to as “grassmilk,” is far preferable to the ratio of fatty acids found in conventional whole milk. Science Daily noted other benefits:
“Daily consumption of grassmilk dairy products could potentially improve U.S. health trends. In addition to the well-established metabolic and cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and CLA, there are additional benefits for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children.
Various forms of omega-3 fatty acids play critical roles in the development of eyes, the brain, and the nervous system. Adequate omega-3 intakes can also slow the loss of cognitive function among the elderly.”
The benefits of consuming grass fed milk over the conventional kind are quite dramatic when you examine the nutritional benefits, because they translate to health in a big way. Study coauthor Charles Benbrook, a visiting scholar at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, noted the “near-perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in grassmilk dairy products” in helping consumers find a fairly quick and easy way to reduce their cardiovascular and metabolic disease risks.