The best cow’s milk

Why grass-fed is even better than organic

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A new study found that grassmilk (produced by cows who consume a diet entirely comprised of organic grass and legumes) has a healthier nutritional profile than organic and conventional whole milk (from cows that consume a partially and mostly grain-based diet, respectively).

Consuming more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s puts you at greater risk of developing heart disease, and lowering this ratio can help improve heart health, says study author Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. In grassmilk, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is nearly one to one compared to conventional milk, which is 5.7 to one. Even organic whole milk ranks inferior to grassmilk at a 2.2 to one ratio. This is due to the cows’ diets. “Grass and legume forages contain the building blocks of omega-3 fatty acids,” explains Benbrook. “Corn found in grain, on the other hand, is very low in omega-3 building blocks and high in omega-6.”

Opt for whole grassmilk, says Benbrook since “the nutritional benefits are mostly linked to the fat content, so athletes who pick skim are missing out on the core benefit.” And if you’re looking for a plant-based version, here’s why soy is better than almond milk.