Depending on which Paleo website you follow, I've noticed that some people advise that people eat lean cuts of meat rather than fatty cuts. Others advise the opposite provided you maintain you omega ratios by either eating grass fed meat / supplementing with fish oil.
Although I've been paleo for over a year now, I've always not had access to good quality / grass fed meat so have only occasionally eaten red meat.
I've now found a small local farmer who sells whole lambs e.g leg joints; shoulder chump/lion chops; cutlets; rack of rolled breast joints; neck filets, kidney, liver and heart.
They graze on grass, clover and wildflower meadows and are fed peas, barley and hay in the winter. The lambs are pretty naturally fatty. Is this a good healthy source of red meat to add to my diet? Or am I better off trying to find leaner cuts of meat.
They graze on grass, clover and wildflower meadows and are fed peas, barley and hay in the winter.
Grassfed is definitely best because it'll contain more micronutrients (vitamin K, E, CLA etc) and a better ratio of omega3:6, but it'll also be leaner and contain less SFA.
The controversy over leaner animals versus fattier animals basically comes down to Cordain and his erstwhile opposition to saturated animal fats. By going for grassfed you're getting both less fat in total, but especially less SFA. Cordain believed that our prey in our natural evolutionary environment would have been leaner and so would have provided a small amount of 'healthy' PUFA and little SFA. Conventionally-raised animals, conversely, contain excess SFA and thus might explain why (allegedly) lots of meat and animal fat is bad for us (via all that dubious SFA) but was the mainstay of our evolutionary diet.
Most people here, and (largely) Cordain more recently, think that there's no reason to avoid SFA, because the whole lipid hypothesis about SFA driving cholesterol driving CVD is full of holes. The important question is what you would replace these lost SFA calories with if you avoid them out. Cordain proposes plants and nuts. The nuts are unquestionably a bad idea, since the excess omega-6 is a recipe for disaster. The proposal of eating lean meat and tonnes of plants is more plausible, with the qualification that the plants will simply be converted into SFA by your own body. The main difference is that getting that SFA within your body by eating a tonne of carbs will entail large amounts of insulin and rising-falling blood sugar- it seems to work for the kitavans though, just as eating straight SFA seems to work for the inuit and masai.
I think lamb is one of the healthiest, most nourishing meats available (though I decidedly fall into the "fat is your friend" camp). Through two pregnancies, lamb was the only muscle meat (other than fish) that I craved. We purchased a whole lamb last fall, and it was one of the best investments my family has ever made.
I say go for it!
Yes! Grass-fed lamb is wonderful stuff. Not only delicious, but plenty of omega-3 fats and conjugated linoleic acid. It will have a stronger flavor than if the lamb were fed some grain, but I personally love the flavor! One whole lamb is not a huge amount of meat (~30 lbs), so if you only have the opportunity to buy at one part of the year and have the freezer space, you might consider buying two.
I was under the impression from 'Unmentionable cuisine' that Americans didn't have a taste for Lamb! We eat a lot of it over here, it's all grass fed cos the sheep can go where crops cannot.
If you can get it, get Mutton. It's cheaper because every else wants lamb, it's got a better taste and it's MUCH fattier.
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