Is Wagyu Beef Good for Health?

Published: 19th May 2010
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All these years beef has been considered as an unhealthy diet and therefore have been advised by doctors not to have it regularly. But it tastes so good that beef lovers have found it difficult to avoid it altogether even though beef is considered as one of the significant contributors of increasing cholesterol in the body. They have it occasionally since its taste is so captivating to taste buds.

However, today the European market has been taken by storm by a new entrant known as the Wagyu. Though Wagyu is relatively new to the European food lovers, its taste might not be. Kobe beef, which most people are familiar with, is actually Wagyu but since it came from the Kobe region in Japan it came to be known as Kobe beef. Wagyu is a Japanese word where Wa' means Japanese or Japanese style and 'gyu' means beef or cattle.

People love Wagyu beef since it is so delicate and tender that it just melts in the mouth. It is this softness, tenderness and moisture that differentiate Wagyu beef from other beef.

The softness and tenderness of Wagyu beef is because of the marbled fat, which is nothing but 'an intra-muscular deposit of energy in a lace-like lattice' containing high quantity of monounsaturated fatty acids. This monounsaturated fats make the beef healthy, delicate, tender, and delicious. Since monounsaturated fats have low melting point it dissolves when cooked thus making the beef tender and tasty.

The presence of monounsaturated fats in Wagyu makes it a healthy food as it helps to reduce cholesterol in the body. Moreover, forty percent of saturated fats are stearic acid, which also helps to bring down the cholesterol levels. According to Dr. Tim Crowe, dietician and lecturer, Deakin University, "WAGYU is also higher in a type of fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The CLA has been shown to have potent anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as being an anti-inflammatory agent. WAGYU cattle contain the highest amount of CLA per gram of any foodstuff - about 30% more than other beef breeds - due to higher linoleic acid levels.

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