For most people, the opportunity to enjoy authentic Japanese Wagyu beef represents the chance to indulge. It's no surprise that this type of beef is associated with luxury.
But as it turns out, this highly sought-after beef is more than just decadent. In fact, Wagyu beef is associated with a number of health benefits. Learn more about the unique nutritional qualities that Wagyu beef brings to the table.
A Lower Cholesterol Option
When consuming beef, cholesterol levels may be a concern. However, Wagyu beef does not contain high levels of cholesterol compared to traditional beef.
The fat content is actually higher in Wagyu beef due to the genetic predisposition of the specific breeds of Japanese cattle from which it is sourced. However, Wagyu beef contains a high percentage of monounsaturated fats, which is "good" fat that the body needs for energy and cell growth. It also has significantly less saturated fat compared to regular domestic beef. Saturated fat often features a chewy and unhealthy profile; however, the intramuscular fat found in Wagyu beef can be much healthier.
Essential Fatty Acids
Wagyu beef has a unique fatty acid profile that contributes to its buttery, umami flavor. Those same monounsaturated fatty acids include essential amino acids like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are the types of fatty acids that have been associated with a lower risk for serious health conditions like cancer, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, Wagyu beef features more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which can contribute to a lower risk for diabetes and disease.
Raised for Quality, Not Quantity
Another important health benefit to consider is the way Wagyu is raised. The regulations on what beef can be called Wagyu are strict, which means cattle are carefully bred and raised in excellent conditions. Cattle are fed a balanced, high-energy diet by Japanese Wagyu farmers which contributes to more intramuscular fat cells. Feedlots house less than 100 cattle in most cases.
When you compare the care and attention these cattle get, it's a far cry from mass-produced domestic beef.
Enjoy in Moderation
Wagyu beef certainly has its own health-related perks, making it a smarter alternative to regular domestic beef in general. However, like any type of meat, it should still be consumed in moderation. Fortunately, Wagyu beef packs such a punch of flavor into every bite that even conservative portions are strikingly satisfying.
Often, genuine Wagyu beef is prepared in smaller portions due to its decadent nature. Small strips are typically cooked over high, intense heat for a short period to create the perfect combination of rare beef while maintaining a tender result. When compared with the way in which domestic beef is often served as supersized steaks, Wagyu beef portions are much more conducive to a healthy diet.