The properties contained in the marbling (intra-muscular fat) of Wagyu beef has attributes linked to increased longevity and reduction of disease.
Research has shown that the saturated fat contained in 100% Fullblood Wagyu marbling has unique characteristics. This special intra-muscular soft fat has higher proportions of mono-unsaturated to saturated fats than any other cattle breed.
Wagyu beef contains more mono-unsaturated fatty acids per gram than any other foods and 30 per cent more than other beef breeds. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids have potent anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as delivering an anti-inflammatory agent. These types of mono-unsaturated fatty acids are also found in avocados and olive oil that effectively reduce blood cholesterol levels. Some of these fatty acids have the effect of reducing the risk of heart disease and reducing prevalence of certain types of cancer.
Wagyu genetics also yield beef that is higher in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids than other beef breeds.
“But even saturated fat contained in Wagyu is different,” Dr Crowe said. “Forty per cent is in a version called stearic acid, which is regarded as having minimal impact in raising cholesterol levels. So really, the profile of marbled Wagyu beef is more beneficial to human health. It can be described as a healthier type of meat.”
Dr. Tim Crowe, Dietitian and Lecturer, Deakin University School of Exercise and Nutrition Science
It is believed that Wagyu has properties with the potential to reduce heart disease, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, body fat gain and increase the immune response in humans.
Dr Stephen B Smith, Animal Science Professor at Texas A & M University is a renowned expert on meat fats who speaks around the world on the subject.
He concludes from his extensive research that Wagyu beef is juicier and more flavourful as compared to other types of beef due to the lower melting point of the marbling fat in Wagyu beef. Prof Smith also commented “ratios of monounsaturated fatty acids (mostly oleic acid) to saturated (bad) fatty acids for Fullblood Japanese Black Wagyu cattle typically had ratios of 2:1 or higher, while commercial cattle had ratios around 1:1 or less.”
Also, that “Wagyu beef contains higher levels of Oleic Acid as compared to other types of beef, which provides health benefits and that a higher monounsaturated to saturated fatty acid level was healthier for human consumption.”
Modern food science in recent years has determined that the role of animal fats in human nutrition is not detrimental as previously believed and in fact can be beneficial to overall health.
The following articles addresses the differences about grain fed and grass-fed beef by Dr Smith.