Barbecued beef can often be associated as both heavenly and dangerous at the same time. I mean barbecued food is not exactly the healthiest food to exist out there and it certainly can gain a reputation for being high in both cholesterol and fats that can be harmful to your body. That can be an upsetting thing to hear, especially when it is barbecue season and the time is upon us to enjoy all the deliciousness that a great barbecue can offer to you! But I am here to tell you that you shouldn’t fear your next barbecue outing. Barbecuing doesn’t always have to affect your diet and your health and the proof of that is in the fact that Kobe beef exists. Kobe beef is a wonderful barbecue meat alternative that you can utilize at your next barbecue. In a world of ribs and steaks, be something different. Kobe beef is surely different from the typical American meats that litter a barbecue event. Yet, this meat does not get enough attention. It is delicious and incredibly easy to cook! The best part is that it has a numerous amount of health benefits for your body. If you are looking for something new to try, then Kobe beef may be right for you.
What is Kobe Beef?
There are so many features that typically accompany beef. The many varieties of beef come from the fact that the cow is such a large animal and the many places where the meat exists on the cow can provide different characteristics. If there is more muscle or fat that typically accompany a specific area of the cow, then that will also affect the features of the meat that comes from that part of the cow. For that reason, it is now unheard of for many people to be unaware of the many kinds of beef that exist, what they look like, and how they typically taste. That is why I believe it is so important that people understand what Kobe beef is before they try to understand the health benefits of Kobe beef.
Kobe beef is a kind of beef that comes from the Tajima strain of the Japanese Black cattle. The cattle live in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture and must follow specific rules and guidelines to be considered Kobe beef. Wagyu is often used as another word to describe Kobe beef. The word “wagyu” simply means Japanese beef, but it should be noted that there are four different breeds of wagyu cattle that are native to the Japanese region. The Kurobe Washup breed is known to be the most unique of the four cattle natives to Japan and it is this breed that is used for creating the infamous Kobe beef. The reason for this breed of cattle being so distinctive from other breeds lies in the fact that the breed has a unique genetic predisposition in which it tends to marbleize its own fat from within the muscle tissue. Only the highest grade of wagyu beef can be called Kobe beef. For this reason, Kobe beef has a very strict reputation that must always be upheld to ensure that the brand name is not tarnished.
Kobe beef has strict guidelines that must be met to make sure that not just any wagyu gets to be recognized as Kobe beef. For wagyu to be recognized as the prestigious Kobe beef it must first…
- Have the producer and slaughterhouse be paying members of the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association
- The steer must be born in Hyogo prefecture
- The steer must be Tajima cattle (in order words must be a Kurobe Washup-bred cattle)
- The steer must be raised and fed in Hyogo prefecture
- It must be processed at a slaughterhouse in Kobe, Nishinomiya, Sandal, Kakogawa, or Himeji in the Hyogo Prefecture
- The BMS level must be 6 or higher on Japan’s 12-point scale
- The meat quality score must be around a 4 or 5 out of 5
- The gross weight of the beef from the animal must be 470 kg or less
All the guidelines mentioned above are the only ways of ensuring that only the best of the best wagyu is marketed as Kobe beef. For this reason, Kobe beef is surely a prestigious kind of meat that shouldn’t go unnoticed when considering new barbecue meats to try out.
Health Benefits of Kobe Beef
If the precipitousness and utmost quality of Kobe beef have not won, you over yet then maybe understanding the health benefits behind this meat will. This meat provides a wonderful array of benefits for your body in ways that other barbecued meats cannot compare. Upon tasting Kobe beef and knowing what it can do for you, I am sure that you will be shocked that being healthy could taste this heavenly.
It Has Healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Kobe or wagyu beef has healthy Omega 3 fatty acids which do wonders for your heart health, cholesterol levels, and your blood pressure. It is crazy to think that eating beef would be encouraged to reduce cholesterol levels, but then again Kobe beef is no ordinary kind of beef. The reason for why Kobe beef can help reduce cholesterol levels while other meats only increase your cholesterol levels has to do with the amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that are within each kind of meat. Red meat is known to have both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids within it. They are both essential to your health, if they are consumed in a balance. Unfortunately, most red meat does not offer these two kinds of fatty acids in a healthy balance. In fact, most red meats have too little of the Omega 3 fatty acids and too much of the Omega 6 fatty acids. This creates higher levels of bad cholesterol within the blood (this is known as LDL). LDL can circulate in the blood and slowly start to build up within the inner walls of the arteries. This is very bad considering that the arteries help to support your brain and heart. The buildup can eventually lead to thick deposits forming and narrowing the arteries from the inner walls, causing stroke and heart disease. This is not the case with Kobe beef. Kobe beef has the right balance of fatty acids, with more Omega 3 fatty acids than Omega 6 fatty acids. This ratio helps to lower bad cholesterol or LDL and increases your good cholesterol levels (or HDL). In addition, having more HDL levels in the body is known to lower triglyceride levels in the blood, improve overall heart health, and can lower blood pressure. Omega 3 fatty acids are truly amazing for your body. They have also been linked to helping people with diabetes, osteoporosis, skin problems, IBD or inflammatory bowel disease, and mental health problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, cognitive decline, etc. So, hats off to Kobe beef for truly being an amazing meat both in quality and health!
Kobe Beef Nutrition Facts
In addition to the amazing health benefits that Kobe beef offers in the form of Omega 3 fatty acids, this meat is great in offering a plethora of nutritional value in the form of protein, iron, fat, and sodium.
Kobe beef is a wonderful source of protein. It typically provides around 22 grams of protein per Wagyu serving and this is essential for your body. Having ample amounts of protein serve to provide important functions such as repairing and building tissues, and it is found in every cell.
Iron is such an important mineral for your body. It is typically used to make part of the red blood cells that end up carrying oxygen to your tissues (also known as hemoglobin). Eating foods that are rich in iron such as Kobe beef is so incredibly important. Each serving of Kobe beef ends up providing around 10 percent of the recommended daily value of iron!
Kobe beef is known to be a bit higher in fat than other traditional meats. This kind of beef can typically produce around 20 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat (if it comes straight from Japan) and those levels of fat can be a bit higher than the average barbecue meat, but eaten in moderation, this meat can still provide way more nutritional benefits to your body than regular meat. Besides, a little bit of fat is needed for the body to protect organs, insulate the body, and provide enough energy.
I know that sodium can be a tricky subject for people. Some people need to really watch their sodium levels and so having too much sodium in the body can be detrimental to their health. Kobe beef is not completely devoid of sodium (understandable though considering that it is meat), but it does contain less sodium than other kinds of meat. Wagyu Kobe beef can contain approximately 60 grams of sodium while other meats can have a much higher level than that. Keep in mind though that sodium is still important for you. Your body does need enough sodium to maintain fluid balance and play a role in cooling the body down when it sweats. In addition, it can help with transmitting nerve impulses as well!
Summary of All of the Health Benefits of Kobe Beef
We have gone quite in depth with the level of health benefits that Kobe beef can provide to us, but I think it is best that we also summarize practically everything that has been talked about into smaller points to help understand in simple terms, the medical benefits that eating Kobe beef can do for us (in moderation of course!).
Kobe Beef Has a High Ratio of Mono-Unsaturated Fat to Saturated Fat
The high ratio of mono-unsaturated fat to saturated fat is super important in Kobe beef. Due to this high ratio, you can expect lower cholesterol, prevention of coronary disease, and a decrease in weight (by promoting weight loss). This can all be provided to you through eating a moderate amount of Kobe beef.
Significant Amount of Oleic Acid
In addition to the benefits provided by having a high ratio of mono-unsaturated fat to saturated fat, you can surely expect to have an incredibly healthy heart due to the high level of oleic acids within Kobe beef. Oleic acid is a kind of fatty acid that is associated with an increase in HDL or good cholesterol within the body. It has the same hypotensive effects as olive oil, which means that it can reduce high blood pressure.
High Levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid
In addition to having high amounts of oleic acid, Kobe beef also has an increased amount of linoleic acid (in other words, it is a type of omega 6 fatty acid as explained before). This means that it can contribute to weight loss, improving the immune system, helping to fight cancer, and reducing the risk of horrible diseases such as Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
Kobe beef is wonderful proof that nobody ever needs to sacrifice healthiness for quality and great tasting food. We often live in a world of trade-offs where the things we want most often run rampant in different directions. We always must make choices about what we perceive as being more important to us. Well not anymore, when it comes to your health! With eating a moderate amount of Kobe beef, you truly can have it all! You can eat what you want without feeling the guilt of giving into something bad for you and enjoy the great delicious taste and utmost quality aspects of Kobe beef. Don’t think that your health and your favorite barbecue traditions must go in opposite directions of each other. You can have both this summer. Eat Kobe beef and bask in the glow of the summer sun this season!