Wagyu cattle are major beef breeds in Japan. Their marbling has been increased over many decades to meet domestic consumer preferences. highly marbled beef is greatly prized for meat cooking methods such as Sukiyaki for Japanese. Like other kinds of foods, meat has three functions: It provides nutrition; It provides deliciousness; and It prevents disease.
Korean Journal for Food Science of Animal Resources has reported that wagyu beef not only has excellent eating quality, but also contains a lot of beneficial fatty acids. Highly marbled Wagyu beef has a higher percentage of MUFA (Monounsaturated Fatty Acid) due to higher concentrations of oleic acid. A higher percentage of MUFA will lead to a lower fat melting point which contributes to the softness of beef fat and favorable beef flavor. It may decrease the circulating concentration of LDL cholesterol in consumers. MUFA can normalize or improve lipid metabolism and maintain the balance in cardiac muscle.
It is obvious that consumer in the world has an over whelmingly negative attitude toward animal fats, especially saturated fat in meat for the last several decades. Consumers have been warned to reduce saturated fat in heir diet and to avoid meat cuts containing high fat content. These health recommendations are obviously in conflict with the health of highly marbled Wagyu. Many research studies have shown that Wagyu beef contains a lot of MUFA that could prevent arteriosclerosis. Researches have also demonstrated that high oleic acid ground beef may reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease. There is no scientific evidence to indicate that beef that is high in oleic acid will increase risk factors for diseases.
It is essential to consume fats containing good quality fatty acids while reducing the consumption of food high in simple carbohydrates. Excessive intake of simple carbohydrates is detrimental to health because they have negative effects on the body. In this regard, inclusion of high fat foods with superior sensory properties in a balanced diet such as highly marbled Wagyu and Hanwoo beef is likely to gain wider acceptance as a wellbeing food in the near future. Finally, literatures have concluded that high oleic acid beef such as Wagyu beef may reduce risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.