Marbling is a top appeal of Wagyu beef. This white lacy fat isn’t only responsible for the desirable texture, it is also what carries health benefits unique to Wagyu.

Once a considered a bad word, the health and science community and consumers are realizing that fat is actually an important part of a healthy diet. There three categories of fat, Saturated, Unsaturated, and Trans Fats.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats, which are the most commonly associated with beef and other meats, are also prevalent in dairy various oils, and even lean meats. Over the past several decades, saturated fats were considered unhealthy. However, recent research has indicated there are actually no ties to increase in heart disease or increase in ‘bad’ cholesterol from saturated fats. In fact, some research has been stating that Saturated Fats actually reduce levels of LDL (‘bad cholesterol) while raising levels of HDL (‘good cholesterol’), similar to Monounsaturated Fats.

Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated Fats are comprised of two types of good fats – Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. They are widely considered healthy due to the fact that they balance levels of cholesterol, reduce inflammation, provide essential nutrients, among other benefits. These types of fats are primarily attribute to plant-based foods like avocados, seeds, nuts, and oils.

Wagyu beef is uniquely high in monounsaturated fat, Oleic Acid (also known as Omega-9 fatty acid) in particular Oleic Acid is the fat found in olive oil, is attributed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and an important factor in the Mediterranean Diet. Oleic Acid is considered beneficial in the prevention of heart disease, diabetes and other preventable afflictions. It’s also linked to promoting healthy immune systems, vitamin absorption, and cell and antioxidant development.

Oleic Acid is the most abundant fatty acid in beef and Wagyu is uniquely high in Wagyu beef. That’s because monounsaturated fats are found IN marbling. Because Wagyu has higher marbling it has higher concentrations of these fats that are acceptable as “healthy”. As further research continues to unravel the “saturated fats and red meat are bad for you” story line, Wagyu will have an even stronger leg up as a nutrient power-house.

Trans Fats

Trans Fats – these are the real fats that need to be avoided. While there are small amounts of trans fats naturally occurring in meat and dairy, the overwhelming majority of these comes from processed foods through partially hydrogenated oils. This practice of introducing carbon to oil extends the shelf life of food and is cheap, hence its widespread use. Unlike Unsaturated Fats and (based on research) Saturated Fats, Trans Fats increase levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) while decreasing HDL (good cholesterol) increasing risk of clogged arteries and stroke.

For more information on health benefits of Wagyu and education on the different types of fats and cholesterols, visit our Resources page.