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Raising the health steaks with Yorkshire Wagyu 09/08/2016

Our beef is revered for its superior taste and melt-in-the-mouth qualities so we thought it was time to remind you of its health benefits.

There is no shortage of diet plans for anyone who takes an interest in their health – from the three-hour diet and raw food, to sugar-free and 5:2, but research into the health benefits of Wagyu meat lead us to believe that it is an extraordinarily healthy meat and a fantastic source of protein. Academics from America and Japan recently presented their latest findings at the Australian Wagyu Association Conference, confirming the benefits of Wagyu’s ‘good’ fat qualities.

Anyone who has ever tried our Yorkshire Wagyu will know what we mean when we say the rich meat is different to any other beef. This special flavour and succulence is down to the high levels of fat marbling which run through the beef but it’s also this marbling which makes Wagyu uniquely healthy compared to the best of Western beef. The leading animal sciences researcher Dr Stephen Smith, from Texas A&M University, presented his findings at the conference and confirmed that Wagyu beef is rich in oleic acid, a fat of the monounsaturated type. To give you an idea of the significance of this finding, oleic acid is also found in olive oil and avocados, and is said to help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood – the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol that can build up in the body’s artery walls, leading to artery disease.

Our herd of full-blood and cross Yorkshire Wagyu cows have been reared on the Wolds and fed on home-grown forage. We grow our Wagyu cows to 30 months, which is twice as long as some standard cattle, and it’s during the latter part of this time that our cows lay down fat and build up the marbling. This is where the science comes in: Dr Smith says that as the marbling levels in the cattle increase, the saturated fat found in beef turns to the healthy oleic acid. 

While the high price of Wagyu – typically, ours is 40% more expensive than Aberdeen Angus, for example – reflects the time it takes to produce the meat, we’ve found that people are willing to pay more for healthier products, in line with this growing interest in healthy eating and living.

In fact, the health properties of Wagyu could convert into inclusion in popular high-protein diets like the Zone and the Paleo diets. The former focuses on eating the right ratio of protein, carbs and fat to put you in the optimum ‘zone’ for burning fat to fuel your body. The great thing about this diet is that it puts emphasis on protein and ‘good’ fats, making it a perfect regime in which to include Wagyu. The Paleo diet has been enjoying a boost in numbers of people taking it up and is based on the principle of a diet full of foods that can be hunted and gathered by a caveman, hence the emphasis on grass fed red meat. There’s lots of evidence out there to suggest that a diet high in protein is excellent for aiding fat loss and supporting the immune system.

We believe our Wagyu beef can be incorporated into a healthy balanced diet, because it’s a nutritious meat derived from one of the most natural sources of food available. We know this because we trace all our animals from the paddock to your plate, and the best thing about Yorkshire Wagyu is that there’s no compromise on flavour for health because the taste is all part of its goodness.