More than a shared name*, Kobe beef is the best lean meat for serious athletes. We know that when you think of lean meat, you think first of chicken, then fish, and then maybe lean cuts of pork, with beef coming in a distant last. In general, this is true for the average (even Grade A Angus) beef that you buy in a supermarket. On the other hand, leanness is the hidden value of Kobe beef.

The confusion comes in when we know that the delicate texture and taste of Kobe beef comes from its high fat content. How can a steak that is highly marbled also be lean? The key is the type of fat. Kobe beef’s fat is high in unsaturated fat, also known as the good fat.

Unsaturated fat benefits athletes in two ways. Unsaturated fat melts away more quickly than other fat due to its low melting point. The low melting point is the reason that Kobe beef must be quick grilled at one to two minutes per side. Any longer and literally all of the fat melts away leaving a dry, tasteless, and expensive slice of beef on the plate.

Second, unsaturated fat actually lowers overall cholesterol and LDL’s (low-density lipoprotein) and increases HDL’s (high-density protein. LDL’s transports cholesterol through the body, so less LDLs means more cholesterol builds up in the arteries. HDL’s lower cholesterol levels in the body in the exact opposite way. HDL’s help cleanse cholesterol from the blood stream. So think about it: Kobe beef fat both decreases bad LDL’s and increases good HDLs.

Kobe beef contains levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, too. The body cannot produce Omega-3 and Omega-6. We have to eat them to get them. Both are essential for good health.

Lastly, Kobe beef is pure complex protein. When you eat a Kobe beef steak, your body takes in protein that it converts to muscle directly. Though we know the nearly 100%-protein diets are not healthy, we also know that any serious athlete as to dramatically increase protein intake. Kobe beef is the most delicious way to do that.

When did you add Kobe beef to your athletic diet? What results did you see?

*Kobe Bryant’s parents named him after Kobe beef when the saw the high price of the meat during a trip to Japan.

Posted in: Lifestyle, Nutrition

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