What is marbled meat and what health implications does it have?

Marbled meat is basically meat that contains an abundance of intramuscular fat, which is why it has an appearance akin to a marble pattern. Marbling is a reference to the white flecks of fat in every cut of meat.

This adds an abundance of flavor and may also indicate how good the beef actually is. Other factors impacted by marbling are the moistness, tenderness and the flavor of the meat as well. Basically, the marbling of a steak is seen as one way to deduce how good it is.


Marbling is another term for fat basically. Therefore, it is determined by the diet of the animal that the meat belongs to. In some cases, even the breed of cattle affects the meat’s marbling. For instance, cattle that are bred on grain will have a higher proportion of marbling in comparison to cattle who are fed grass.

Furthermore, another likelihood when it comes to marbling of meat is that certain cuts have more than others. For instance, the beef rib and the short loin are two sections that are comprised of the highest marbling. On the other hand, beef round and sirloin have the least amount of marbling.

Those who are assigned the task of determining the level of marbling scrutinize the loin muscle that is found between the 12th and 13th ribs specifically. It is not always the case that marbling and tenderness are directly proportionate.

For example, even though the beef tenderloin is by far the most tender cut of beef, it may not always have a high level of marbling. This is why tenderloin steaks are often accompanied by bacon strips so that more flavor is added to the mix.

Also, it must be noted that assessing the quality of the steak depends on the inspector. There is no fixed method of ascertaining a precise level of marbling.

Health Implications

Meat products are an essential source of protein, fat and other important functional compounds. Although the implications of consuming a high level of beef can be negative, it is recommended for the reasons mentioned above.

Quality traits of beef and its nutritional value is determined by a number of factors such as the genetics, feeding and livestock practices. The data at the disposal of researchers shows that beef is an essential component and has more advantages than disadvantages. Naturally, too much of a good thing is bad and consumers must be careful when it comes to eating large quantities frequently.

This is because there are certain red meats that are extraordinarily high in saturated fat. This is known to augment a person’s blood cholesterol, which is not ideal. High levels of LDL cholesterol directly increase the risk of heart disease.



Leave a comment