Marbling and Its Nutritional Impact on Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • This review addresses the role of fat in beef palatability and healthfulness. Particular emphasis is placed on the content of oleic acid in beef, and how this increases with time when cattle are fed a grain-based diet. Oleic acid decreases the melting point of lipids from beef, increasing the perception of juiciness and improving beef flavor. Clinical trials have demonstrated that ground beef containing elevated oleic acid increases, or at the least has no negative effects on the concentration of HDL cholesterol. The amount of fat in published ground beef intervention trials greatly exceeds the amount of fat in equivalent portions of beef from U.S. domestic or Korean Hanwoo cattle. Thus, we conclude 1) Beef cattle should be raised under production conditions that increase the concentration of oleic acid in their edible tissues (i.e., by grain feeding over extended periods of time); and 2) The amount of fat consumed in a typical portion of beef will not increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

published proceedings

  • Korean J Food Sci Anim Resour

altmetric score

  • 52.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, S. B.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Smith, Stephen B

publication date

  • August 2016