Lamb meat is a type of red meat that comes from young sheep that are typically less than a year old. It is known for its tender texture and distinct flavor, and is popular in many cuisines and cultures.
In Nigeria, lamb meat is used in dishes such as suya, shawarma, and kebab. Despite its delicious taste, lamb meat has not been given much attention compared to beef. However, lamb meat is a great source of high-quality proteins, minerals, and vitamins, which makes it a healthy choice for meals.
If you want to learn more about the nutritional value and health benefits of lamb meat, keep reading!
Nutritional Content Of Lamb Meat
Lamb meat is an excellent source of protein, with 25 grams per 100-gram serving, as well as iron and cobalamin, which provide 10% and 43% of the daily value respectively. In addition, it contains cholesterol, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B12 and B6.
However, it is essential to note that lamb meat is high in fat, with 21 grams per serving, and saturated fat accounting for 9 grams of that. While it is low in carbohydrates and sugar, it does not contain significant amounts of vitamins C or D.
Health Benefits Of Lamb Meat
1. Rich in Iron
Lamb meat contains heme iron, which is a type of iron that is easily absorbed by the body, and helps the body to better absorb non-heme iron found in plant-based foods. This high iron content makes lamb meat beneficial for people who need to increase their iron intake, as it helps in the production of red blood cells, leading to improved oxygen circulation in the body. Lamb meat can also help prevent anemia, a condition characterized by low red blood cell levels.
2. High-quality Protein Source
Lamb meat contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. These amino acids are important for maintaining muscle mass in older adults and for promoting healthy growth in children and teenagers. Consuming lamb meat can also help prevent age-related muscle problems like sarcopenia, a condition characterized by low muscle mass.
3. Rich in Beta-Alanine
Lamb meat is also rich in the amino acid beta-alanine, which is used to produce carnosine in the body. Carnosine helps to improve muscle function, leading to improved physical exercise performance and reduced fatigue. This makes lamb meat an excellent food choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to enhance their performance.
4. Contains Healthy Fats
Lamb meat contains two types of healthy fats that are beneficial to the body. These fats help to improve brain function, reduce inflammation, and promote heart health. However, lamb meat is high in fat overall, so it is best consumed in moderation.
- Omega-3: Lambs raised on pasture contain almost the exact level of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids as fish.
- Oleic acid: Lamb meat is rich in Oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is linked to lower levels of inflammation
Tallow, or lamb fat, has a higher amount of saturated fat than beef and pork. However, it also contains ruminant trans fats like CLA, which are believed to be beneficial for health. Unlike artificial trans fats, ruminant trans fats are considered healthy, and lamb contains the most CLA among all meats.
CLA has been associated with a range of health benefits, including a reduction in body fat. Nonetheless, taking excessive amounts of CLA supplements may negatively affect metabolism.
5. A nutrient-dense meat
Lamb is considered a highly nutrient-dense meat compared to other meats. This is because it is rich in various vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins and zinc. Additionally, lamb contains complete and highly digestible protein, and higher amounts of healthy fats than most land animals.
Lamb is also rich in beneficial compounds like conjugated linoleic acid, carnosine, creatine, glutathione, and taurine, which are present in significant quantities, making it a healthy addition to one’s diet.
Are there any risks associated with consuming lamb meat?
Consuming lamb meat may have some risks associated with it, as it is categorized as red meat. There have been debates about the potential link between the consumption of red meat and the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to consume lamb meat in moderation, especially if you are older than 30 years.
It is important to note that lamb meat should never be eaten in its raw state and must be cooked properly before consumption.
In conclusion, lamb meat is a healthy source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. However, it is important to practice moderation when including it in your diet, and to ensure that it is properly cooked to avoid any potential health risks.