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Surprising Benefits Of Lamb Meat

Why Local Lamb?

Eating lamb meat is a common practice in many parts of the world, but as one of the less well-known meats, there are some things you should understand.

What is Lamb Meat?

Lamb meat is meat sourced from a lamb, which is a sheep in its first year of life. Lamb is considered red meat, because it has high levels of myoglobin, a protein found in muscle tissues of certain animals (e.g., cows) that turn the meat red once it is exposed to oxygen. Now, while lamb is red meat, grass-fed varieties are generally considered quite a healthy and reliable source of protein. In terms of being a lean type of meat, there is very little marbling of fat, so the majority can easily be trimmed off the sides, which can make it even healthier. [1]

When it comes to taste, lamb has a mild flavor that is gamier than chicken or beef, but the pleasant earthy flavor, particularly when barbecued or baked, is beloved around the world. Lamb meat only comes from young sheep, but there are two other varieties of this meat – hogget and mutton. Hogget usually comes from a sheep between 1 and 2 years old, while mutton comes from an adult sheep. The flavor of the meat intensifies as a sheep ages, but it also becomes tougher, which is why lamb is often preferred.


Nutrition Facts and Health Effects

Lamb is the meat of young domestic sheep (Ovis aries).

It’s a type of red meat — a term used for the meat of mammals that is richer in iron than chicken or fish.

The meat of young sheep — in their first year — is known as lamb, whereas mutton is a term used for the meat of adult sheep.

It’s most often eaten unprocessed, but cured (smoked and salted) lamb is also common in some parts of the world.

Being rich in high-quality protein and many vitamins and minerals, lamb can be an excellent component of a healthy diet.

Here’s everything you need to know about lamb.

Nutrition facts

Lamb is mainly composed of protein but also contains varying amounts of fat.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of roasted lamb provides the following nutrients (1Trusted Source):

  • Calories: 258

  • Water: 57%

  • Protein: 25.6 grams

  • Carbs: 0 grams

  • Sugar: 0 grams

  • Fiber: 0 grams

  • Fat: 16.5 grams


Lamb is a Significant Source of Complete Protein

  • One of the biggest positives from eating lamb is the protein content.

  • Lamb is extremely rich in protein, and depending on the cut it contains anywhere between 25 – 30 grams per 100 grams (11, 12, 13).

  • While it is common knowledge that lamb is an excellent source of protein, not all protein is made the same.

  • In other words; the efficiency by which our body can use protein differs depending on the specific food and the amino acids it contains.

  • On the positive side, lamb contains every amino acid, and we can, therefore, class it as a ‘complete’ protein.

  • This completeness means that our body can use lamb protein more efficiently than ‘incomplete’ proteins in plant foods.

  • Protein is incredibly important for our health, and it encourages lean muscle mass, the growth and repair of cells, and higher levels of satiety

A Source of Healthy Fats

These kinds of ‘health benefit’ lists generally do not mention fat.

After years of health authorities demonizing dietary fat, that is not really a big surprise.

However, let’s give fat the credit it deserves; good fat is an essential and healthy part of the human diet.

Furthermore, two specific fatty acids in lamb are very beneficial for us;

  • Omega-3: Lamb meat from animals raised on pasture has similar levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids as some fish (18).

  • Oleic acid: This monounsaturated fatty acid is one of the most evidence-based fats and it is widely known as the “heart healthy” fat in olive oil. Research consistently links oleic acid to lower levels of inflammation and better health markers


Vitamins and minerals

Lamb is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin B12. Important for blood formation and brain function. Animal-derived foods are rich in this vitamin, whereas vegan diets lack it. Deficiency may cause anemia and neurological damage.

  • Selenium. Meat is often a rich source of selenium, though this depends on the feed of the source animal. Selenium has various important functions in the body.

  • Zinc. Zinc is usually much better absorbed from meat than plants. It’s an essential mineral important for growth and the formation of hormones, such as insulin and testosterone.

  • Niacin. Also called vitamin B3, niacin serves a variety of important functions in your body. Inadequate intake has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

  • Phosphorus. Found in most foods, phosphorus is essential for body growth and maintenance.

  • Iron. Lamb is rich in iron, mostly in the form of heme iron, which is highly bioavailable and absorbed more efficiently than non-heme iron found in plants.

In addition to these, lamb contains a number of other vitamins and minerals in lower amounts.

Sodium (salt) may be particularly high in some processed lamb products, such as cured lamb.

Lamb Contains L-Carnosine

Firstly, carnosine is classed as a non-essential nutrient because our bodies can make it internally.

However, recent research is showing that higher amounts of carnosine from external sources may offer additional health benefits.

Among these, carnosine appears to have anti-atherosclerotic effects, meaning that it may help to protect against cardiovascular disease.

Notably, carnosine also helps to reduce the glycation of sugars and proteins in our body.

Glycation leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

Unfortunately, AGES are harmful compounds which directly cause inflammation and oxidative stress, and they are believed to be one of the keys to the aging process.


Lamb is a Source of the “Master Antioxidant” Glutathione

People often refer to glutathione as “the master antioxidant” because of the critical role it plays in protecting our health and our internal antioxidant defense systems.

We cannot read too much into this since there is no clinical research on humans, but higher glutathione levels track with a longer lifespan in animal studies.

Notably, our body makes the glutathione compound internally from the amino acids cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. 

However, research suggests that consuming more exogenously (from outside sources; i.e. food) could have advantages.

On this note, a further health benefit of lamb is that it contains glutathione (28).

Also, it contains all three amino acids that our body requires to synthesize glutathione internally. More info about Lamb click link below.

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