KANGAROO MEAT: AUSTRALIA'S LOW FAT, LEAN, HEALTH MEAT
To fight heart disease and stroke, healthcare professionals advise reducing your "controllable" risk factors by embracing better food habits and controlling the amount and kind of fat, saturated fatty acids, and dietary cholesterol you eat. If you can reduce high blood cholesterol, one of the major risk factors for heart attack, you may prevent a heart attack in the future. The best way to help lower your blood cholesterol level is to eat less saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, and control your weight.
The American Heart Association has published an "Eating Plan", based on the latest advice of medical and nutrition experts. The AHA's dietary guidelines advocate:
Total fat intake should be less than 30 percent of calories.
Saturated fatty acid intake should be less than 10 percent of calories.
Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake should be no more than 10 percent of calories.
Monounsaturated fatty acids make up the rest of the total fat intake, about 10 to 15 percent of total calories.
Cholesterol intake should be no more than 300 milligrams per day.
Sodium intake should be no more than 3,000 milligrams (3 grams) per day.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the diet-health relationship. Many consumers know that they have to cut back on the saturated fatty acid content of their normal diet. The question is how to do this without giving up red meat? In Australia, studies headed by Professor Kerin O'Dea, Dean of Health at Deakin University in Victoria found kangaroo meat has very low levels of fat, less than two percent, much lower than traditionally accepted meats such as beef, lamb and pork. This is good news for health-conscious consumers and weight watchers because kangaroo meat is low in saturated fat and high in protein.
Kangaroo meat has one of the best combinations of low fat and high PUFA content, whilst beef and lamb by contrast have high fat and low PUFA content. Independent laboratory tests show that an average 200 gram serve of kangaroo meat exceeds the AHA's dietary guidelines. This means that Kangaroo meat is an ideal heart food because kangaroo is the leanest of all red meats.
In Europe there is a significant health market for lean kangaroo meat, because health conscious consumers have discovered that a diet high in kangaroo meat can reduce serum cholesterol levels reduce risk factors which cause a predisposition to cardiovascular disease and reverse metabolic factors associated with the development of late onset diabetes. Fatty acids in tissue of ruminants such as beef and lamb are more saturated because microbes in the rumen extensively hydrogenate unsaturated fatty acids in these animals' diets.
Kangaroos have a digestion system similar to ruminants (cattle, sheep, deer and buffalo), but the fat deposits of kangaroos contain a lower concentration of saturated fat. The kangaroo carcass also has a high meat to bone ratio compared to other herbivores of comparable size. For meat-loving consumers a diet rich in kangaroo meat can result in significant reductions in total fat intake, particularly saturated fat intake. This makes kangaroo meat an attractive alternative to conventional diets because dieters can select any portion of a kangaroo, as the whole carcass is lean. This does not limit you to selective lean cuts or mean that special care is needed in trimming fat from meat during preparation or when served.
In summary, kangaroo meat is a healthy meat and is good for you as part of a balanced diet.