While you like your steak, you probably don't think much about what type of cow your beef comes from. You may know that Kobe beef is a pricey meat, but you may not know that it comes from the Tajima breed of cow and is only bred in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan. You may be a little more familiar with Angus beef because it's a popular meat in the U.S., but you may not know that the breed of cow originated from Scotland. While these two types of beef come from very different parts of the world, their nutritional profiles are similar.
Both Kobe and Angus beef are prized cuts of meat because of their marbling, which is the ribbons of fat imbedded throughout the flesh of the meat that gives it taste and texture. But the more marbling a cut of meat has, the more calories it has. While Kobe beef is a little higher in calories than Angus, 70 calories versus 65 calories per ounce, both are high-calorie cuts of meat with twice the amount of calories as 1 ounce of chicken breast.
On average, a cut of meat has about 7 grams of protein per ounce. Kobe beef has less than average, with about 5.5 grams per ounce, while the protein in the Angus beef varies depending on the amount of fat in the cut, but averages about 6.9 grams per ounce. This may not seem like much of a difference, but a 3-ounce portion of Angus beef meets almost 50 percent of your daily protein needs, while the same serving of Kobe meets only 35 percent. If you're looking to add more protein to your diet, Angus beef is the way to go.
Of course you know that with all the marbling both Kobe and Angus beef are high in fat, and not the good kind. Kobe beef edges out Angus beef just slightly with 5 grams of total fat per ounce versus 4 grams. Compare that to the less than 1 gram found in 1 ounce of chicken breast. Both are also high in saturated fat -- that's the fat that clogs your arteries -- with 2 grams per ounce in the Kobe beef and 1.5 grams per ounce in the Angus. The American Heart Association recommends you get less than 7 percent of your total calories from saturated fat. So if you eat 2,000 calories a day, that means no more than 16 grams of saturated fat.
Nutritionally, it's not all bad news. Both Kobe and Angus beef are pretty good sources of iron, and for women that's a good thing. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 18 milligrams of iron a day -- that's more than twice the amount that men need. One serving of Kobe beef meets 10 percent of your needs, and one serving of Angus meets 9 percent. Not only that, but the iron from both meats is in a form that is very well absorbed by your body.
- CNN Travel: A Cut Above the Rest: Japan's Legendary Kobe Beef
- Slate: Holy Cow: What's So Good About Angus Beef?
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Kobe Beef Japan
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Strack & Van Til Choice Choice Certified Angus Beef Boneless New York Strip Steak
- MyFitnessPal: Certified Angus Beef - Rib Eye Steak
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.