Brisket — a staple of Crock-Pot dinners and Southern barbecue championships — may seem like a sinful temptation, but according to new research, it’s actually pretty healthy for you. Stephen Smith, a researcher at Texas A&M AgriLife, found that the meat, which has high levels of oleic acid, may increase our levels of HDL, also known as “good cholesterol.”
“Brisket has higher oleic acid than the flank or plate, which are the trims typically used to produce ground beef,” Smith told Food & Wine. “Americans consume over 50 percent of their beef as ground beef.”
Other well-known healthy foods with high levels of oleic acid include olive oil, avocados, and peanut oil.
Japanese black cattle, especially American Wagyu beef, have especially high levels of oleic acid. In studies administered by Smith, participants were fed brisket patties five nights a week, and most participants experienced improvement in their cholesterol levels.
“Ground beef is not going to kill you,” Smith said in a statement. “When you take the beef out of fat, it reduces LDL, but also reduces HDL. Our studies have shown that fat is a very important component of beef.”