The Veal Information Gateway
Bringing you the facts about Veal
A Different Viewpoint on Veal
In every household, meals are often designed around meat. The average family serves meat at least once a day. This is not surprising because meat and deli-meat provide important nutrients. Among the different types of meat, veal holds a special place. Veal is a delicacy with a fine structure.
Veal is tender, lean, mellow in taste and contains important minerals and vitamins. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, veal is important because of its high nutritional value, easy digestibility and a good alternative when keeping an eye on calories.
Good Nutrition is Important
The composition of our food is very important because many bodily functions are influenced by what we eat. Therefore, eating a variety of foods is the key. By varying the choice of our food, the body receives all the nutrients it needs. These nutrients are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and, we can find them in cereals, fruits and vegetables, dairy products and….veal.
Proteins are Indispensable
The human body consists of 10-15% protein. They form the building blocks for our body. Proteins are important for the building and maintenance of the condition of our skin, muscles, heart, organs and bones. For instance, children in their growing years need proteins for building strong bones. Pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding also require extra proteins.
Body proteins break down after awhile, so it is essential to provide a new daily supply. This is possible to achieve from the food we consume. In a varied diet, veal is an excellent choice because it supplies an important high-quality protein. The proteins in veal look qua structure a lot like human proteins. That is why the human body easily absorbs the proteins from veal. The proteins in veal are also the reason why veal is so tender.
When cooking veal, proteins decrease their water-holding capacity producing a desirable juiciness. On heating, meat generally turns brown due to the formation of an oxidized pigment, present in meat proteins. In addition, there are further changes in proteins and amino acids with production of some volatile breakdown products that contribute to the flavour and odor of cooked veal.
Proteins are made up of different amino acids. They all form different patterns that are different with each food item. In some foods, certain amino acids appear in abundance while in others, they are very low. Foods with a balanced amino acid profile contain what we call “proteins of a high quality” and are the most similar like human proteins. Therefore, these foods are the most desirable to cover the protein requirements of the consumer. Veal is One of These!
Veal is Lean
Our body needs fat, but we have to be critical of the quantity that we consume. Fats mainly supply lots of energy (calories).
The body will increase in weight if these fats are not sufficiently burned off. Research has shown that too much of a fatty diet will increase the chance of heart and coronary diseases. Not only the amount of fat that we eat plays a role but also the kinds of fats that we consume.
Saturated fats are the biggest culprits. Veal contains very little fat, not more than 10 grams of fat per 100 grams, many of them unsaturated fats and because of this, veal is considered very lean.
Fats are made up of fatty acids. There are different types that are categorized based on their chemical differences: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Because of these differences in composition, they do not react in the same way in the body. The saturated fatty acids increase the serum cholesterol content.
This is an important risk factor for heart and coronary diseases. In contrast, polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease the serum cholesterol content. After a recent investigation, monounsaturated fatty acids were also credited with this reaction.
The advice from experts are: “Of your total dietary fat intake, increase the unsaturated fats and decrease the saturated”
Proteins and fats are considered macro-nutrients. Carbohydrates also belong to this nutrient group and are a collective noun for starches and sugars – the energy suppliers. They specially appear in all grains, vegetables, fruits and other plant parts eaten by humans.
Meat and veal contain small amounts of carbohydrates.
Nevertheless, the small amount of carbohydrates that is present in veal has an important function. It ensures that when cooking veal it gets a nice brown colour. In addition, when carbohydrates are heated it creates an aromatic vapour that gives veal its nice smell and flavour.
Besides macro-nutrients, there are also micro-nutrients that we need; these are vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are chemical compounds that we find in food. There are thirteen vitamins, four are soluble in fat (vitamins A, D, E and K) and nine are soluble in water (B-complex vitamins and vitamin C). Each vitamin has its own task; for instance, they play a role in the development, restoration and the total functioning of the body.
Veal is an important source of B-complex vitamins. Veal has the advantage that in comparison little of the vitamins are lost during preparation (cooking).
Minerals are important for body growth, in the composition of the blood and the proper condition of bone structure. At the cell level, they are an indispensable ingredient for all tissues and influence the reflexes of our muscles as well as keeping our body running like a well-oiled machine.
A major concern with our diets is the consumption of iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, fluorine and zinc.
Veal is a good source of these different minerals. Often by consuming 100 grams of veal, a good foundation is laid for the recommended daily nutrient intake of minerals that we need.
Veal and Diets
For many reasons, diets must be adjusted for special needs. Some diets need to be restricted in energy, sodium, and fat; others are specifically used in cases of diabetes mellitus or digestive problems. In the case of energy restricted and diabetes mellitus diets, it is important not to use an excessive amount of fat. Veal is lean and does not add extra calories. In addition, its content in sodium is low, being an excellent source for sodium restricted diets.
A Tickling for the Tongue
Veal has many advantages. It is a valuable source of nutrients, it is tender, lean and digested easily. But above all, veal is just delicious.
The French and Italians use veal extensively because of its gastronomic qualities. You can use many methods to prepare veal such as grilling, frying, roasting or stir-fry.
Veal works very well with sauces or herbs, also with red, white or rose wines. In short, veal is a (healthy) tickling for the tongue.