How Often Should You Eat Red Meat – Is meat still edible, is a plant-based diet the way of the future, or is there a sweet spot between being healthy for us and the environment? The Healthy Food Guide looks at the science behind meat in our diet and how to get the balance right.
It’s hard to ignore the controversial opinions about eating meat that have been hitting the headlines lately. Late last year, a research review judged the evidence behind recommendations to cut back on meat consumption, saying there were very few health benefits to reducing meat consumption. However, this advice is contrary to accepted dietary advice. On the other side of the fence, vegetarians and animal rights activists argue that we should ditch meat in favor of a plant-based diet. Let’s look at the latest science.
How Often Should You Eat Red Meat
Meat has been a common cooking ingredient for as long as most of us can remember. There’s a good reason: red meat is a valuable source of iron, protein and other important nutrients like zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fats.
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Energy-boosting iron is especially important for women, who have higher needs than men in many age groups. Red meat is an easily absorbed source of iron, which helps prevent anemia. One in four Australian women do not meet their iron needs and 15 per cent suffer from anaemia. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia may include feeling tired and having difficulty concentrating.
Red meat is also a good source of muscle building protein. The latest research from the CSIRO suggests that increasing protein intake is important for weight management, as protein helps manage hunger and reduce cravings throughout the day. Lean red meat, poultry, eggs, legumes, and dairy products such as milk and yogurt are good sources of protein.
The link between red meat and various health conditions has long been known. The evidence against eating too much red meat is particularly strong for colon cancer, the world’s second biggest cancer killer. One in six new cases of stomach cancer is linked to eating too much red and processed meat (such as ham, bacon, salami and sausages).
In 2015, the World Health Organization declared processed meat a category 1 carcinogen. In other words, it says there is strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer. The Cancer Council recommends that meat eaters limit red meat to three or four times a week (no more than 700g raw weight per week) and instead choose fish, poultry and fruit on the next day. Eliminate or reduce processed meats.
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Then of course there is our heart health. Processed meat and red meat add saturated fat to our diet. Eating too much fat is associated with high cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The Australian Heart Foundation has released new guidelines on red meat intake and heart health based on the latest evidence.
“We have introduced a limit of less than 350g per week for beef, lamb, pork and processed beef,” says chief medical officer and cardiologist Gary Jennings. “It’s fatty red meat meals one to three times a week, such as Sunday roast and beef.”
Trimming fat from meat and choosing lean cuts is one way to reduce saturated fat intake. Reducing the amount of red meat and adding more vegetables to the plate is another way to prevent disease.
So if eating too much meat can cause health problems, should we all become vegetarians? Yes, you don’t have to. It comes back to one key word: moderation. There is nothing wrong with eating lean red meat. But what is ‘polite’, you may be wondering?
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The Dietary Guidelines recommend a maximum of 455 grams (600-700 grams raw) of lean red meat per week to meet iron and zinc recommendations. That’s a smaller portion (65g cooked/100g raw) if you eat it every night of the week, or a bigger portion (130g cooked/200g raw) every day.
The reality is that most of us eat close to these recommendations, eating 57 grams of lean red meat per day. However, there is a group that exceeds the maximum limit, especially when processed meat (bacon, ham, salami) is added. Yes, man.
Meat consumption is highest among males aged 19-50 years and among all adolescents aged 14-18 years. Not surprisingly, women and girls are at the lower end of the recommended meat intake – which is not ideal given the increased demand for iron.
Meat doesn’t have to leave the diet for good. Instead, focus on variety, including a variety of meats, as well as vegetables and carbohydrate foods. Here are some simple ways to get variety and balance in every meal
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Meal planning is an easy way to get more variety and more nutrients into your diet – and it saves you valuable time! Try to base your diet on a variety of proteins. For example, include lean red meat two to three times a week, fish twice a week, one or two servings of legumes, and eggs or chicken on other days.
Whether it’s perfectly cooked meat or savory meat, meat has long been the main event at the dinner table – followed by carbohydrates. Now is the time for the vegetables to shine. Instead of thinking of vegetables and salads as side dishes, come up with new ways to make them the star.
For example, make a big plate of colorful vegetables with a garlic, rosemary and sticky balsamic vinaigrette, or toss a green salad topped with crushed nuts, feta cheese and roasted pumpkin. When vegetables taste this delicious, they quickly become important – only with meat!
If your plan to cut out meat is met with some resistance—especially from the men in the house—start small by introducing a meatless dinner each week. It’s a creative way to discover new foods you’ve never tried before, like tofu, beans, and lentils — and you won’t mention the planet for your health.
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A balanced diet is mostly about getting the right portions. In general, fill half of your plate with vegetables, one quarter with protein (lean meat, chicken, fish, tofu) and one quarter with carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta or rice. Ideally, a piece of raw meat should be no bigger than the size and thickness of your palm.
Cutting out red meat (beef and lamb) of visible white fat reduces saturated fat and kilojoules in the diet. Also see our shopping guide for meat.
Not sure how much meat to buy for your family? Or you find that you always have leftovers. Use this visual guide to get right. We’ve consulted our team of nutrition and nutrition experts to provide tips on nutritional products, health supplements and nutrition products to guide you on how to safely and effectively make good food and nutrient choices. . We strive to offer products that follow the philosophy of eating well while enjoying what you eat.
Beef, pork, lamb, lamb and goat also fall under the umbrella of “red” meat, which is pink or red when raw (and darker when cooked). These animal products are high in essential nutrients like protein, iron and vitamin B12 – and if you’re a meat eater, you might even find them delicious. Savory, juicy and full of flavor, red meat is a favorite among Americans. Statistics show that in 2021 alone, Americans will eat about 111.5 pounds of red meat per person. Given this large amount, you might wonder what would happen to your body if you ate this large portion (or more) regularly.
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However, there are reasons for the increase in plant-based consumption, experts have historically challenged the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to make more specific recommendations about eating red meat, and health organizations such as the World Cancer Research Fund recommend limiting red meat. Meat no more than three times a week. Despite the many nutrients in red meat, it turns out, the news isn’t all it’s cracked up to be—especially when it’s not eaten in a healthy way.
Although information about red meat is unclear, knowing the potential benefits and side effects of eating red meat on a daily basis can help you make informed decisions about what you choose to put in your body. With that said, here are the potential side effects of eating red meat every day. And for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out what happens to your body when you eat a salad every day.
Meats such as beef and veal are among the highest protein foods. For example, a 3-ounce serving of venison contains 26 grams of protein, and a 4-ounce serving contains 23 grams. Since the daily value for protein is 50 grams, including these meats each day will definitely bring you closer to your goal.
Cholesterol – both LDL (the “bad” kind)
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