Is red meat good for my health?
In line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, eating red meat in three to four healthy, balanced meals a week is recommended for a healthy diet.
Australian beef, lamb and goat meat all contain 12 essential nutrients recommended for good health, including protein, iron, zinc, omega-3s, B vitamins (B12, B6, B5, niacin, riboflavin), magnesium, selenium and phosphorous.
So how is that good for you? Well…
- Iron is particularly important for growth and development during early childhood and for wellbeing in women of child-bearing age.
- Zinc supports a healthy immune system to help fight infections
- Protein is important for muscle health, which can help maintain independence in later years.
Does eating red meat increase the risk of chronic disease?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends foods in the Australian diet in amounts that provide Australians with a nutritionally adequate and healthy diet recommended for good health.
Red meat is popular and plays an important role in the Australian diet as a source of protein, iron, zinc, omega-3s and vitamin B12.
Red meat is an excellent source of protein, iron and zinc making it easier to meet amounts recommended for good health, especially when energy (I.e. kcal or kJ) intake is restricted. These essential nutrients are important for brain and muscle development and function, muscle health, immunity and wellbeing.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends Australian have 455g of lean, cooked red meat per week as part of three to four healthy, balanced meals. Having a variety of recommended foods and amounts is important for managing chronic disease risk factors such as high blood cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and weight gain.
Did you know?
- Vegans and vegetarians need to get one and half times more iron and zinc from their diet compared to people who eat meat, fish and poultry. Iron and zinc in red meat is better absorbed by the body compared to iron and zinc from plant foods.
- Lean red meat has similar amounts of saturated fat compared to skinless chicken. Trimmed of separable fat, lean beef has on average 1g saturated fat per 100g raw weight.
- Zinc, an important nutrient for healthy bone development, fertility and immunity, is readily absorbed by our bodies from red meat, whereas zinc found in plant foods is not well absorbed.