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A bit of meat goes a long way

New ingredients, new ways of cooking and increasing consciousness of healthy eating1 – have all helped change the meat we eat today and help it remain an important part of our diet2,3.

Meat is a key source of protein and other nutrients, such as iodine, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and essential fatty acids4. On the whole, the nutritional differences between different meats are not great5 though lean red meat stands out as a good source of iron4.

In the Australian Dietary Guidelines, meat is found alongside other foods high in protein (such as fish and tofu) with the recommendation that adults eat 2-3 serves of food from this section every day. Processed meats are not included here, as they can be high in added salt and saturated fat6.

Examples of daily recommended servings of meat and poultry6:
• 65g cooked lean red meats
• 2 slices of roast meat
• 80g cooked poultry e.g. chicken, turkey.

To reduce intake of fat, the Heart Foundation recommends that meat should be trimmed of all visible fat and chicken have its skin removed7. There is some evidence that a diet that favours protein from meat can help with weight management8,9. For people with Osteoarthritis this may be an important benefit as weight management can help reduce pressure on joints10.

We are, however, advised to be moderate in our consumption of meat as high consumption can be harmful for health6.

Last, but not least, meat can be flavoursome and delicious. Why not try this recipe for Beef Stir Fry with Cashews.
  1. University of Wollongong, Research online.
  2. Cancer Council of NSW.
  3. Johnson A. Beef and Lamb New Zealand,April 2009.
  4. Eat for Health.
  5. Nistor E, et al. J Anim Prod Adv 2013;3(4):172-176.
  6. Australian Government, National Health and Medical Research Council, Department of Health and Ageing. Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2013.
  7. Heart Foundation, Healthy eating and drinking.
  8. CSIRO The Total Wellbeing Diet: Science behind the diet.
  9. Wyld B, et al. Public Health Nutrition 2010;13(12):2105-2110.
  10. US Department of Heath & Human Services, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. August, 2013.
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