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Is meat and poultry good for you?

Find out what meat and poultry will provide you with the most protein and nutrients

Is meat and poultry good for you?

Nutrition is confusing and this rings especially true when it comes to meat. In short, meat and poultry are great sources of protein and other nutrients that we need like iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins and essential (good) fats. However, there are many kinds of meats out there and we should be careful of which ones we choose.

In short, it is best to stick to unprocessed, lean cuts of meat to avoid taking in too much salt and saturated (bad) fats. This means laying off the salami and sausages and sticking to chicken breast and low-fat cuts of steak.

How much is enough?

Advice on how much meat to is confusing – eat enough, but don’t eat too much. The Australian dietary guidelines recommend that you eat 1-3 serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes or beans every day. To make sure that we get enough iron and zinc, half of these should be lean red meat.

A standard serve of meat or poultry is:

  • 65 grams cooked lean red meat such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat or kangaroo
  • 80 grams cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey

How much is too much?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend up to 455g cooked lean meat per week and limiting processed meats (such as ham and bacon) to avoid the health risks associated with eating these foods. The main health risk associated with processed meat is the increased likelihood of colorectal cancer.

If you think you are eating too much meat, try and replace some of it with another food group that you are not eating enough of (hint: it’s most likely going to be vegetables). 

Sources:

https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/1in3cancers/lifestyle-choices-and-cancer/red-meat-processed-meat-and-cancer/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/Meat-and-poultry

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/Meat-and-poultry

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