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2 min read
Eating beef and lamb provides a rich food source of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients. But the health impacts aren’t all positive with scientific evidence suggesting there are health benefits with reducing red meat intake...

The World Cancer Research Fund highlights the greater the amount of red meat consumed, the higher the risk of some cancers, with strong scientific evidence finding red met increases risk of colorectal (bowel) cancer. This is supported by the Australian Dietary Guidelines that state the consumption of more than 100-120 grams of red meat per day increases risk of colorectal cancer. An international meta-analysis (a review of other studies) found red meat intake was associated with mortality related to cardiovascular disease.


How much is too much?

According to the Dietary Guidelines (published almost a decade ago in 2013), one serve of lean red meat is equivalent to 65 grams cooked weight, and Australian’s should aim to eat a maximum of 455g of red meat per week for health reasons. Lean red meat is recommended due to its high saturated fat content and it's impact on heart health. 


The International EAT-Lancet commission into healthy and environmentally sustainable diets (published in 2019) recommended a maximum of 28 grams of either beef, lamb or pork daily (or on average 100g per week), for health and environmental reasons.


If eaten in small amounts, lean red meat can be a good source of essential vitamins, minerals and protein. However, it does not need to be the hero of a dish, rather a condiment eaten occasionally.


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