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10 Reasons to moderate meat intake and eat more veggies.

10 Reasons to reduce meat intake

1.  Firstly let me emphasise, meat is an excellent source of nutrients including protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins.  However some of us may be eating too much meat.  As with all foods moderation, quality and balance is important.

NHRMC and Bowel Cancer Australia indicate a healthy adult should limit consumption to approximately 450-500g per week.

A healthy adult male is recommended to eat approximately 3 serves and a woman 2 1/2 serves per day where a single serving size equates to:

  • 50-65g cooked lean red meat. Approximately 80-100g raw.
  • 70-80g cooked chicken or turkey without skin. Approx. 80-100g raw.
  • 70-90g cooked or smoked fish. Approximately 90115g raw.

2.  There are also a wide range of plant foods sources offering good sources of zinc, B vitamins, iron and selenium.

3.  Plant foods contain additional nutrients and substances essential for optimal health, in particular they are a source of fibre not found in meat.

4.  A wide variety of plant foods contain good sources of protein e.g. seed grains like quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millet, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes (beans, chick peas and lentils).

5.  There are good sources of B12 in foods other than meat e.g. dairy, eggs and fortified grains.

6.  Most Aussies are only eating half of the fruit and veg they need.  Healthy adults should aim for 2 serves of fruit and 5-6 serve of veggies each day.

7.  You can combine plant foods to include all of your essential amino acids in your diet.  e.g. lentils and grains or beans and corn.  And you can add a Vitamin C food to your meal to promote absorption of non-haem iron.

8.  Just as with any foods eaten in excess, meat eaten in excess will contribute to overweight or obesity.

9.  Very high protein diets (e.g. 200g+ per day) may place a strain on the kidneys.  Ammonia is a by-product of protein metabolism is excreted in urine.  Excessive amounts of protein can place a heavy workload on the kidneys and high levels of ammonia are dangerous to the body.

10.  A healthy plate is approximately 50% veg, 25% quality protein and 25% quality carbs.

And were you aware that by moderating your meat intake you may be able to help reduce greenhouse gasses whilst you improve your health.

What is not to like.  So I encourage you to join in on Meat Free Week.

More info?

In my role as a nutritionist I am on the expert panel for Meat Free Week being run in 2015 from 23rd to 29th March.

For more info on how to take part go to the Meat Free website.

Wishing you good health.

ciao Jan