Is red meat healthy for you?

When we look at the nutritional composition of red meat, such as beef, it contains many beneficial nutrients. Here’s a quick glance at it’s nutritional value:

  • High quality protein – Animal sources of protein such as beef are a complete protein source containing all essential amino acids required by the body for many processes including growth and development and for promoting lean muscle mass. Including quality sources of protein in your diet also helps with appetite control and keeps your satisfied for longer.
  • Easily absorbable iron – Iron carries oxygen around the body, prevents anaemia, is important for a healthy immune system and muscle development and is needed for energy. A lack of iron can contribute to iron deficiency, fatigue, feeling irritable, anxiety, poor concentration and reduced immunity. Heme-iron (only found in muscle meat such as found in beef) is more efficiently absorbed in the body than plant-derived foods.
  • Zinc – This important mineral helps to keep your immune system healthy.
  • Vitamin B12 – Is needed for a healthy nervous system and blood formation. Animal derived foods such as beef are the only dietary source of vitamin B12.
  • B group vitamins (such as niacin – vitamin B3, riboflavin – vitamin B2 and vitamin B6) – needed for producing energy from food.
  • Omega 3 essential fatty acids – supports brain function and heart health.
  • Beef is also high in carnosine, which may reduce fatigue and improve exercise performance.

How do you make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients in your diet?

  • Include a small palm sized amount of portion in main meals.
  • Include a variety of protein sources in your weekly meal plans, including some good quality red meat such as Australian beef.
  • Accompany or incorporate an abundance of vegetables into your meat dishes to create balance, variety and flavour.

My tips for how to include red meat healthily into your diet:

  • Choose good quality meat (such as Australian beef).
  • Avoid processed meats (such as non-organic sausages, salami, canned meats and deli meats).
  • Vary your cuts. Think beyond just a steak and embrace different ways to include meat into your diet. I encourage you to try cooking something new with a lesser known secondary cut! This includes brisket, silverside, beef cheek, hanger steak or tri-tip. If you're unsure where to get these cuts from head to your local butcher, they'll also be able to provide the best cooking methods for each too.
  • Pair your meat with a variety of delicious vegetables to balance your meals nutritionally.
  • Serve a variety of at least 3 different vegetables.
  • Enjoy palm-sized portions of red meat such as beef 3 to 4 times a week as part of a balanced meal.

Why choose Australian beef?

  • Here in Australia have access to some of the best beef in the world, grown on our beautiful land for generations of Australian farmers. Much love, care and dedication goes into producing it. Beef is one of the most nutrient dense proteins available and good for you!
  • Australia’s good quality beef prides itself on taste, quality, flavour as well as nutrition.
  • Beef is a very versatile protein and can be used in many different recipes you and your family will love.
  • We can celebrate a variety of different cuts beyond a steak! I love choosing cuts perfect for slow cookingsuch as beef cheek, bolar roast or topside, or mince because its so easy to cook.
  • This nutritious, iron-rich protein is easy to incorporate into meals your family will love.

For healthy recipes using red meat such as Australian Beef here's my recipe for Pulled Beef Sliders.

This blog post was written by a qualified nutritionist for Australian Beef.

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