With barbecues on the rise due to the summer season, it is easier than ever to make sure you are getting enough iron-rich red organic beef and lamb into your diet, but how much is too much?
Australians are among the biggest consumers of meat in the world, with around 31.7 kilograms consumed per person between 2011-2012, according to Victoria’s Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
Why is it important to eat red meat?
Red meat is a great source of iron, selenium, zinc, B12 and other B vitamins, important for maintaining good overall health and wellbeing.
Beef and lamb contain heme iron, which is easier for the body to absorb than the non-heme iron found in green, leafy vegetables. Those with low stores of iron can become tired and it can compromise the immune system. Women are particularly prone to iron deficiency.
Men on the other hand need to keep up their zinc consumption as this is good for reproductive health. Red meat is a great source of this mineral.
Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for reducing inflammation and help feed the brain can be found in lean grass-fed beef and lamb.
How much should we be eating?
The amount of red meat you need to consume can vary depending on your individual needs, but the Department of Health recommends Australians have 3-4 servings of red meat every week.
A serving size is around 60 – 100 grams of cooked meat, according to the Australian dietary guidelines.
The Ministry of Health advises Australians to avoid processed meats and recommend eating 455g of lean, cooked, red meat per week.
The Heart Foundation advises that visible fat should be cut from the meat and recommend you also serve plenty of vegetables alongside your meat.