Is Red Meat Bad For You Or Not? Here's A Dietitian's Take On The Controversial New 'Guidelines'

Is Red Meat Bad For You Or Not? Here’s A Dietitian’s Take On The Controversial New ‘Guidelines’

by | Oct 2, 2019

There’s a ton of info out there that proves red meat – in excess – isn’t great for our health. In fact, for years experts have advised that cutting back consumption can significantly lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. So when a controversial new report contradicting this was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week, many were up in arms.

RELATED: The Heart Foundation Recommends We Eat More Cheese And Less Meat

The report was put together by NutriRECS, a group of International nutritionists and health researchers who analysed data from 76-previously-conducted trials involving more than 800,000 participants. The official takeaway was this:

“The certainty of evidence for the potential adverse health outcomes associated with meat consumption was low to very low, supported by the similar effect estimates for red meat and processed meat consumption from dietary pattern studies as from studies directly addressing red meat and processed meat intake.”

“There was a very small and often trivial absolute risk reduction based on a realistic decrease of three servings of red or processed meat per week.”

Put simply? They reckon reducing our intake of both unprocessed red meat and processed meat is a “weak recommendation” and adults should “continue their current consumption” as is.



Needless to say, doctors and dieticians aren’t impressed – especially since this report involved no new research. Plus, the findings are in direct contrast those from more credible sources, like The Heart Foundation and Dietitians Association of Australia.

“This study has the potential to misinform the public about what constitutes a balanced diet,” practising dietitian Natalie Von Bertouch tells Women’s Health. “In moderation, meat is safe to eat and high in protein and iron. That said, cutting back on red meat to no more than 455g cooked and limiting or avoiding processed meats is generally better for our overall health.”

Her advice? “Reserve red meat for special occasions and swap it out for vegetables, fish and chicken where possible.”


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There you have it: the official word on the matter is to take the report with a grain of salt – just remember to hold the steak.

RELATED: Eating Cheese Toasties Could Be The Key To Living Longer, Study Says 

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