Red meat ‘essential’ for healthy diet
Dubai, April 23, 2011
Seventy-three per cent of health professionals and 74 per cent of consumers in the GCC answered affirmatively the question of whether red meat was essential for a healthy and balanced diet, in two recent surveys.
Sixty per cent of health professionals maintained that trimmed red meat is low in saturated fat and 44 per cent among them stated that red meat has more essential nutrients, specifically iron and zinc, than other meat or plant proteins, added the surveys conducted by two leading regional independent research agencies.
The surveys commissioned by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), the marketing arm of Australian lamb and beef meat exporters, involved 75 health professionals (dietitians and GPs) in the UAE and 900 consumers from the GCC.
Thirty-five per cent of health professionals and consumers respondents indicated that red meat should be taken twice a week, but another 29 per cent of consumers considered the ideal intake should be three to four times per week.
According to 47 per cent of health professionals, the ideal portion of red meat in each intake is between 50g and 100g whilst 24 per cent increased the quantity to between 100 and 200g.
“In general, the findings of the surveys are consistent with nutrition evidence which clearly shows that trimmed red meat is an important source of essential vitamins and minerals,” said Veronique Droulez, marketing manager – nutrition, Meat & Livestock Australia.
“There is good evidence that red meat 3 to 4 times a week as part of a healthy, balanced diet meets iron and zinc requirements, helping to prevent iron and zinc deficiencies in groups at risk such as young children and women of childbearing age.”
“Australian red meat, which is predominantly grass fed, is a source of omega-3 as well as B vitamins and we have good evidence that healthy, trimmed red meat diets contribute to improvements in blood pressure and metabolic markers of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” Droulez added.
“We believe that moderation in the consumption of all foods is critical for weight management and consequently we recommend consumers enjoy portion sizes of between 100 and 200g of trimmed meat three to four times a week together with plenty of vegetables."
Lachlan Bowtell, regional manager, MLA – MEA, said: “Australian lamb and beef are widely consumed in the ME region, and we feel it’s our duty to reach out to consumers and nutritionists in this region and explain to them the benefits of Australian meat which has become the core component of signature courses in hotels and restaurants as well as on individuals’ tables.”
“The surveys have proved that Health professionals and consumers in the region have adequate knowledge of the nutritional value of red meat. We will make sure nutritional facts about our products are always efficiently communicated to our consumers in this region and we won’t tolerate but the highest quality of halal, safe, tasty and nutritional lamb and beef be served to them,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service