Nutrition and Health

Red meat in the diet

“The majority of the population in most developed countries consume meat and meat products, and meat makes a significant contribution to nutrient intake for most individuals. In addition, meat can be a versatile food that adds variety to eating occasions and is enjoyed by many. Some people choose not to eat meat, for a variety of reasons, but as there is no evidence that a moderate intake of lean red meat has any negative effects on health, there is currently no real scientific justification for excluding it from the diet. Therefore, as recommended in healthy eating advice around the world, lean red meat, consumed in moderation, can be promoted as part of a healthy balanced diet.”

This is the final paragraph in a recent paper published in the British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 30, 323-325 entitled “Red Meat in the Diet”, by C.S. Williamson, R.K. Foster, S.A. Stanner and J.L Buttriss.


The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the existing scientific literature on the role of red meat in the diet. It discusses current levels of red meat intake, the nutritional benefits of consuming red meat, dietary and lifestyle factors associated with meat consumption and the effects of red meat intake on health and chronic disease outcomes.

The British Nutrition Foundation is a scientific and educational charity which promotes the well being of society through the impartial interpretation and effective dissemination of evidence-based nutritional knowledge and advice. Its Nutrition Bulletin is published by Blackwell Publishing