How to get enough nutrition without eating too much red meat

If you are a red meat eater, chances are you eat more than you should. According to the latest statistics, Australians consume an average of 81 grams of red meat a day. (2.86 ounces).

The “Earth Healthy Diet” was developed by researchers to meet the nutritional needs of people around the world while reducing the environmental impact of food production. It recommends reducing our daily red meat intake to around 14 grams (less than 1/2 ounce). This is about 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of red meat per week.

Australia’s dietary guidelines are more conservative, and it is recommended to limit the intake of red meat to a maximum of 455 grams per week, or 65 grams per day, to reduce the additional cancer risk associated with eating large amounts of red meat.

So what should you eat? How can you ensure that you have enough protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12?


Animal protein sources provide essential amino acids, and the body uses amino acids to make muscles, tissues, hormones, neurotransmitters, and different cells and antibodies in the immune system.

Earth Healthy Diet provides a great blueprint for getting enough protein from a variety of other animal sources. The report recommends, on average:

25 grams of chicken per day

28 grams of fish per day

1.5 eggs per week

200 grams of milk per day

50 grams of cheese per day.

In addition to 14 grams of red meat in the Earth’s healthy diet, these foods provide 45 grams of protein a day, which is 80% of the protein we need every day.

The remaining protein needs (11 grams) is easily obtained from plant foods, including nuts, beans, beans and whole grains.


Iron is essential to many functions of the body, including the delivery of oxygen to the blood. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, a state of fatigue and drowsiness. Premenopausal women need 18 mg per day, while men only need 8 mg. Premenopausal women need more iron because they lose blood during menstruation.

So, how can I get enough iron?

Of course, beef is rich in iron and contains 3.3 mg per 100 grams.

The same amount of chicken breast contains 0.4 mg, while the chicken thigh (dark color) is slightly higher at 0.9 mg. The iron content of pork is also very low, only 0.7 mg. However, 4.1 mg of iron is available per 100 grams of kangaroo meat. Yes, the kangaroo is a red meat, but it produces less methane emissions and a saturated fat content of only one-third of beef, making it a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative.

The iron content of plant proteins is also high: 1.7 mg of iron per 100 g of cooked cowpeas and 2.37 mg of iron per 100 g of red beans.

If you want to reduce the red meat intake from an average of 81 grams to 14 grams per day and get the same amount of iron, you will need to consume 50 grams of kangaroo, 100 grams of brown lentils or 150 grams of red per day. Kidney beans.


Zinc is an important mineral that helps maintain optimal body function. It affects everything we do, from our ability to fight bugs to our sense of smell and taste.

Due to the role of zinc in sperm production and development, men (14 mg per day) have a higher demand for zinc than women (8 mg per day).

Among all meat sources, beef provides the most zinc, containing 8.2 mg per 100 grams. Chicken breast is only 0.68 mg, while chicken thigh is only 2 mg. The zinc content of kangaroo meat is lower than that of beef, which is 3.05 mg. The most abundant source of zinc is oysters (48.3 mg). Every 100 grams of lentils, red kidney beans and chickpeas contain about 1.0 mg of vitamin D.

To make up for the lack of zinc from red meat intake, you can eat 12 oysters a day, but this is unlikely. Or you can also eat some combination of foods, such as 150 grams of red kidney beans, one (30 grams) of zinc-added cereals, such as Weet-bix, three slices of whole wheat bread, and a mix of nuts (30 grams).

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is important for healthy blood and nerve function. It is the nutrient that people care most about because it only exists in animal sources. The daily demand for vitamin B12 in women and men is the same, 2.4 micrograms.

2.5 micrograms per 100 grams of beef and kangaroo, and 0.6 micrograms per 100 grams of chicken and turkey.

Dairy products also contain vitamin B12. A cup of milk can satisfy half of your daily needs (1.24 micrograms), and a piece of cheese (20 micrograms) can provide one-fifth (0.4 micrograms).

Spinach and fermented foods contain trace amounts of vitamin B12, but these levels are not enough to meet your nutritional needs. However, the content of mushrooms has been high, containing 5 micrograms per 100 grams of shiitake mushrooms.

In order to reduce the intake of red meat to supplement the deficiency of vitamin B12, you need to eat 75 grams of kangaroo meat a day, or drink a cup of milk (200 ml) plus a piece of cheese (20 grams). Or, put a slice of dried mushrooms in your salad or stir-fry.

Don’t forget the fiber

A recent study found that 25 to 29 grams of fiber per day can reduce the incidence of many chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and bowel cancer.

However, most Australian adults currently have low dietary fiber levels of about 20 grams per day.

You will also increase your dietary fiber levels by making some of the above changes and increasing the intake of meat substitutes such as beans. You can eat 5 grams of fiber by eating 100 grams of lentils a day.

With some forward-looking plans, it’s easy to switch red meat to other animal products and healthier, more environmentally friendly non-meat substitutes.