Red meat important to diet, says specialist

Dietary deficiencies across the population suggest certain groups should increase their consumption of red meat as it’s nutrient-rich and contains vital vitamins and minerals.

That’s the conclusion of dietician Dr Carrie Ruxton, speaking at the Sustaining the Health of the Nation conference in London yesterday.

Dr Ruxton said that a 2010 study showed that 30% of calories in adult diets came from treat foods, such as crisps and biscuits, which resulted in the low intake of certain nutrients such as selenium and iron in women.

This leads to the risk of dietary deficiencies – for instance, 16% of adult women and 30% of teenage women have low iron stores.

One-fifth of adults have a vitamin D deficiency. “This is from a lack of sun and a lack of dietary sources – meat has a potential role to play here,” said Dr Ruxton.

She listed six key areas where red meat has a role in health, including heart health, mental function, hormone regulation and strong bones and teeth.

“Some women don’t eat enough red meat, some men eat too much,” said Dr Ruxton. “Some groups of people do need to increase their red meat intake and there are good nutritional reasons why.”

See the whole conference summarised in tweets.


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