Healthy Living

How Healthy is Red Meat?

At the recent Nursing in Practice conference held in Cardiff, nursing and health professionals gathered to improve their knowledge about the health benefits of eating red meat and the vital role it plays in a healthy diet.

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) were present to improve knowledge and understanding of the importance of red meat in a health context.

The conference, which is held annually, drew in an audience of 200 nurses and community healthcare workers from across Wales and the surrounding areas, all very keen to improve their knowledge and development on a professional level.

There was lots of discussion on how the role of red meat in a balanced diet could contribute to patient and client health. Attendees were also challenged to test their red meat knowledge with a survey, which showed that 100% of delegates would recommend red meat to patients who are iron deficient or anaemic.

The HCC’s Consumer Executive Elwen Roberts said: “It was great to see so many nurses and healthcare practitioners genuinely interested in the relationship between red meat and health. Many of the people we spoke to were already aware that Welsh red meat was a great source of protein, but left with a greater understanding of how Welsh red meat plays a pivotal role in a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Many delegates were surprised to learn that 100g of standard cottage cheese actually has more fat than 100g of lean grilled pork which goes to show some of the misconceptions around red meat being healthy.”

HCC’s continued work on promoting red meat as an important part of a healthy and balanced diet comes after the annual HCC Conference in November which had health high on the agenda and featured leading dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton.

Dr Ruxton dispelled many of the myths about red meat, and presented evidence that moderate consumption of lean red meat has no link to cancer, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol. She emphasised that: “Lean lamb, beef and pork are rich in protein and important nutrients for health, such as iron, zinc, vitamin D and B vitamins. Many people in society, particularly the elderly, women, girls and young children often lack these nutrients and could benefit from eating more red meat.”

The health benefits of red meat has been hot topic for news recently. Most recently it has been discussed that the health benefits of red meat and dairy products need to be highlighted more, according to research done by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The research confirmed that consumers’ have a growing appetite for and the attention on the health benefits of red meat, concluding that the behaviours at the moment of purchase can be influenced with the appropriate and effective nutritional communication.

If communicated better, the consumption of beef would increase among 50% of its consumers, 48% for lamb and 51% for dairy.

Laura Ryan, AHDB’s strategy director for Beef & Lamb also commented, saying: “AHDB has been working tirelessly for the promotion of the health benefits of red meat – not least, with the publication of three guides, one for beef, one for lamb and one for pork, telling health professionals, retailer and producers exactly what nutritional claims can be made about red meat.

In this way, AHDB can help consumers understand why the consumption of lean beed as part of a healthy balanced diet can legitimately be promoted as making a positive contribution to the diet and health. For example, beef is naturally rich in protein, low in sodium and provides eight vitamins and minerals that contribute towards good health and wellbeing.”

A little food for thought there. Many consumers are aware of multiple negative associations for red meat and health, so why not consider adapting marketing messages to educate customers in the health benefits of eating your beef, lamb or pork, in your establishment. Of course though, not only is the right marketing message key, the quality of the product you are selling is too.

So if you’re interested in changing suppliers to one of the South Coast’s leading catering butchers, then be sure to give us a call on 01424 730417. We deliver wholesale meat and other produce to customers in SussexKentSurrey and further afield by arrangement…

(Sources: HCC & AHDB)

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