The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is a group within the World Health Organisation, and have released its evaluation on red and processed meats and cancer, resulting in media attention in Australia.
When it comes to red meat, The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) supports the recommendations of the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG). The Guidelines recommend up to 455g cooked lean red meat per week. They also recommend limiting processed meat, such as ham and bacon to reduce some of the health risks associated with eating these foods.
Lean red meat has a valuable place in the Australian diet, providing an important source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12. However, regular consumption of greater than 100-120g/ day of cooked red meat has been linked with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
To get all of the nutritional benefits from meat and to help you stay healthy, DAA recommends:
- Limit your weekly intake of lean red meat to a maximum of 455g per week
- Choose lean cuts of meat and trim off the visible fat
- Limit your intake of processed meats
- Try to avoid burning or charring meat, and if barbequing, using a marinade can help
Note: In the Australian Dietary Guidelines ham, bacon, sausages and deli or luncheon meats are not recommended, however lean, lower salt sausages may be included as part of the 455g/ week recommendation.
Source: Dietitians Association of Australia – Media Release