Nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton dispelled myths surrounding red meat, cancer, diabetes and heart disease at this year’s HCC Conference.
There were no health advantages of giving up red meat and the industry should be shouting about the quality protein red meat provides.
That was the message from dietician Dr Carrie Ruxton as she challenged claims about links between red meat and cancer, diabetes and heart conditions at the HCC Conference.
She said, given some of the media coverage of red meat and nutritional issues, people were understandably confused. But the evidence which had been used in scare stories was ‘weak’ and based on association not causation.
“Red meat is the most readily available source of iron and zinc, and includes a range of other nutrients, so blanket public health messages risk undermining future nutrient intake, among young people,” she said.
Dr Ruxton said the messages to eat less red meat were aimed at the small amount of the population eating more than 90g per day.
Despite these being mainly men, it was women responding by cutting down on red meat, which could affect their iron intake when many women were already not meeting requirements.
She showed how well lean red meat compared with alternative proteins, including cheese and fish, and concluded there was no advantage to switching.
In response to a question asking if consumers had ‘switched off’ listening to advice, she said people seemed to be uninterested in negative messages and the industry needed to promote the benefits, how to cook it and ‘then say it is good for you too’.