Prof Annie S Anderson, Professor of Public Health Nutrition, University of Dundee
Thank you twitter followers for a great set of questions relating to our articles on the revision of the Scottish dietary goals and the Eatwell guide. These are some of the questions raised and evidence based answers:
The Eatwell guidance says “If you eat more than 90g of red or processed meat per day, try to cut down to no more than 70g per day”.
Providing guidance on a daily basis does not mean we need to eat red/processed meat every day but rather over the course of a week we should not exceed 500g (cooked weight). Most people find it easier to visualise meat consumption by what it looks like on their plate on a daily basis rather than weekly and 70g x 7 days is approx. 500g per week! This guidance is not a recommendation to make sure you eat this amount (i.e not essential for health) but rather the amount that should not be exceeded.
It is thought that many people find a 70g portion rather small so it might be more acceptable (in both a culinary and social sense) to:
Environmental concerns are another good reason to minimise meat consumption. The Eatwell guide says the recommendations are a guide to help you eat healthier and more sustainable food, but it isn’t very specific about environmental issues.
Readers might like to see the Livewell report produced by WWF and the Rowett Research Institute or the Livewell website.
No – ideally processed meat intake would be as low as possible, preferably absent. The European Code Against Cancer is very clear on this with a strong message to avoid processed meats. Current intakes of the population average at around 20g per day but it is clear that many sub groups of the population eat more – notably men and people living in more deprived areas. It really is time to get the sausages, pies and other processed meats out of regular menus!
This article was originally published in The SCPN Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 3. Read the newsletter below using Issuu, or feel free to download the PDF…View the PDF