Women and children below recommended amounts

According to the latest national nutrition survey, Australian women and children are not meeting the recommended 65g/day of red meat, whereas men are having slightly more than recommended (see Table 1).

The previous national nutrition survey reported consumption of lean red meat at 99g/day for men and 54g/day for women. While these findings are not comparable, as different methods were used to collect the data, the pattern of low consumption among women and higher consumption among men is consistent.

Average meat intake

Recommendations in practice

Consumption of 455g/week cooked red meat (650g raw weight) as 100 to 200g portions (raw weight), three to four times a week is recommended.

About 30% of weight loss occurs when cooking lean meat, hence 65g cooked meat equates to approximately 100g raw weight.

While a serve size is defined as 65g of cooked meat, a flexible approach is recommended to accommodate individual preferences and different meal choices. For example, 130g cooked weight every second day is an acceptable alternative.

Providing a range allows for different amounts of meat required to prepare typical meals. For instance, 100g portions are suitable for stir fries and spaghetti bolognaise, whereas steaks are typically 200g raw weight and casseroles often provide for 150g raw weight per person.

Practical weight guide for popular red meat cuts (after trimming)
Cut100g* raw200g raw
Steak 1 medallion
1 lamb leg steak
1 minute steak
1 regular steak
Roast 1 slice 2 slices
Chops (boneless) 1 small 1 large
Cutlet (boneless) 1 cutlet 2 cutlets
Strips 10 thin strips 20 thin strips
Diced 5 small cubes 10 small cubes

*100g raw = 70g cooked (FSANZ)

References:

  • NHMRC (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council
  • NHMRC (2012) Infant Feeding Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council
  • NHMRC (2011) A Modelling system to inform the revision of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Preliminary findings from a secondary analysis conducted by University of Sydney, as yet unpublished using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 4364.0.55.007, Australian Health Survey, 2011-12 - Australia.
  • Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, NUTTAB 2010 online searchable database, accessed at http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/nuttab2010/nuttab2010onlinesearchabledatabase/onlineversion.cfm
  • Byrne R et al (2014) Aus NZ J Public Health 38;326-31; doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12249