Nutritional Value

What is red meat’s nutritional value in the Australian diet?

Key findings

  • When trimmed of separable fat, the nutritional value of lean meat is similar across the different beef and lamb cuts. This means all beef and lamb cuts are good protein sources of iron and zinc2.
  • Lean meat is a popular choice in the Australian diet with many Australians either buying meat lean or trimming fat during meal preparation or after cooking 3,4,5.
  • The availability of lean meat cuts and products has increased over the last 20 years with no significant differences between urban and rural regions or socio-economic areas6.



Retail studies of the nutrient composition of beef, lamb, veal and mutton available for purchase in Australia1,2,3,4,5. The data was reviewed by FSANZ and is accessible from the FSANZ Australian Food Composition database.
1.       Williams P., et al (2002). Composition of Australian red meat 2002. 3. Nutrient Profile. Food Australia 2007(59), pp. 331-341.
2.       Droulez V., et al (2002) Nutrient composition of Australian red meat. 2. Fatty acid profile. Food Australia, (58) pp.335-341.
3.       Williams P., et al (2002). Composition of Australian red meat 2002. 1. Gross Composition. Food Australia 58(4): pp. 173-181.
4.       Cunningham, J., et al. (2015). Nutrient Composition of Retail Samples of Australian Beef Sausages. Nutrients, [online] 7(11), pp.9602-9617. 
5.       Fayet-Moore, F., et al. (2014). Fat Content and Composition in Retail Samples of Australian Beef Mince. Nutrients, [online] 6(6), pp.2217-2228. 
6.       Williams P., et al. (2010) Australian red meat consumption – implications of changes over 20 years on nutrient composition, 62(3) pp. 87-94.