Top tips for a healthy diet lower in red and processed meat

We often hear in the news we should reduce our meat intake, yet many of us are guilty of consuming it at most meals. In essence we are confused about what it means to 'reduce our meat intake', how much we should reduce it by and what benefits we would reap.

It is recommended we consume no more than 70g of cooked red or processed meat a day. 


What does 70g equate to?

A full English with 2 sausages and 3 rashers of bacon = 70g meat

The average portion of spaghetti bolognaise = 100g meat    


Why should we reduce the amount of red and processed meat in our diet? 

1.      Reduces our risk of coronary heart disease: Saturated fat and added salt in both red and processed meats increase our risk of coronary heart disease

2.      Reduces our risk developing cancer:  Processed meat is classified as a definite cause of cancer and red meat is a probable cause 


Red meat = Beef, lamb, pork

Processed meat = bacon, sausages, ham, salami, pepperoni


Simple swaps

1)      Swap your mince: Opt for the lowest fat content - 5%

2)      Try meat free mince

3)      Change the type of sausage you buy

  • Opt for pork sausages lower in saturated fat

  • Swap to a chicken sausage – lower in saturated fat and a white meat

  • Swap to a meat free sausage

4)      Increase the vegetable, bean and lentil content of your meals to reduce the             meat content

5)      Swap red meat for white meat – turkey or chicken. White meat is not shown             to increase our risk of coronary heart disease or cancer

6)      Reduce the portion, only 1/4 of our plate should be meat

6)      Aim for a meat free meal at least once a week


Could you try making one simple swap this week as a way of reducing your red and processed meat intake? 


If you need inspiration for meat free meals or would like more information on the benefits of reducing your meat intake please visit: