Let’s talk about meat – updates from the heart foundation

Following on from our last blog, the heart foundation has also updated their guidelines on meat and poultry consumption!

Did you know that Australia is one of the biggest meat-eating countries in the WORLD, consuming more meat than what is recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines? The average intake is Australia is 560g a week – but we should be eating no more than 350g a week! HOOLY DOOLY.

A high consumption of meat, particularly red meat, processed meat and the skin on chicken, is associated with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (heart disease or stroke). This is because of the higher saturated fat and salt content.

There are some simple ways to reduce the amount of saturated fat in these products such as:

  • Trimming the fat off all meats
  • Choosing leaner varieties (e.g. choosing a rump steak with fat removed over a angus beef)
  • Trim the skin off chicken
  • Adding herbs, spices, lemon juice of zest for flavouring, as opposed to salt and butter.
  • Fish and seafood
  • Legumes (e.g. chickpeas, cannellini beans, lentils)
  • Tofu

Protein choices that are naturally lower in salt and saturated fat include:

So… How many serves of meat/meat alternatives do we need each day?

Around 2-3 depending on age and gender!

What is a serve?

  • 65g of cooked lean red meat
  • 80g cooked lean poultry
  • 100g cooked fish
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of cooked or canned legumes such as chickpeas or split peas
  • 170g tofu
  • 30g nuts or seeds (no added salt)

What does this look like on your plate? Yes, we are going to talk about PORTIONS!

¾ of your plate should be taken up by plenty of non-starcy vegetables and wholegrains, leaving ¼ of your plate for you meat/meat alternative portion. Your meat/meat alternative portion should be around the same size as your palm… YES, if you have a big hand, you can have a bigger serve J


Include fish or seafood two to three times a week

Stick to your palm size portion of red meat or poultry

Include red meat one to three times per week.

Include plenty of meat-free meals a week, making sure you’re using plant-based proteins such as tofu, nuts or legumes

For specific advice tailored to you, visit our website to book an appointment with one of our dietitians, who will assess your diet and work with you to reach your goals https://www.happyapplenutrition.com.au/