What is it about?

An overview of the state of nutritional research with respect to red meat is provided. It argues that the evidence trying to portray red meat as an unhealthy food is driven by bias. As a nutrient-dense food, it has been a key element of our evolutionary diets. The current narrative suggesting that it causes diseases of modernity and should be replaced by plant alternatives is symptomatic of the contemporary wave of nutritionism. Moreover, limiting red meat may affect the supply of quality protein and various micronutrients, resulting in less robust diets.

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Why is it important?

Removing red meat from the diet may put vulnerable population groups, such as infants and the elderly, at risk. The current vilification of red meat may do more harm than good.


The article was published about a month prior to the NutriRECS studies in Annals of Internal Medicine, confirming that the evidence arguing for meat restriction does not hold based on nutritional grounds. Taken together, it is time for a paradigm shift towards higher standards of evidence when it comes to dietary advice. Nothing less than public health is at stake.

Prof. dr. ir. Frédéric Leroy
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Should dietary guidelines recommend low red meat intake?, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, September 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1657063.
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