PART ONE: Beef and Health – The Untold Story
There’s lots to know about beef. Some things you know, but maybe some things you don’t. With diets getting steadily worse and obesity levels rising, there are some good reasons to consider why beef belongs on the tables of Canadians.
Do Canadians eat too much red meat? In fact, no we don’t.
• Considering there are 21 meals in a week, Canadians eat only 3 servings of fresh red meat per week1 – that’s one lunch and two dinners for example, and this includes pork, lamb or beef. How big is a serving? Only 100 grams – that’s a steak about the size of your palm.
• Think red meat is on the rise as part of Canadian eating patterns? At a 14 gram decrease per day compared to what we ate in 2004, the fact is that there is less red meat than ever in Canadian diets.2
• It’s important to eat a balanced plate that’s ½ fruits and/or veg, ¼ whole grains, and ¼ protein-rich foods like meat. Increase your veggies – for sure, but with only 5% of our calories coming from red meat (and almost 50% from ultra processed foods), worrying about red meat is like trying to fix the wrong problem.1,5
Canadians have replaced foundational foods, like beef, with junk food.
• Over the last 30 years, obesity rates have tripled 3; while the percent of calories we get from high-quality protein foods including beef, milk and eggs has significantly declined.4
• • Ultra-processed food now accounts for almost ½ our daily calories. And alarmingly, our kids are the worst: 9 to 13 year olds get a whopping 57% of their calories from nutritionally poor, high calorie foods such as pizza, pop, crackers and baked goods.5
Is chicken better for you than beef? Maybe not so much…
• Both chicken and beef are nutrient- dense quality protein foods – it shouldn’t be a matter of one or the other. With much to offer in key nutrients like iron, vitamin B12 and zinc, beef belongs at your table. Beef has more of these nutrients than chicken by 200%, 600% and 700% respectively.6
• Beef qualifies as a “good” or “excellent” source of 7 nutrients, while chicken only meets this criteria for 5 nutrients.7
• Lean and Extra Lean Ground Beef have the same maximum fat content as Lean and Extra Lean Ground Chicken or Turkey. The terms that are used to describe maximum fat levels for ground meats apply to all ground meats and poultry and are def