Meat, hen or fish? A dietitian’s information on how one can steadiness your protein


Gone are the times of Australian households who ate the identical meat and vegetable dishes time and again night time after night time. Now, the everyday weekly vary typically options a wide range of worldwide flavors that features a vary of various proteins, together with plant-based meals and pre-prepared choices.

As a dietitian, slightly than planning meals round outdated household favorites, I prepare dinner primarily based on nutrient wants understanding that a mixture of meat, hen, fish and vegetarian choices will ship the vitamins. keys wanted each week, particularly in busy and rising diets. youngsters.

When you’ve by no means considered your personal menu this fashion, right here is the simplest option to discover dietary steadiness with completely different meal proteins.

Lean meat

For individuals who eat meat, it is necessary to know that adults want a small quantity of lean pink meat three to 4 instances every week with a view to get sufficient of the well-absorbed iron. Getting an ample provide of iron is essential for power manufacturing, mind growth in youngsters, and immune operate. This doesn’t suggest that you must eat a 500g steak each time you eat pink meat. As an alternative, think about 100-150g servings of lean cuts, that are exceptionally excessive in iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin B6. Beef is especially excessive in vitamins, as is lamb, however pork, whereas nonetheless excessive in vitamins, is considerably decrease in iron. When you select to eat pink meat much less steadily, ensure you get sufficient iron from different meals to keep away from low iron ranges, which have an effect on as much as one in 4 Australian girls.

What number of instances? Three to 4 instances every week, 100 to 150 g of servings.

Healthiest cuts: Further lean mince, steak tenderloin, lean cutlets, further lean sausages, lamb again strap.

Finest cooking methodology: Grilled or pan-fried with further virgin olive oil.

To keep away from: Oily chops, common floor meat and really giant steaks.


Whereas hen and particularly hen breast are exceptionally lean in comparison with pink meat and excessive in key vitamins together with vitamin B, zinc, and magnesium, poultry meat lacks the wealthy iron content material. lean pink meat. That is why it does not must be included within the weekly menu so steadily. Additionally, remember that thighs, wings, and drumsticks will be extraordinarily excessive in fats, with 20-30% fats per serving.

What number of instances? A few times every week.

Healthiest cuts: Hen breast, fillets, further lean floor hen.

Finest cooking strategies: Grilled, roasted, poached.

To keep away from: Pores and skin, thighs, drumsticks and hen wings, that are a lot larger in fats and decrease in vitamins than hen breast.


Whereas many people know that fish is nice for us, the fact is that only a few Australians eat the 2 to 3 servings of fish we have to get sufficient omega-3s every week. Omega-3 fatty acids are a particular kind of fats present in only a few meals which have a powerful anti-inflammatory impact within the physique. Omega-3 fatty acids additionally assist to make sure the general steadiness of fats within the physique, which in flip helps immune operate, coronary heart well being, and longevity. Ideally, we should always eat fish wealthy in omega-3s no less than twice every week. Saying this, all fish are meals for us and crustaceans together with shrimp, oysters and mussels are exceptionally wealthy in vitamins, providing iron, zinc, iodine and omega fatty acids. 3, which implies they are often included in a aim of three meals of fish or seafood every week.

What number of instances? Two to 3 instances every week.

Healthiest varieties Crustaceans, salmon wealthy in omega-3, white fish together with barramundi.

Finest cooking strategies Steamed, poached, baked.

To keep away from Fried varieties.

Vegetarian choices

As we be taught extra about vitamin, we be taught extra in regards to the significance of consuming plant-based meals. Meatless meals are a wealthy supply of dietary fiber and greens, and are additionally usually much less power environment friendly. Whether or not your loved ones prefers vegetarian lasagna, a tofu stir-fry, or a Mexican bean dish, not having meat as soon as every week will enable you improve your plant-based meals consumption. Since plant-based meals are usually cheaper than meat and different excessive protein choices, they may also assist maintain the price range underneath management.

What number of instances? A few times every week.

Healthiest kind: Meal primarily based on legumes and greens.

Finest cooking strategies: Roasted, baked.

To keep away from: Meal primarily based on thick cheese and cream or no matter is fried.

Susie Burrell is a nutritionist and dietitian.

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