About Me

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Meat Consumption - Seriously Americans?

 Let's start here: Average Americans eat WAY too much meat, in my opinion, and I am in pretty good company in that opinion. Nearly every organization that deals with health and nutrition agrees that a serving of meat should be between two and four ounces and some groups think even less!

Go to most American restaurants (including ones I love!) and you will not find ANY meat options that fall within the recommended guidelines. Even the kids' menu items usually have more meat than is recommended for an adult portion! No one can possibly feel good after eating a 16 ounce steak? Right? A pound of meat in one sitting! Even the "dainty" portion of a half pound is so much. Do I do it sometimes? Yup. Do I feel sluggish and a little icky after? Yup.

American Health Association
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans and Nuts: 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish; 1/2 cup cooked dry beans; or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

San Francisco Chronicle
Consuming around 46 grams of protein per day if you're female and 56 grams per day if you're male will meet your protein needs, whether you get your protein from meat or from plant sources. A 3-ounce portion of meat contains 21 to 24 grams of protein. Three 3-ounce meat servings per day would supply all your protein needs, but this much meat could include a large amount of saturated fat, which could increase your risk of heart disease.

To get an idea of what a serving looks Iike, check out this infographic:


Harvard School of Public Health
I like these even more than the government guidelines and the website is super.


Because I talk so much about food cost, it is easy to assume that I eat less meat to save money. The truth is that it is a happy accident that eating healthier is also cheaper. Plus, I can spend more money on beautiful vegetables if I'm spending less on gooky meat. :-) Most of the recipes I make have either beans as the protein or about 3 ounces of meat, usually chicken. Even Paige, who is definitely my biggest meat fan is satisfied with those portions.

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