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.


ChooseMyPlate.gov

There is a ton of awesome info here, including a nifty calculator for how much you should eat a day (mine is below), but their total protein recommendation is between 4 and 6.5 ounces PER DAY!

Daily Food Plan

Eat these amounts from each food group daily. This plan is a 1800 calorie food pattern. It is based on average needs for someone like you. (A 39 year old female5 feet 3 inches tall, 135 pounds, physically active less than 30 minutes a day.) Your calorie needs may be more or less than the average, so check your weight regularly. If you see unwanted weight gain or loss, adjust the amount you are eating.
Grains
6 ounces
Vegetables
2.5 cups
Fruits
1.5 cups
Dairy
3 cups
Protein Foods
5 ounces



Harvard School of Public Health

I like these even more than the government guidelines and the website is super.

HEPApr2013

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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