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How much red meat should I eat?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend eating 455g of lean, cooked red meat per week as part of three to four healthy, balanced meals.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines are produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council. They use the best available scientific evidence to provide information to Australians on the types and amounts of foods that will help them follow a nutritionally adequate and healthy diet.

The guidelines define red meat as unprocessed meat from beef, veal, lamb, mutton, pork, goat, kangaroo, venison and other game meats. This includes mince and other cuts such as steak, chops, cutlets, roasts, slow cooked cuts, diced and strips, and fresh sausages that are lean with reduced sodium.

Our Red Meat Buying Guide can help you buy enough red meat per serving for a variety of healthy, balanced meals three to four times a week.


Red meat buying guide

What to buy
Number of meals and serving size
What to use it for

500g (raw weight) of mince or fresh meat cuts 

Four meals with serving sizes of around 87g (cooked weight) 

Great for pasta, stir fries, soups, salads and sandwiches

 1kg (raw weight) of red meat  

Five meals with serving sizes of around 140g (cooked weight)

Perfect for slow-cooked meals like casseroles, stews, curries and roasts

200g (raw weight) steaks 

One meal and 140g (cooked weight) serving size 

Ideal for the classic ‘meat and veg’ meal


Is processed red meat ok to eat?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide separate recommendations for fresh regular sausages, bacon, ham and other deli meats that are higher in fat and sodium as part of the ‘discretionary food group’, along with burgers and meat pies.

Unlike unprocessed red meat, these foods aren’t considered essential in a healthy, balanced diet and their consumption is recommended occasionally.


How much red meat do Australians eat?

Consumption trends show that on average, Australians eat 57g of cooked red meat per day which is in line with the amounts recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Did you know?

  • Australian research shows production and waste reduction strategies are more effective ways to reduce the environmental impact of Australian red meat than reducing consumption below amounts recommended in a healthy diet. (Source)
  • The availability of lean red meat has increased Australia-wide over the last 20 years. (Source)
  • Meat and vegetables is the most popular home-prepared dinner in Australia, enjoyed by 23% of people. (Source)