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Monday 8th January 2018
Why Welsh Beef forms part of a healthy diet
Lean, red meat such as beef, lamb and pork are sources of high quality protein and moderate amounts can have a role to play in a well-balanced diet.
Protein is an essential component of our diet. It is needed for growth, renewal of our cells and building and maintaining all types of body tissue, including muscle.
The building blocks of protein are amino acids and different protein-rich foods contain varying amounts and different combinations of these amino acids.
Some natural sources of protein include foods such as lean red and white meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, lentils and nuts and each of these provide their own distinct nutritional profile. In combination they will provide a wide range of essential amino acids.
A well-balanced diet can be achieved by including a wide variety of these protein-rich foods together with a range of the other so-called macronutrients of carbohydrates and healthy fats.
A diet composed of natural foods rich in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats has the benefit that other essential nutrients, as well as fibre, will also be provided thus contributing to a healthy eating pattern.
In terms of nutrient status, beef is a good source of haeme iron (the most absorbable kind of iron available from food) and potassium and is rich in niacin, vitamin B12 and zinc. Both iron and zinc are increasingly deficient in diets, which means lean beef can be one of a number of good sources of these nutrients.
When shopping, choose lean beef to ensure lower saturated fat levels and grass fed tends to be even more nutrient rich providing proportionately higher amounts of omega 3 and, vitamin E, beta carotene and a beneficial fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).