Farm Ireland

Sunday 23 October 2016

Reduced red meat intake could pose health issues claims Farm Platform

Tommy Boland

Published 20/01/2016 | 02:30

A reduction in red meat intake has been linked with lower iron in young women.
A reduction in red meat intake has been linked with lower iron in young women.

A reduction in red meat consumption has been linked to lower iron levels in both young women and men according to studies presented by scientists attending last week's Global Farm Platform conference in Britain.

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The conference also heard that grass fed beef has a longer shelf life compared to concentrate finished animals.

Professor Michael Lee from University of Bristol said grass-based production systems for animals such as cattle and beef out-perform other farm systems on food quality and environmental factors.

Professor Lee said products from ruminant animals can be viewed as low fat because they contain less than 5pc fat, with high levels of poly unsaturated fatty acids and omega-3, especially in the grass-based systems in Ireland and the UK.

Red meat

Meanwhile, reductions in red meat consumption have been linked to lower iron in young women. Young men were also experiencing a similar, if less pronounced, pattern in terms of reduced calcium, iodine and iron.

A US dairy research scientist, Glen Broderick, told delegates that the contribution of red meat protein to the overall protein intake of the average American has dropped from 40pc in the 1970s to 25pc today.

Hundreds of millions of people fall below the healthy level of daily consumption of 20gm of animal protein, he said.

Professor Ian Givens from Reading University said that a reduced milk intake in adolescent and teenage girls was a particular concern.

He said the lower calcium intake is potentially storing up problems with reduced bone health and strength in later years.

The reduction in milk has also been linked to reduced systemic iodine concentrations in pregnant women and those of child-bearing age.

The conference also heard analysis that showed sugary soft drinks are replacing milk in shopping baskets.

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