How much meat is healthy? According to the new nutritional guideline, we should only eat SO FEW burgers and the like
There is hardly an issue that divides science and humanity more. Which diet is the healthiest? Should the diet be purely plant-based or also contain animal products? In any case, most Germans like to eat a lot of meat, up to one kilogram per week is on the menu for men and 600 grams for women. But how much meat should you really eat so that it doesn’t become unhealthy?
One point of contact for information of this kind is the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). Based on research results, she develops nutritional recommendations and statements that are valid for Germany – and prepares them in such a way that everyone can understand them.
With regard to meat, the recommendation of the German Society for Nutrition is up-to-date still: “As part of a wholesome diet, a small amount of meat can help provide essential nutrients. A weekly amount of meat and sausages ranging from a total of 300 grams for adults with a low calorie requirement to 600 grams for adults with a high calorie requirement is sufficient for this.”
To classify: A portion of meat can weigh 100 to 150 grams. A slice of cold cuts or ham can weigh between 15 and 25 grams.
New dietary guidelines provide for less meat
The German Society for Nutrition constantly adjusts its recommendations. There will also soon be new guidelines on the subject of meat. This was only reported at the end of May Picture. You have excerpts from a new document that speaks of only ten grams a day. That would then correspond to two to three pieces of meat or twelve slices of sausage per month.
However, in an interview with Agra Europe in mid-June, DGE President Professor Bernhard Watzl called this statement a false statement. What he can confirm, however, is that the intake of animal foods should be significantly lower than is currently the case. How much meat you should actually eat will be published in early 2024 with the new food recommendations.
This is how the new nutritional guideline came into being
When preparing its recommendations, the top priority for the DGE continues to be the nutrient supply, i.e. how many nutrients a food offers. Meat, for example, contains a lot of easily digestible iron and vitamin B12. According to this, possible connections between diet and health should be taken into account in the recommendations. For example, you could mention the connection between a purely plant-based diet and fewer cardiovascular diseases. In addition, the usual dietary habits are also taken into account in the recommendations. In the future, however, the C02 balance of the food will also be included in the new nutritional recommendation. “No one wants to ban people from their occasional currywurst. But meat consumption in the population is too high overall for health and sustainability reasons, that’s a scientific fact,” says the DGE of the Picture. And in the Agra-Europe interview, Watzl reiterated the need to also include environmental aspects: “We are following advice that the World Health Organization gave in 2019 for the development of food-related nutritional recommendations.” And that is exactly what the DGE is currently working on: deriving scientifically proven nutritional recommendations from these four target values.
The new meat directive could have these consequences
The recommendations of the DGE are also to be implemented in the new nutrition strategy by Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir. The key issues paper “The way to the federal government’s nutrition strategy” was adopted by the cabinet in December 2022. A strategy is to be adopted by the end of the year.