Breaking It Down | Understanding How Often Should You Eat Red Meat

Breaking It Down | Understanding How Often Should You Eat Red Meat


Red meat is a dietary staple for many people around the world, providing high amounts of protein, iron, and other essential nutrients. However, overconsumption of red meat has been linked to several health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

As a result, many people can’t help but ask the question: how often should you eat meat to maintain optimal health? If you’re also one of those confused ones, then this blog is the answer to all your meat-eating queries!

Here, we’ll explore the latest research on red meat consumption and provide practical advice on how often to eat it. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how to make informed choices about your diet and support your health and well-being.


Meat Consumption: Finding the Safe Limit

The question of how much red meat is safe to eat has been the subject of much debate in recent years. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans” due to the evidence linking high red meat consumption to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. However, the American Cancer Society (ACS) notes that the evidence is not strong enough to recommend that people stop eating red meat altogether. [1]


So, how often should you eat meat, and what’s the safe limit? The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests no more than 3 ounces of red meat per day, which is equivalent to about the size of a deck of cards. It also suggests choosing lean cuts of red meat and avoiding processed meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs.


Similarly, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting the consumption of red meat to no more than 10% of total calories. For a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, this would be equivalent to about 5.5 ounces of cooked lean meat per day.


As for processed meat, The American Cancer Society advises people to consume no more than two servings of processed meat per week, with each serving being around 1.5 ounces. The American Heart Association also recommends limiting processed meat intake, suggesting that people should choose lean protein sources, such as chicken or fish, instead.

The Carnivore Diet

Dr. Shawn Baker on the contrary recommends to eat as much red meat as you like but to make sure to cut out all unhealthy processed foods out of your diet. On his carnivore diet you will thrive as long as you stay active and do not over eat on vegetables.

The Optimal Meat Intake for a Healthy Diet

When it comes to how much or how often should you eat meat for balanced health, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. The right amount of meat for you will depend on factors like your age, sex, physical activity level, and overall health status.


Red meat is one of the best sources of protein, an essential component for building and repairing tissues, but it also contains other key nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 that our bodies need to function properly.


That’s why it’s really important to be mindful of any individual factors that may impact your optimal meat intake. For example, if you have high cholesterol or a history of heart disease, you may need to limit your consumption of red meat, as red meat can be high in saturated fat.


So, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional to determine the ideal amount of meat intake that meets your nutritional requirements.


But if you’re an absolute meat lover, look no further than Butcher Box! Our carefully selected meat is delivered straight to your door, making it easy and convenient to enjoy delicious, healthy protein. Try Butcher Box today and taste the difference for yourself!

Health Benefits of Eating Red Meat

If you’re still stuck on the question of whether you should make red meat a part of your diet, then this section is just for you. It’s because you’re still not aware of the amazing health benefits that red meat can actually provide. So don’t feel too bad about indulging in that juicy steak every once in a while! Here are some top-level health benefits that red meat can offer.

  1. High in Nutrients: Red meat is a great source of essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, which are crucial for maintaining a healthy body.
  2. Muscle Maintenance: Red meat is rich in high-quality protein, which is a crucial component for building and maintaining muscle mass. Many athletes and fitness freaks prefer to indulge in red meat to build that muscle mass. Gym rats take notes!
  3. Improved Brain Function: Red meat also contains an ample amount of choline, an essential nutrient that is important for brain health. Choline is involved in many different processes in the body, including memory, muscle control, and mood regulation.
  4.  Reduced Risk of Anemia: Anemia is a condition that arises when the body does not have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin. However, research has shown red meat to be a rich source of iron, which is essential for producing red blood cells and can help prevent anemia. [2]
  5. Improved Heart Health: Contrary to popular belief, red meat can actually be beneficial for heart health. It is a good source of coenzyme Q10, which is important for heart health and may also help lower cholesterol levels. [3]

The Final Takeaway

To conclude, the question of how often should you eat meat (especially red meat) has no one-size-fits-all answer. While there are certainly some risks associated with eating too much red meat, there are also numerous health benefits.

By keeping your intake within recommended limits and making sure you’re choosing high-quality, fresh cuts of meat, you can enjoy all the benefits of red meat while minimizing the risks.

So go ahead, fire up the grill and enjoy a delicious steak tonight – your body will thank you for it! And if you’re looking for the best quality meat out there, check out our Butcher Box reviews for high-quality, fresh cuts of meat delivered right to your doorstep.



  • How much meat should you eat per day?

According to the American Heart Association, people should consume no more than 1-2 servings (3-6 ounces) of cooked, lean red meat daily.


  • How often do you eat meat in a week?

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, people should limit their red meat consumption to no more than three portions per week (1 portion is approximately 3-4 ounces or the size of a deck of cards).


  • Is it enough to eat meat once a week?

It depends on an individual’s nutritional needs and preferences. While red meat can be a source of important nutrients, it is not necessary to consume it on a regular basis, and a balanced diet can be achieved without it.


  • Are you supposed to eat meat every day?

No, it is not necessary to eat meat every day. A balanced and healthy diet can be achieved without daily meat consumption.


  • How many days a week should you not eat meat?

There are no particular days on which you should or should not eat meat. As long as you adhere to the specified guidelines of no more than three servings, you won’t face any side effects.


[1]  Qian F, Riddle MC, Wylie-Rosett J, Hu FB. Red and Processed Meats and Health Risks: How Strong Is the Evidence? Diabetes Care. 2020 Feb;43(2):265-271.

[2] Geissler, C., & Singh, M. (2011). Iron, meat and health. Nutrients, 3(3), 283-316.

[3]  Bronzato S, Durante A. A Contemporary Review of the Relationship between Red Meat Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk. Int J Prev Med. 2017 Jun 1;8:40.

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