Palm of your hand the best guide to how much meat you can eat, says FSAI

Palm of your hand the best guide to how much meat you can eat, says FSAI

Update 12pm: In a statement this afternoon, the Department of Health said meat was an important source of protein, iron and vitamins - and that the most important goal is to try to eat a balanced diet.

The department said to limit processed meats, such as bacon or ham, saying people do not need large amounts of meat, and recommended using 50 to 75 grams of cooked lean beef as a single serving.

It said it was reviewing the healthy eating guidelines, with new ones due to be issued by the end of this year.

The WHO findings have been sent to an expert group for consideration.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has published clear guidance for consumers following the WHO Report, and it is available here.

Earlier:

SafeFood Ireland has said a warning from the World Health Organisation (WHO) about lnks between processed meat, red meat and cancer is particularly important for children's diets.

Spokesperson, Cliodhna Foley Nolan said the study showed the necessity of a varied diet for children without too much red and processed meat.

She said cancers could take decades to develop and that the foundation can be laid in childhood.

"This study (really shows the importance of) a varied diet for children," she said. "Cancer (can take) decades to develop, so keep children's diets varied with a bit of everything.

"You do need red meat for growth, particularly for girls, but it should be in moderation, which we didn’t traditionally have (in Ireland)."

The SafeFood Ireland guide to eating meat

The WHO study says there is a clear link between eating too much processed meat and bowel cancer and that red meat is a likely cause of some cancers - mainly bowel cancer, but also pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.

The Food Safety Authority has said moderation is the key. Mary Flynn from the FSAI said there was a simple guide for consumers on how much meat they should be eating.

"Just look at the palm of your hand. Take the fingers and thumb away. The same size and thickness of your (remaining) palm is more than enough meat for you in an entire day," she said.

The HSE is to review the WHO study. Meanwhile, the Irish Farmers' Association is warning against an overreaction to new research linking some meats to cancer.

Processed meats can cause bowel cancer, warn health experts

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