People are being urged to go vegetarian two days a week as part of new health guidelines.
The Food Safety Authority says we should also cut back on how much fat and sugar we consume.
The FSA has published and updated the Healthy Eating, Food Safety and Food Legislation – a Guide Supporting the Healthy Ireland Food Pyramid.
The guide says that "vegetarian eating one or two days a week is good for everyone."
It reads: "Peas, beans and lentils provide good-quality protein and are a low-fat, high-fibre alternative to meat.
"Nuts are a great high-fibre, high-protein snack."
The guide also recommends eating red meat or poultry "two to three days a week".
There is also a warning to keep toast and roast potatoes golden rather than dark brown to reduce the risk of cancer.
People are being encouraged to stew, steam, bake and boil as often as possible and to ditch the frying pan.
The FSA's Dr Mary Flynn says rice, pasta and potatoes are still a key part of a balanced diet.
She said: "They give you fibre and they give your body an easy energy to work off.
"If you have minimal amount of carbohydrate, you won't feel very good. You're asking your body to work very hard to get energy from protein and fat."
Earlier this month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice criticised Mr Varadkar for speaking publicly about his efforts to cut back on his consumption of meat.
He said that the Taoiseach’s comments could have an adverse effect on the agri industry which was worth €12billion. “A lot of rural Ireland relies on that.
“Saying something like that may have a direct impact.
“He’s the CEO of the country. We’re an agri-based country, the best at what we do.”