Reducing the intake of red meat is good for your health and good for the planet. Nutritionists and environmentalists alike strongly advise us to reduce our consumption of red meat. An international “meatless” day, March 20th – also referred to as Great American Meatout Day – has been created to raise awareness of this issue.
But meat is one of our essential foods and it is difficult to replace meat with other dietary substance.
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Firstly, although excessive meat consumption is not a good idea, proteins are essential for good health. They contribute to the growth of hair and nails, they allow muscles to function and regulate the production of hormones. They must make up 15% of our daily food intake. Or, for a middle-aged man, with moderate physical activity, weighing 70kg: 56gr of protein is needed per day.
The protein content in red meat is very high (in 100g of meat pure protein amount will be 20g), but protein is also present in many other products and sometimes in even greater amount!
Consuming the right protein: the alternatives to red meat
In other animal products, you will find the following protein content (grams of protein for a given portion of 100g):
- eggs: 13g
- fish: 16g
- dairy products (yogurt, cheese… ): 25g on average, more than meat!
In products of plant origin, you will have the following protein content (grams of protein for a given portion of 100g):
- cereals ( rice, wheat, pasta… ): 10 grams on average, but the proteins decrease with cooking
- pulses (lentils, beans, chickpeas… ): 10 g
- tofu: 11.5g
- nuts (walnuts, almonds, flax, hazelnut… ): 17g
- micro algae (spirulina, chlorella): 50 to 70g ! Is 2 to 3 times more than meat! This is food that contains the highest amount of protein per 100 g.
However, unlike the meat and products of animal origin, vegetables do not contain all 9 amino acids necessary, in a single ingredient.
It is therefore necessary to mix different vegetables (for vegans, small daily amounts of vitamin B12 integrators are recommended) or combine them with products of animal origin. The important thing is to get your protein from different sources. This is the healthiest thing recommended by experts so far.