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We tend to overestimate how big a serve of meat, chicken, or fish we really need, and forget that there are other foods we can use as meat alternatives that offer similar nutrients. The most recent guidelines recommend 2-3 serves in a day for adults depending on age and gender. To make it easy, below are some common meat sources, and the right amount you should be choosing:
What’s one meat serve?
Beef, lamb, pork, veal: 65g cooked (100g raw)
Chicken, turkey, other poultry: 80g cooked (100g raw)
Fish: 100g cooked (115g raw) or canned fish one small can
Eggs: 2 large
Nuts, seeds, nut pastes (like peanut butter): 30g, which is about 10-20 nuts, or ~2 tablespoons of nut spread.
Legumes (lentils, check peas, split peas, kidney beans, 3 bean mix): 1 cup (canned or cooked)
Keeping to 2-3 serves a day
An easy way to remember it, is to look for a meat portion the size of the palm of your hand, or a quarter of your dinner plate. Remember that these guidelines are for a whole day, so peanut butter on your toast + tuna on crackers at morning tea + chicken on your sandwich at lunch + small steak at dinner= 4 serves, so you are already exceeding your quota for the day.
But aren’t you meant to eat protein to keep you full?
Including 2-3 low fat dairy serves in your day such as a glass of milk, tub of yoghurt, slice of cheese, or cup of light custard is a way to get in your protein to help keep you fuller at meals without exceeding your meat requirements.
Won’t I get hungry?
Bulk meals up with extra non starchy vegetables (half your plate), include a quarter of your plate as healthy high fibre carbohydrates, choose vegetarian dishes some nights, add in lots of salad veggies at lunches, and eat regularly spaced meals rather than one big meal a day.