Going meat free for one week creates a great opportunity to start thinking about how much meat you eat and the impact eating too much meat may have.
The goal is that with education, awareness and the information to make informed choices, meat-eaters will consider portion sizes if including meat as part of a balanced diet during the other 51 weeks of the year.
+ Only one in twenty (5%) adults meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines for fruit and vegetables consumption. One in two adults (50 per cent) are not eating the recommended intake of fruit, while only 7.0% are meeting the guidelines for serves of vegetables.
+ Plant-based foods have been shown to benefit heart health. Whole, plant-based foods where nutrients are delivered in their natural form seem to be healthiest.
+ Most adults in England are not eating enough fruit and vegetables to meet the UK’s ‘five-a-day’ guidelines. Only 26% of adults are eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day – and the average (mean) was 3.6 portions per day.
+ Eating fruit and vegetables not only reduces risk of cancer and heart attacks, but also increases happiness levels with each extra portion consumed.
+ Australia is ranked among the top meat eating countries in the world (per capita), with the average Aussie consuming around 95kgs of meat annually.
+ When it comes to meat, USA has the highest average consumption per person per year, at 120kg. New Zealanders eat 106.4kg, Canadians 94.3kg and Britons 84.2kg, all more than double the world average. The world average is 41.9kg.
+ For those who choose to eat red meat, the World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting the amount to no more than 500 grams cooked red meat per week and suggests consuming very little, if any processed meat.
+ Eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and strokes.
+ The average Australian now consumes 27.9kg of pork per year, more than double the 11.7kg in 1975. In addition, Aussies eat around 27.9kg of beef per person, per year.
+ The World Health Organisation has classified red meat – which includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat – as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
+ Consuming wholegrains and foods containing dietary fibre decreases the risk of bowel cancer. Only one-third (34%) of all grain (cereal) foods consumed by Australians are wholegrain or high-fibre products.
+ Studies show that bowel cancer risk increases by 12% per 100g of red meat consumed per day and by 16% per 50g of processed meat consumed per day.
+ High consumption of red and processed meat (including bacon, ham and other packaged meat such as turkey and chicken) increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
+ Increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants may help reduce the signs and effects of ageing.
+ Replacing saturated fat rich foods such as meat with polyunsaturated fats like nuts and seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease by 19%.
+ Reducing overall meat consumption can also prevent long-term weight gain.
+ Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season boosts gut health and reduces risks associated with inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer.