Protein Red meat is a good source of high quality protein. Protein is essential for growth, maintenance and the repair of the body and can also provide energy. Red meat contains, on average, 20-24g of protein per 100g (when raw). Cooked red meat contains 27-35g of protein per 100g (cooked weight).
Minerals Red meat is an important dietary source of minerals, in particular zinc and iron. Red meat contributes approximately 17% of total iron intake in the UK which is present in the more readily absorbed haem form of iron. In the UK, almost 50% of women of child-bearing age have low iron intakes.
Vitamins Red meat contains a variety of vitamins, including a range of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. As vitamin B12 is only found naturally in foods of animal origin, people who do not consume meat or other animal products may have inadequate intakes. Pork is also a rich source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), which supports normal energy-yielding metabolism and normal heart function.
Fat In a number of Western countries, red meat consumption has declined, partly due to a concern about its fat content. However, advances in animal husbandry and butchery techniques over the last 40 years have resulted in a reduction in the fat content of carcass meat by 10-30%. This means that the fat content of lean red meat is much less than many consumers think. Typically the total fat content of lean red meat is between 4-10g per 100g.