Why is Australian beef and lamb so healthy?

Although red meat and white meat such as chicken, pork and fish are all high in protein, they all differ nutritionally in important ways including their total fat content, fatty acid composition and micronutrient content.

Red meat is the largest contributor of readily available iron and zinc in the Australian diet, and the second largest contributor of omega 3 fatty acids. As part of a healthy, balanced diet, red meat can help prevent iron and zinc deficiency, which can affect functions needed for everyday activities, for example attention, memory retention, and learning.


Protein in red meat is highly digestible and has a higher satiety than carbohydrate or fat. This means that protein-rich foods, such as lean red meat, help you to feel fuller over a longer period of time, making it easier for you to eat less, avoid snacking and stick to your diet. Protein is also vital for growth, development, and healthy maintenance of skin, bones and muscles.


Iron helps to transport oxygen in our blood to our muscles. Iron also provides energy to help our brains function, fight off infection and gives us a zest for life. Haem iron is the type of iron most easily absorbed by our bodies and is best sourced from lean red meat.


Zinc assists with cell repair, wound healing and maintenance of the immune system. It is an antioxidant that promotes healthy teeth and bones. Zinc found in animal foods is better absorbed than zinc found in plant foods; the human body absorbs about 26% of zinc from beef, while it only absorbs 11-14% of protein found in wholemeal bread.

Vitamin B12

An essential vitamin for healthy functioning of the nervous system, vitamin B12 is required for synthesising DNA and is also important for brain function. It is only found in animal foods such as red meat.

Omega 3 fatty acids

These polyunsaturated fats play an important role in brain development, brain function, cardiovascular health, eye function and retina health. Red meat is a major source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are typically low in many diets.