Is eating beef daily good for you?

May 2, 2024 | 05:30 pm PT
My mother claims that beef is rich in iron, so pregnant women should eat more of it to provide for both mother and child with blood without needing supplements. Is this accurate? (Linh, 25, Hanoi)


Beef is abundant in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for our health. It is true that beef is a rich source of iron, as 87 grams of lean beef can supply 2 to 3 mg of iron.

However, it's crucial to maintain a diet that is balanced and provides us with adequate vitamins, calcium, omega-3, and unsaturated fats in the right proportions. The notion that consuming beef daily to enhance blood quality is misguided and could lead to health issues such as illness, loss of appetite, fatigue, stress, and nutritional deficiencies.

Beef is also high in protein, which means that individuals with conditions like gout, high blood pressure, and heart disease should limit their intake. Additionally, those with high blood lipid levels should exercise caution, as beef contains significant amounts of saturated fat.

Grilled beef served with potatoes. Illustration photo by Unsplash

Grilled beef served with potatoes. Illustration photo by Unsplash

Moreover, individuals with kidney stones are advised to avoid beef since it is high in protein, which can elevate oxalate levels in the urine, potentially leading to increased stone formation. Excessive consumption of beef might result in an overload of iron, which can adversely affect our health.

The National Institute of Nutrition recommends that the suitable quantity of red meat for a healthy adult per day ranges from 50-70 grams, roughly the size of one or two adult palm portions. This recommended amount can vary based on factors such as gender, age, health condition, and level of physical activity.

For a well-rounded nutrient intake, it's advisable to incorporate red meat with other protein-rich foods in your meal plan, such as white meats (fish, chicken, or duck), legumes, and mushrooms.

It is also recommended to consume a variety of green vegetables and fruits daily. Drinking plenty of water and engaging in regular physical activity are also important for maintaining good health.

If you are considering using iron supplements to enhance your blood, consulting a doctor for the proper dosage is recommended.

Dr. Bui Dac Sang

Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Oriental Traditional Medicine Association of Hanoi

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