We give blokes some ideas for new ways to enjoy meat.
New Zealand men are in love with meat. One reason why meat is so lovingly treasured is that it’s seen as a source of protein. And we men believe that we need to eat lots of protein. But the problem is, meat has changed from years gone by.
In the past, meat was mostly eaten as portions of beef, lamb or chicken and served at family meals with the standard three vegetables. Then, leftovers were eaten in sandwiches over the next few days. In many households in New Zealand, this still happens today. It’s a good way to eat meat.
But meat now appears in many more guises in our modern world, and some of this meat is not so good for us. To make it convenient, producers now combine meat with fats and carbohydrates in easy, tasty options such as chicken nuggets, mince pies and sausage rolls – all obvious snack options when you are on the move.
The problem with these options is we tend to think of them as being higher in protein than other snacks because of their meat content. But this is not always the case. We investigated the nutritional profile of two classic service station favourites – the mince pie and the sausage roll:
- Sausage roll: Protein 8.7%, fat 16.5% (saturated 8.9%), carbohydrate 26.3%
- Mince pie: Protein 9.6%, fat 12.1% (saturated 5.9%), carbohydrate 24.7%
The nutritional information clearly shows these ‘snack’ options have a greater fat content than protein. And the sausage roll has more saturated fat than protein!
Our advice? Eat meat with your main meal and try to avoid snacking on foods with meat content. It’s hard to judge how much fat you’re getting when you eat these snacks. See the tip box for some alternatives.
Good ways to eat meat
- Try to eat only one main meat meal per day. This means if you have bacon with breakfast, aim to have a vegetarian meal for dinner like vege nachos with red kidney beans.
- Most blokes eat seven red meat meals a week, at least! If you are eating big meat meals (180g or more raw weight), either cut down to four meat meals per week, or have smaller portions.
- Aim to replace one or two main meat meals each week with fish. Two good options are roast salmon fillet (roasted with brown sugar and lime juice), and lightly crumbed terakihi fried in a little olive oil.
- Make your meat worthwhile – quality meat over quantity cannot be overstated. Why eat a fat-filled sausage roll when you could be having a crisp piece of free-range bacon or a juicy fillet steak?
Great snack options for blokes
Satisfying snacks that won’t overload you with fat
- Small cans of tuna – choose the low-fat kind. Eat as they are or with toast or crackers.
- Nuts are a good option. Try a small handful of mixed nuts such as Brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds.
- Snack bars such as ‘One Square Meal’ or a low-fat protein bar. These are easy, quick and non-messy.