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For healthy eating, Canada Food Guide uses a rainbow to illustrate the importance of each food group.  The food group that is least important to a healthy eating pattern is 'meat.'

There is a good reason for identifying this food group as not being important as the other;  there are limits to its daily use.  There is a daily recommended daily intake for one's age and gender, following the guidelines will protect against over eating.

According to a recent study, too much processed meat in the diet increases the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer.
 The study was conducted in 10 countries; the participants were 448, 568 healthy men and women between the age of 35 to 69.  Researchers examined their lifestyles and diets over several years.

Result- Researchers found  that those who ate the most processed meat had a 72% higher risk of dying from a heart condition than those who ate the least.  In the study the most  processed meat eaten was 160g  per day, about 3 sausages.

Read more about this study

Several other studies have linked too much red meat in the diet to colon cancer, some experts believe it is cause of the increased colon cancers in industrialized countries.

Meat, especially read meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, both are bad for heart health and contribute to an unhealthy eating pattern.  Too much saturated fat is bad for those who need to control their weight, there are more calories in fat than in carbohydrates. The bottom line is meat can be bad if not eaten with caution.
Fortunately meat has alternative products, food products that provide the same and even better nutrition than meat. These products are grouped with meat to form the food group 'Meat and Meat Alternatives'
Tip- Eat more of these alternative meat products often they will guard against the risks associated with eating meat. They  are: lentils, beans, fish,eggs, peanut butter, peanuts and tofu.

Here is my simple guide to healthy eating, use it to work out your daily meat requirement for your age and gender.

Click Here to view.