Meat, Fish, Poultry and Pulses

This page discusses meat, fish, poultry and pulses and how you can include them as part of a healthy balanced diet.



The Role of Meat, Fish, Poultry and Pulses 

These foods are all good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals including iron. They provide us with important nutrients for building healthy muscles, skin and other tissues of the body.?

 In the UK, most of us eat more protein than our bodies need. For most adults, 1gram of protein per kg of body weight is enough to meet our dietary requirements. For example, if you weigh 65kg, a protein intake of 65g will meet your requirements.

How Often 

  • Aim to have some food from this group each day
  • All adults are advised to eat no more than 500 grams of cooked red meat each week
  • Adults with diabetes are advised to eat at least 2 portions of oily fish each week.

Oily Fish and Omega 3 Fatty Acids 

Omega 3 fats are essential fatty acids that cannot be made by the body in sufficient amounts. They can lower blood triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood) and help protect against heart disease.

 Oily fish are excellent sources of Omega 3, with examples including:

  • Mackerel 
  • Salmon
  • Tuna (fresh or frozen)
  • Sardines
  • Kippers
  • Herring

 Although canned fish counts, some brands of tuna may have the Omega 3 removed during processing so it is important to check the label.

Healthy Choices 

  • Choose lean cuts of red meat, chicken and turkey.
  • Choose lean mince when making burgers, meatballs or kebabs.
  • Remove any visible skin or fat from meat and chicken before cooking.
  • Where possible, use low fat cooking methods e.g. grilling, boiling, steaming, dry roasting, microwaving or poaching
  • Limit intake of processed meat products such as; sausages, sausage rolls, scotch pies, burgers, pork pies and corned beef.
  • When preparing dishes such as chili-con-carne, bolognese or casseroles heat the meat first. This will help the fat to separate from the mince, allowing you to drain the fat. You may also want to reduce the amount of meat you use and bulk the dish up with pulses such as chickpeas or kidney beans.
  • Choose fish that is fresh, frozen or tinned in brine, water or tomato sauce.

Rate this page

Give us your feedback on this page