Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Serving Less Red Meat, Less Often

Thursday, December 8, 2016 | 10:57 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , , , No comments

Red meat—beef, pork, and lamb—can be enjoyed occasionally, in small portions. The serving recommendation for red meat is two, 3-ounce servings per week. Keep in mind that a 3 oz. portion is the size of a deck of cards.

When replacing red meat in a meal, add poultry or fish (3-6 oz./day) and/or beans and nuts whenever possible. Another great strategy is to think of meat as a side dish verses the main dish or try having meatless meals a few times a week. This can not only offer health benefits, but it can also help save you money!

A plant-based diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes and nuts provides a great source of fiber as well as lots of vitamins and minerals. Individuals who eat only plant-based foods, such as vegetarians tend to eat less calories and fat overall, which in turn will likely result in a lower body weight. Another benefit of a vegetarian diet is a decreased risk of heart disease.

If you enjoy meat you do not need to become a vegetarian to gain health benefits. You can still enjoy meat, but just less often. Those who eat mostly plant-based foods, but still includes meat, poultry and fish occasionally are considered "flexible-vegetarians" or "flexitarians." This type of healthy eating is similar to the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.

When your meals do include meat, choose lean cuts and watch your portions! Remember that a serving of meat should be no more than 3 ounces/meal. Your protein/meat source should take up a ¼ of your plate. Vegetables and fruits should cover ½ of your plate and whole grains should make up the rest.


  1. Meatless Meals Once or Twice a Week. Accessed on December 5, 2016.
  2. The flexitarian Diet. Accessed on December 5, 2016.


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