What does 70g of red or processed meat look like?

Discover why the NHS advises limiting your intake to 70g a day, and check our infographic to find out what a recommended portion of red meat looks like.

Red meat can be included in a balanced diet and is a good source of protein and iron. However, the NHS recommends that people who eat more than 90g (cooked weight) of red or processed meat per day cut down to 70g, as this could help reduce your risk of bowel cancer. But what does a 70g portion of red and processed meat really look like? Use our handy infographic to help you estimate how much meat you're putting on your plate. An average 70g portion equates to...

  • 2 rashers of thick bacon
  • 1½ British pork sausages
  • One third of an 8oz sirloin steak
  • 5 slices of lunch ham
  • 5 tbsp cooked mince
  • Half a patty of a large burger

As you can see, it can be easy to exceed the recommended 70g limit just with one red or processed meat item, such as a whole steak or burger patty. If you eat more red or processed meat on one particular day, the NHS recommends consuming less in the following days or having some meat-free days, so that the average amount that you eat each day is less than 70g.

Want to learn more about the health benefits and risks of red or processed meat? Read our expert guides to find out exactly how much meat is safe to eat and whether bacon is really bad for you.

Find out more...

What is a flexitarian diet?
Classic recipes minus the meat
How much meat is safe to eat?
Is bacon bad for you?

This article was published on 9th May 2018. 

A registered nutritionist, Kerry Torrens is a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food magazine. Kerry is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), and the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT).

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.


Comments, questions and tips

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16th Sep, 2018
While none of us needs to eat huge quantities of red or processed meat, I can't really see me serving my guests one third of a steak. Having said that, an 8oz steak is huge - half of that amount is more than enough, so we must stop people thinking an 8oz steak is the normal portion size. I am pleased the article suggested averaging out the meat intake over the whole week, and having plenty of meat-free days to balance things out. Seems a sensible approach. I was horrified to see my brother eating two huge pork chops the other week, with a mountain of potatoes and about eight peas. He thought that was a balanced meal. My brother is far from stupid, so I think way more education is needed in this area.
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