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
  • Just over a third of an 8oz sirloin steak
  • 5 slices of thin lunch ham
  • 5 tbsp cooked mince
  • Half a patty of a large burger

*Figures are given as a guide only and are based on average cooked weights.

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?

More like this

This article was last reviewed on 9th October 2019 by dietitian Emer Delaney.

A nutritionist (MBANT) 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 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

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post