Washington, D.C. -- The American Meat Institute (AMI) today said that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans affirm that meat and poultry products are important components of a balanced, healthy diet.
“It is noteworthy that the government’s previous recommendation that consumers eat five to seven ounces from the meat, poultry and beans group will remain unchanged. This makes sense because the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s documents show that the meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts group is the only group that is consumed in the recommended amount,” said AMI Executive Vice President James H. Hodges, who also serves as president of the American Meat Institute Foundation.
“While some people are under the impression that Americans over-consume meat and poultry products, the most recent nutrition data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) show that on average, men consume 6.9 ounces of meat and poultry per day and women consume 4.4 ounces,” Hodges said. He noted that table 2.2 on page 12 of the Guidelines shows that red and processed meats are not overconsumed.
The Institute also applauded the Guidelines focus on nutrient dense foods – those that offer more nutrition per calorie than others.
“Meat and poultry products are some the most nutrient dense foods available, are excellent sources of complete protein, iron and zinc and maintain an excellent nutrition per calorie ratio. Complete proteins provide all of the essential amino acids necessary for growth and good overall health.”
Meat and poultry products also can be helpful in achieving the healthy body weight that the committee stressed is a key to good health.
“Studies that have published recently also  show that meat satisfies hunger longer, making lean meat and poultry part of a balanced diet that helps metabolize food more efficiently and prevent between-meal snacking that can lead to weight gain,” Hodges said.
“These recommendations highlight the long-standing body of science that says in very clear terms that the key to a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet that includes each of the key food groups, coupled with daily exercise.
“Our industry is committed to nourishing people. Not only do we offer the most affordable meat supply in the world, we also offer the most diverse meat and poultry supply, too. The meat case includes a growing array of lean, low-fat and low-sodium products that help people find products that meet their unique dietary needs – and products they will enjoy,” Hodges said.