Red meat, as part of balanced and healthy diet, is essential - that was the key message from Hybu Cig Cymru chair Catherine Smith ahead of World Health Day.

The day, which is led by the World Health Organization (WHO), this year focussed on ‘My health, my right’ stressing that around the world, the right to health of millions of people is increasingly coming under threat.

Speaking from her farm in Monmouthshire, HCC Chair Catherine Smith addresses the role of red meat as part of a balanced diet: “People across the world have a right to nutritious and sustainable food and whilst the nutritional needs of our bodies vary and change throughout our lives, it’s essential from infancy to the later stages of our lives, that we look after our bodies for health and happiness.

“The simplest way to a healthy lifestyle is to eat a variety of different foods and red meat is one food group that can help us keep on top of our intakes of iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, B Vitamins, Vitamin D at all stages of life.”

Packed with these essential vitamins and minerals, a balanced diet with lean red meat at its core can help us throughout our lives to keep fit and well. Eating up to 500g of cooked red meat per week can be central to a healthy and balanced diet.

“Eaten in the right quantities, incorporating red meat in your diet has many health benefits for people of all ages, including iron which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue, B vitamins which produce energy, and zinc which helps the immune system to work normally,” she added.

Red meat also contains phosphorus, which is needed for normal growth and development of children’s bones and is also protein rich, which is ideal in a quick beef stir-fry after a session at the gym to help you recover, build and maintain muscle mass and feel energised.

“Eating tasty Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef as part of a healthy balanced diet is an excellent way of making sure you are getting what you need for good health – as nature intended,” added Catherine.