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Mediterranean diet and cardio-metabolic health: what is the role of meat?

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2018) | Download Citation



Traditional Mediterranean diet is known for its health benefits in prevention of cardio-metabolic diseases and risk factors associated with it. The role of red meat in Mediterranean diet is to some extent overlooked with the main focus on foods of plant origin. The majority of existing guidelines encourage general population to limit intakes of red meat. However, in reality, it is a significant part of the Mediterranean cuisine. Red meat is an excellent source of macro and micronutrients: high-quality protein, B vitamins, essential amino acids, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and selenium. Currently, there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest the strict limitation of the red meat consumption among the general population, however, there is a substantial evidence to support the advice to eliminate the consumption of processed meat from the diet.

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This article is published as part of a supplement sponsored by the Mediterranean Diet Foundation and the Diputació de Barcelona.

Author information


  1. Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, Institute of Technology Sligo, Sligo, Ireland

    • Irina Uzhova
  2. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA

    • José Luis Peñalvo


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Irina Uzhova.

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