Meat, meat products and eggs

Health-promoting eating habits and diets are mainly based on plant products, or whole grain cereals, vegetables, berries and fruit. A healthy diet also contains fish, vegetable oils and other sources of unsaturated fats, including nuts and seeds. A versatile diet can contain a moderate amount of poultry meat and some red meat. A diet composed of these elements will provide you with high quantities of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and high-quality carbohydrates, proteins and fats in suitable proportions. 

Select low-fat and low-salt meat products

Red meat contains plenty of easily absorbed iron. Meat is also an important source of selenium. When selecting red meats (beef, lamb and pork), you should favour products that are as low in fat as possible.

Meat products (such as different cold cuts, sausages and bacon) mostly contain a lot of salt in addition to fat, and in order to stay healthy, you should select low-salt meat products that are as lean as possible.

You should eat no more than 500 g of red meat and meat products a week (cooked weight), and it is advisable to select poultry meat rather than red meat. Skinless poultry meats - chicken and turkey - are lean, and the quality of poultry fat is also better than beef or lamb fat.

Eggs are part of a varied diet

Eggs contain many nutrients and are a good source of protein. However, the yolk is high in cholesterol, and for genetic reasons, some Finnish people absorb the cholesterol in their food more efficiently than people in other Western countries. Because of this, a recommendation of a weekly consumption of at most 3–4 eggs has been issued for patients with arterial disease, and people with elevated cholesterol levels or a family tendency to high cholesterol. The health care professional should determine the individual status to provide personalised guidance of eating eggs.