The nutritional benefits of red meat were recognised by 95% of healthcare professionals at a medical conference in Cardiff, who said they would recommend red meat as a key part of a healthy and balanced diet.

The survey showed that nurses were able to identify that Welsh red meat contains a variety of additional nutritional benefits.

The survey, conducted by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) at the Nursing in Practice conference in Cardiff recorded delegates’ knowledge and attitude towards red meat and its place within the diet as part of a wider campaign promoting the nutritional value of red meat.

The Nursing in Practice conference is an annual professional development event for primary care nurses and health professions, including GP nurses, health visitors and district nurses.

As well as meat being a key source of protein, the survey showed that nurses were able to identify that Welsh red meat contains a variety of additional nutritional benefits including iron, zinc, amino acids, vitamin D and importantly vitamin B12, which is only available from animal sources.

A lack of Vitamin B12 in the diet can lead to extreme tiredness, reduced energy and muscle weakness.

To extend attendees’ knowledge on human nutrition and diet, over 100 delegates at the event took part in a seminar by respected dietician and Meat Advisory Panel member Dr. Carrie Ruxton titled Red Meat: Friend or Foe?.

This challenged some of the common misconceptions around red meat.

During her presentation, Ruxton warned the audience of nurses that there would be “a lot of messages in the next few months suggesting that everyone should be eating less meat or that we should switch to vegan and vegetarian diets”.

Ruxton commented: “Red meat contributes to heart health; normal vision; growth and maintenance of muscle; mental function; anti-fatigue; immune function; natural antioxidants; strong bones and teeth; hormone regulation; healthy skin, hair and nails.

“It is perfectly safe and overall it makes a very good contribution to health.”

HCC’s consumer executive Elwen Roberts also commented: “Red meat has a fully deserved place in a healthy and balanced diet and we were pleased to see that delegates at the Nursing in Practice conference agreed with that message.

“Consumers can be reassured that Welsh red meat, such as PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef, offer a significant range of health benefits as well as being produced to the highest welfare and environmental standards.”

These messages come during a wide-scale campaign promoting the health benefits of Welsh red meat being run by HCC starring Welsh rugby player Shane Williams.

The Discover your Weekday Prime campaign is being run in collaboration with AHDB in England and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) in Scotland to highlight how quick and easy it is to prepare healthy red meat meals to UK consumers.

The campaign, which is intended to appeal to younger audiences, has a social media focus and will highlight the nutritional value, ease and versatility of lean red meat in line with approved health claims, and the opportunity to enjoy more midweek meat meals.

Key health messages are communicated by the celebrities whilst cooking up three healthy red meat dishes with an unsuspecting member of the public.

The social media campaign will be running over the coming months and videos can be viewed on the Welsh Lamb social media channels.