Guide to red meat – is it healthy? The evidence

This guide is based on scientific evidence, following our policy for evidence-based guides.

It’s written by Franziska Spritzler, RD, with the latest major update on August 24, 2021. The guide has been medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Tamber, MD, on August 24, 2021, and by Dr. Bret Scher, MD, on September 24, 2019.

The guide contains scientific references. You can find these in the notes throughout the text, and click the links to read the peer-reviewed scientific papers. When appropriate we include a grading of the strength of the evidence, with a link to our policy on this. Our evidence-based guides are updated at least once per year to reflect and reference the latest science on the topic.

All our evidence-based health guides are written or reviewed by medical doctors who are experts on the topic. To stay unbiased we show no ads, sell no products and take no money from industry.1 We’re fully funded by the people, via an optional membership.2

Read more about our policies and work with evidence-based guides, nutritional controversies, our editorial team and our medical review board.

Disclaimer: Many health and nutrition experts consider red meat to be potentially dangerous for long term health. A careful analysis of the science shows that there is room for debate given the quality of evidence on which current conventional wisdom is based.

We recognize that many of the studies cited have both pro- and anti-meat funding biases. While the funding source does not invalidate the data, it does question its strength. That is one of the many reasons detailed in this guide why the evidence is not as strong as we would like on either side of the argument.

This guide is our attempt to summarize current scientific evidence. It is written for adults who are concerned about meat intake and health.

Discuss any lifestyle changes with your doctor. Full disclaimer

Should you find any inaccuracy in this guide, please email

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