Most consumers in the US don’t fully recognise the unique nutrition benefits that meat and poultry offer, according to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll for the American Meat Institute.
Only 12% of consumers correctly identified animal products like meat and poultry as the only natural source of Vitamin B12, which keeps the nervous system healthy. Twenty percent said cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower were the natural source of B12 and 13% thought the correct answer was citrus fruit. Neither of these foods contain Vitamin B12.
The Harvard Health Blog reports that “Vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimated that 3.2% of adults over age 50 have a seriously low B12 level, and up to 20% may have a borderline deficiency.”
AMI’s survey also showed consumers don’t know that the body absorbs more iron from meat and poultry than from other foods. Meat and poultry contain “heme” iron, the most absorbable form, but 52% of consumers incorrectly thought the body absorbed the most iron from spinach, kale and other leafy greens, which are high in iron, but contain the less absorbable “non-heme” form.
Only 17% correctly named meat, poultry and fish. Adequate iron intake is important because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies iron deficiency anemia as the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States.
The American Meat Institute Foundation has released a dietitian-authored brochure “Meat: A Key Player on Your Wellness Team,” that details meat and poultry’s nutrition benefits and how it can be part of healthy, balanced diet.