Including meat and poultry in a balanced diet delivers a unique bundle of natural nutrients and helps optimize the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from all foods according a new dietician authored brochure “Meat: A Key Player on Your Wellness Team” released this week by the American Meat Institute (AMI) Foundation.

According to the brochure, meat and poultry provide complete high quality protein that with all the essential amino acids necessary for health. Per serving, meat and poultry provide more protein than eggs, beans, cereals vegetables or nuts and his is critical for developing and preparing muscles, promoting growth in children and preventing muscle loss in aging people.

Meat and poultry also are great ‘team players’ because not only do they deliver many vitamins and minerals, they help the body absorb more nutrients from vegetables. The Foundation notes that emerging research suggests that about two ounces of meat or poultry may improve iron absorption from a meal by about 45 percent.

In addition, meat and poultry are natural sources of Vitamin B12, a common deficiency in people, particularly as they age. A vegan diet, which contains no animal foods at all, must be rounded out with Vitamin B12, fortified foods or certain types of seaweed or nutritional yeast.

A convenient grid displays the average content of Choline, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin,, B vitamins, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium and Zinc in beef, chicken, lamb, pork and turkey and indicates which are good sources (greater than 10 percent of recommended daily value) and which are excellent sources (greater than 20 percent of daily value) of these nutrients.

“Scientific research affirms that meat and poultry are packaged with essential and highly absorbable nutrients and can play a vital role in a healthy diet. Meat and poultry, eaten in combination with other foods, also can optimize the nutrition that people derive from their balanced diets,” the Institute’s brochure says. Like sports teams that succeed when they use their strengths and work together meat and poultry products are key players on the nutrition team.”

In releasing the new resource, AMI Interim President & CEO James H. Hodges said, “With the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee convening, much discussion is occurring now about the role that meat and poultry can and should play in the diet. This science-based, well referenced brochure advances important information about the essential role that meat and poultry play in ensuring good nutrition, preventing nutrition deficiencies and muscle loss during aging and promoting proper development in children.”

The free brochure, authored by Cheryl Toner, M.S., R.D.N., may be downloaded at or by requesting via

Source: AMI