Protein Protein should make up 10-20% of the daily calories of a balanced diet, which corresponds to approximately 1 g per kg of body weight.
Animal proteins are traditionally characterised by superior quality, complete proteins with respect to plant proteins, which lack a few amino acids and are less easily digested (remedied by pairing different foods containing varied amino acids, such as cereals with legumes).
Fats Generally, the ideal fat intake is around 25-35% of one’s total calories. Consumed at such levels, as part of a varied, balanced diet, fats play important structural and metabolic roles. They provide essential fatty acids, indispensable for health; they deliver fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K; they are an important source of energy; they help you feel full and satiated; and they aid in the absorption of other macronutrients.
Saturated fatty acids Although noted for their ability to increase cholesterol plasma lipids (unlike unsaturated fats which tend to reduce them or which have no significant effects), some of them seem to have no effect on the lipid metabolism.
The reduction in the lipid content of meat found in the last decade has been accompanied by an equally important reduction in the proportion of saturated fats, which today are on average 30-40% of the total fats in this food category.
Unsaturated fatty acids (mono and polyunsaturated) From a nutritional point of view, they are, in general, good for our body and help us prevent cardiovascular diseases. An example of a fatty acid that even improves lipid profiles is oleic acid, primarily found in olive oil (though pork meat is also a good source of these fatty acids), and omega 3, found in cold water fish.
Vitamins and minerals Meat is a great source of water-soluble vitamins and B vitamins. Red meat, in particular, is the preferred choice for vitamin B12, which aids in numerous metabolic and physiological processes (such as the formation of red blood cells and the proper function of the nervous and immune systems) and helps prevent fatigue.
Minerals Meat is a source of numerous minerals, such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and, to a lesser degree, calcium.
Iron, found also in offal and red meat, is very important. The recommended daily intake varies based on gender and age: children should get 8 mg/day (from 1-3 years old), increasing to 18 mg/day (from 15-17 years), and 27 mg/day for pregnant women.