Are Meat Pies Healthy? We Find Out

Better stick to chicken and leek...

Are Meat Pies Healthy? We Find Out

If a lunchtime meat pie or a post-workout Maccas are part of your ‘high-protein’ diet, scientists have bad news for you.

The latest CSIRO Healthy Diet Score survey, which investigated the diets of 200,000 Australians, revealed that people with ‘low-quality’ diets got eight times more of their protein from junk food than people with high-quality diets—and were more than three times as likely to be obese.

This survey serves as a reminder that, “Not all foods that contain protein are good for you,” CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Professor Manny Noakes points out.

“Our research also shows that many people are not getting their protein from healthy foods.”

Another problem is that most Australians are far from an average weight. As reported by Gizmodo, more than 60 per cent of us are “overweight or obese,” and our understanding of protein could be a contributing factor.

Processed foods like pies, burgers, pizza with processed meats, chicken nuggets, sausages, cakes, ice cream and biscuits, were the second highest contributor to protein intake for people with low-quality diet scores.

On the other hand, people with higher-quality diets got their protein from whole foods, including chicken, red meat, fish, eggs, milk, cereals, nuts and yoghurt. For this group, junk food only accounted for about three per cent of their total protein intake.

Not only is this healthier in itself, but, “Higher protein-healthy meals help to control appetite and can help to reduce the urge to indulge in junk food,” Professor Noakes said.

This means that research into the affordability of whole-food based protein is important, as well as making the CSIRO’s January recommendation that we eat “At least 25 grams of protein at each main meal to help control hunger and enhance muscle metabolism,” public knowledge.

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