A recently published Australian study concluded that women who avoid red meat appear to be at increased risk of clinical depression. Women consuming less than the recommended amount of red meat were twice as likely to have a diagnosed depressive or anxiety disorder as those consuming less than the recommended amount. Eating very high amounts of red meat was also associated with increased rates of depression.
The researchers suggest a moderate amount of lean red meat—about three to four 6-8 ounce servings per week—may actually be important for mental health. However, they also recommend being careful with the type of meat you choose. As reported by PsychCentral.com:
"[Felice] Jacka [Ph.D., associate professor from Deakin's Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit] also suggests sticking with grass-fed meats whenever possible. "We know that red meat in Australia is a healthy product as it contains high levels of nutrients, including the omega-3 fatty acids that are important to mental and physical health. This is because cattle and sheep in Australia are largely grass-fed. In many other countries, the cattle are kept in feedlots and fed grains, rather than grass. This results in a much less healthy meat with more saturated fat and fewer healthy fats."