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Diet and Nutrition

Digestion period of meat

12/21/2006

Question:

My husband says that he heard that it takes 3 weeks for a human body to digest red meat. I am asking you due to I have not heard of this.

Answer:

Thanks for your question.  You've probably not 'heard of this' because it's untrue.  While red meat, and other high protein, high fat foods may take longer for the body to process and digest, it is certainly not 3 weeks.  Most foods take from 1 to 3 days to be completely digested and eliminated from the body.  But just like metabolism, everyone's digestion system works at a different pace.  Some individuals may digest red meat in 2 days, while others may take 4 or 5.

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati