That is according to new research published in the journal BMJ Open, which examined the effects of red meat on diabetes development, bowel cancer and heart disease.
The study also took into account the contribution livestock farming makes to greenhouse gas emissions, including through the large portions of imported cereals and soy for animal feed.
Authors examined the responses to the 2000-2001 British National Diet and Nutrition survey to determine how much red and processed meat is eaten by the UK population.
They also published data from life cycle analyses to determine average greenhouse gas emissions for 45 different food categories.
A feasible "counterfactual" alternative to these findings was then drawn up, doubling the number of survey respondents who said they were vegetarian to 4.7 per cent of men and 12.3 per cent of women.
The remaining candidates adopted the same diet as those in the bottom fifth of red meat and processed meat consumption.
It was shown that those in the top fifth of consumption ate 2.5 times more red and processed meat than those in the bottom fifth.
Therefore, a diet consisting of the lower end of red and processed meat would lead men to cut consumption from 91 to 53g per day, while women would slash it from 54 to 30g.
The results show that this would allow for between a three and 12 per cent reduction in developing coronary artery disease, diabetes and bowel cancer across the entire population.
A more green approach to living would also be achieved as greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by the equivalent of 28 million tonnes of CO2 each year.
"Dietary recommendations should no longer be based on direct health effects alone," the study authors concluded.
Although red meat has been linked to a higher risk of bowel cancer, it remains a good source of protein, iron and zinc.