You may have heard about Meat Free Monday, but what is it all about and why should we consider it? Why Meatless? Because going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Going meatless once a week can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water.
For Your Health:
Reduce Heart Disease and Stroke—Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease
Limit Cancer Risk—There is evidence that red meat and processed meat consumption increases the risk of colorectal cancer. There is also evidence that red meat increases the risk of oesophagus, lung, pancreatic, and endometrial cancer and that processed meat consumption increases the risk of oesophagus, lung, stomach, and prostate cancer. In contrast, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables decreases the risk of several types of cancers, including mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, and stomach.
Fight Diabetes—Research suggests that plant-based diets, particularly those low in processed meat, can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating a plant-based diet can decrease total calorie consumption which helps you obtain and maintain a healthy weight, a key component to preventing and treating diabetes.
Curb Obesity—people on plant-based, vegetarian diets tend to have a significantly lower body weight and body mass index (BMI). This may be in part because plant-based diets are rich in fibre (which is not found in animal products). Fibre contributes to fullness, resulting in lower calorie intake and less overeating.
Live Longer—Evidence suggests that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and a limited amount of red meat, can increase longevity, whereas red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in deaths due to cancer and cardiovascular disease
Improve the Nutritional Quality of Your Diet— Going meatless encourages consumption of plant-based sources of protein, like beans and peas. Consuming beans and peas results in a higher intake of fibre, protein, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Also, diets high in beans and peas are associated with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat
For Your Wallet:
Cut Weekly Budget—Many people save money by adding meatless meals to their weekly menus. Meatless meals are built around vegetables, beans and grains instead of meat, which tends to be more expensive.Though it can be challenging to serve healthy meals on a budget, going meatless once a week can help conserve money for more fruits and vegetables.
I am not suggesting that you go vegetarian, but maybe this is something to consider, just once a week, it doesn’t have to be Monday, but one day to really focus on healthy eating a day to discover a really delicious vegetarian recipe using pulses or beans, not just a meat replacement like quorn or soya protein.
For more information go to www.meatfreemondays.com