Sunday, March 3, 2013

An Easy Way to Improve Your Health - Meatless Monday!

As much as I love a sizzling steak now and then, I do try to be conscious of how much meat that we eat and make efforts to add more meatless options to our menu. At first I had difficulty with finding meals that were satisfying and filling, but over time I have accumulated a rather extensive collection of recipes that have become new favorites.

Meatless Monday is a great public health campaign that has been gaining momentum for years. The premise of Meatless Monday is to reduce your meat consumption by not eating meats on Mondays. By participating weekly you reduce your meat intake by 15% which has huge effects on your personal health and the health of the planet.

Below are a few health benefits of going meatless once a week as suggested on the Meatless Monday website:

- Limit Cancer Risk: Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been found to reduce cancer risks. Diets high in meats has been found to be associated with some cancers.
- Reduce Heart Disease: Replacing saturated fat-rich foods (meat and high dairy fat) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fats (veggie oils, seeds, and nuts) can reduce heart disease risk by 19%.
- Fight Diabetes: High consumption of red and processed meats can potentially increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
- Curb Obesity: Studies have shown that people with low meat intake or vegans have lower body mass indices and lower body weight.
- Live Longer: Red and processed meat consumption is linked to higher mortality rates, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.
- Improve Your Diet: Consuming more beans results in a higher intake of fiber, protein and other nutrients. Increase in vegetable and fruit consumption ("eat the rainbow") will also add more nutrients and have lower calorie per density than meats.

Source: Mom Favorites

Meat has the largest impact on the environment that any other food that we eat. Livestock consume a large amount of food and water, while also using immense amounts of land and energy to raise and transport.

Below is what goes into just one quarter pound of ground beef:
For even more information check out this infographic (click to see larger):

Do you participate in Meatless Mondays? 

My plan for the next few months is to photo and post some of my favorites meatless meals to share. Hopefully some of you will find them helpful. I'd love to hear about some of your favorite meatless meals too so please share your favorites!