I could never give up meat (I love bacon sandwiches too much!) but I am concerned about the impact mass meat production has on the planet. I also love vegetables so I have now been following the practice of “Meatless Monday” for a few months. It’s great. I find myself trying great new veggie recipes and on Mondays I never miss meat. In fact, I now also have another meatless day during the week. I think everyone can benefit (as will the planet) by adopting Meatless Monday.
One of the key reasons to adopt a meatless Monday is that, quite simply, it can help you to live a longer life! There is no denying the benefits of a plant based diet, so adopting a vegetarian lifestyle for even just one day of the week can help to make you healthier in terms of cholesterol, blood pressure, weight management, and many other important factors that make up a healthy human being.
Choosing to go meatless, particularly on a Monday, means that you will have started the week off in the healthiest way possible, and it could inspire you to make much better choices as the rest of the days pass by. Concentrating on a healthy diet so early in the week can set the right tone for Tues, Weds, Thurs and so on. You might not want to undo all of the hard work that you put in on the Monday.
Eliminating red meat from your diet, even just for one day of the week, can help to reduce your risk of heart disease while at the same time lowering cholesterol and decreasing blood pressure. Experts say that vegetarians have, on average, a 32% lower risk of suffering from coronary heart disease compared to regular meat eaters, so making a change for just one day can help to reduce that risk for you.
Trading plant based foods for meat, even for just one day, means that less water and energy is being used to produce the food that you are eating. Did you know that it takes a whopping 1800 gallons of water to produce just a single pound of beef? That is compared to only 108 gallons for a pound of corn, so by switching to just veggies on a Monday, you are doing your own little bit to reduce your environmental footprint.
Besides from all of the healthy and environment benefits, there is the simple fact that a vegetarian meal can be simple to prepare and delicious to eat! Things like soup, pasta, enchiladas and salads can all be packed with more flavor than any hamburger or hotdog ever could, so break out of your meat comfort zone and experiment with all that vegetables can offer.
It has been proven that eating more plants that are rich in fiber can help to lower your risk of obesity, and meals that don’t feature meat as their main component are much more likely to have a heavier focus on vegetables, fruits and grains. A meatless diet is also much more likely to be lower in saturated fats which are very prominent in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Besides all of the health benefits that have been mentioned, going meat free for just one day of the week can make a big difference to your finances when looked at in a yearly sense. Fruit and vegetables are much cheaper in quantity than meat, so you are not only giving your body a health boost, but you are also giving your wallet a healthy boost too!
What do you think about Meatless Monday? Will you give it a try?
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