In recent times, becoming vegetarian or vegan has become more popular, but is still not the best option for many. If you may be contemplating removing meat from your diet but do not want to go completely meat-free, perhaps try going meat-free for just one day a week.
Sharon Palmer, a registered dietician and author of Plant-Powered for Life, discuss how “Research consistently shows that plant-based diets are linked with a lower risk of obesity, hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.”
She continues, “Even going meatless one day a week can make a difference, as you increase all of those whole plant foods — beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits — and decrease more animal foods, in particular red and processed meat. High intakes of these foods have been linked with increased disease risk.”
Deciding to have a more plant-based diet also increases your intake of fiber, vitamins, healthy fats and minerals. To help to do, stocking your fridge or pantry with a variety of beans, seasonal veggies, whole grains, herbs, nuts, and seeds is Palmer’s secret to eating more plant-based meals.
Palmer’s other recommendation is “plantifying” your favorite dishes. “Just make your favorite entrees or meals plant-based, with a few swaps. If you have a mean lasagna recipe, skip the meat and add layers of greens, broccoli and peppers and perhaps some pine nuts and cashew cheese instead of the meat and cheese.
If you love taco Tuesday, make your tacos veggie by skipping the meat and serving black beans or a vegetarian mushroom tofu filling. If you love Indian food, skip the chicken masala and have chickpea masala instead. These will be foods you already love and are familiar with.”
Her biggest advice is to pick one day a week to follow through with this and mark it on your calender. “I love the Meatless Monday idea because people often start their best behaviors at the beginning of the week. … However, there may be a better day of the week for you, so just plan it,” Palmer said.