Meatless Mondays – Your Health and the Environment
Meant to get this one out on Monday! However, it really doesn’t matter what day you choose, the take-home message is that eating a vegetarian diet one day a week has a positive impact on the environment and your health. Without fully adopting vegetarianism, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve natural resources including oil and support local farmers. The vegetarian movement is catching on with numerous celebrities and health advocates supporting it. The Meatless Monday campaign provides weekly recipes and information on the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Supporters of the campaign include Jessica Simpson, Oprah and Sir Paul McCartney. Why would all these people want to cut out meat once a week? Maybe because studies have shown that plant-based diets lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. It could also be that they’re invested in our environment; industrial agriculture is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases. Whatever the motivation, going meatless once a week clearly has an impact individually and globally. A well-planned vegetarian diet can provide the same level of nutrients as a meat-containing diet. Plant sources of protein have just as much protein as meat without all of the saturated fat. Foods such as beans, nut butters, and eggs provide ample amounts of protein with the benefit of additional vitamins and minerals. For example, in addition to being a great source of protein, black beans are loaded of dietary fiber, folate, and thiamin. Walnuts are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Trying different protein sources you can add some nutrients to your diet that you may have been missing out on and they’re delicious too. Try mixing up a Black Bean Salad or a Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie for some great meat-free protein options.