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5 Reasons To Try "Meatless Monday"


People are drawn to vegetarianism by all sorts of motives. Some of us want to pro-long life, live healthier lives, or do our part to reduce pollution. Others have made the switch to help preserve Earth’s natural resources or a strong love for animals outweighs eating meat. If going entirely meatless is just not realistic for you, then take on the challenge of going, “Meatless Monday.” Every individual has to do what works well for themselves. Reducing your meat intake does have many positive effects on your body and well being that are worth taking into consideration for your health in the long run.

Reduce The Risk Of Disease

A vegetarian diet is characterized by eating plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and seeds. A carefully planned vegetarian diet usually has sufficient amounts of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats with lower amounts of total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than non-vegetarian diets. A proper Vegetarian diet can aid in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, proved that going meatless gives vegetarians a 32 percent lower heart disease risk than non-vegetarians. A vegetarian diet is a great option because vegetarians consume no animal fat and less cholesterol.

Help Keep Your Weight Down

The standard American diet is high in saturated fats, processed foods, low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It has been proven that an overweight person who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. This may be because a vegetarian diet typically includes less saturated fat and emphasizes more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins foods that are more filling and less calorie dense. But don’t be fooled, a vegetarian diet is not automatically low calorie. You can gain weight on a vegetarian diet if your portion sizes are too big or if you eat an abundance high-calorie foods, such as sweetened beverages, fried food, high processed food and desserts. Even some foods marketed as vegetarian can be high in calories and fat, such as soy hot dogs, soy cheese, refried beans and snack bars. The more whole foods you eat the better.

Help Your Irritable Stomach And PMS

The Vegetarian Diet eliminates dairy products, which may be very helpful for the 1 out of 10 Americans who are lactose-intolerant today. Lactose intolerance is the inability or insufficient ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products. People who are mildly lactose-intolerant can often enjoy small amounts of dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and lactose-free milk. But if you avoid dairy altogether, you can still get a healthful dose of calcium from dry beans, tofu, soymilk and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collards and turnip greens. In relation to stomach pain, a vegetarian diet can help to reduce cramps and PMS. A study conducted at Georgetown University has found that estrogen levels can be reduced by eating a low-fat, vegetarian diet that is high in fiber. When women in the study ate such a diet they experienced less severe menstrual symptoms, and for less time. When the women ate their normal, omnivorous diets, their symptoms of menstrual distress were longer and more severe.

Help The Environment And The Animals

By going vegetarian, we can help prevent global warming, rainforest destruction, and pollution, while saving water and other precious resources. In fact, raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined. You can help reduce pollution. Some people become vegetarians after realizing the devastation that the meat industry is having on the environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams. Many vegetarians give up meat because of their concern for animals. Ten billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year. Unlike the farms in previous generations where animals roamed freely, today most animals are factory farmed crammed into cages where they can barely move and fed a diet tainted with pesticides and antibiotics.

You Can Save Money

Meat accounts for 10 percent of Americans food spending. Eating vegetables, grains and fruits in place of the 200 pounds of beef, chicken and fish each nonvegetarian eats annually would cut individual food bills by an average of $4,000 a year. In most homes, a traditional dinner centers around the meat of the meal, usually accompanied by a starchy side dish such as potatoes, rice or pasta. Vegetables are subjected to a supporting role, perhaps a salad or a spoonful of something green at the edge of the plate. Up your veggies on the plate; meats are typically more expensive than starches or vegetables. The smart way to go is to buy in bulk. This is one of the biggest money-saving tricks out there. Try browsing the bulk bins at your grocery store for your favorite nuts, seeds, grains, beans and dried fruit. Since they’re priced by weight, you get way more bang for your buck.

With the Holiday Season right around the corner, the time is now to start thinking and eating healthy. There are so many benefits to reducing your meat intake and there are many resources to provide you the tools and information to make a meatless transition easily. Take the time to care about your body while you are young, this way you are ahead of the game by the time your an adult with your own children to feed and nurture. Browse through the variety of Vegetarian, Vegan, and Raw Apps that are available for download. This could be a great start for meatless inspiration. Happy Eating!

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