Healthy Living

Make Meatless Meals a Habit

March 02, 2022

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You don’t have to go vegan to reap the rewards of eating less meat. Starting with just one meal a week can put you on the path to better health—and save you money. Not only is meat often more expensive per pound than other types of protein, but it is also a big culprit of calories, sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat.

Along with lowering your grocery bill, cutting back on meat reduces the risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Some cancers
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes

Updating dishes you already serve may make the change to your routine seem easier. Be sure to pick new ingredients that are healthy, not just meatless. They should be lower in sodium and fat, for example. So don’t rely heavily on processed foods, like packaged veggie burgers, to get protein.

Here are ways to make over popular meals:

  • Replace a beef burger with a grilled portabella mushroom burger.
  • Fill tacos, burritos, and enchiladas with black beans, red peppers, brussels sprouts, and other beans and vegetables.
  • Make chili with lentils or kidney or pinto beans instead of ground beef. Sprinkle on shredded fat-free or low-fat cheese, not regular varieties.
  • Stir-fry broccoli and other vegetables with tofu or toasted peanuts or cashews.
  • Sprinkle unsalted nuts or seeds on salads, instead of bacon pieces or luncheon meat. Try pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, or pecans.

Pretty soon, you won’t find yourself asking “Where’s the beef?” (Or chicken. Or pork.) You’ll be enjoying the wide variety of options a meatless meal can bring.

Mother and daughter making salad

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