You may have heard of the ‘Meat-Free Monday’ concept that’s become popular over the last few years. A simple concept, choosing to have one day per week where meat is off the menu. Perhaps you’ve adopted this approach already and its part of your weekly meal-planning routine. Maybe you’re thinking of giving it a go. Perhaps you’re wondering – what’s the point?
Better for your health
Making a conscious choice to go meat-free one day a week can make a big difference when it comes to your health. Reducing your meat consumption can lower your overall intake of saturated fat, which can in turn reduce your risk of developing both heart disease and cancer – two of the world’s leading causes of death. In fact, a study by Oxford University’s Department of Public Health conducted in 2010 found that limiting meat consumption to no more than three times weekly has the potential to prevent 31,000 deaths associated to heart disease, 9,000 caner related deaths and 5,000 deaths from stroke annually.
The inclusion of alternate sources of protein – such as grains, nuts and beans – are generally lower in calories and fat than animal proteins. They are also quite often rich sources of other essential vitamins and nutrients; so by choosing plant based proteins, you’re essentially getting a double-whammy of goodness through reduced disease risk and increased vitamin and mineral intake.
You don’t need to recreate the wheel when it comes to going meat free one day per week. If you were planning on having Spaghetti Bolognese – simply switch the mince meat for brown lentils. Same concept for tacos. Perhaps Chicken Parmagiana is what you’ve been craving? Try an eggplant parma instead. Portobello mushrooms are a great replacement for steak. The sky is the limit when it comes to plant-based swaps – so let your creativity run wild and your tastebuds be tantalised!
Better for the environment
Making a deliberate choice to forego meat one day per week can not only make a big difference when it comes to your health, but also the wellbeing of our planet. Reduced consumption of meat can lead to a reduction in the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by livestock. In addition to this, there is also a decrease in the resources required in livestock production – in terms of land, water and feed required. To give you some perspective, it is estimated that three quarters of the worlds’ total agricultural land is used for livestock grazing or for growing animal feed.
By choosing to fill your plate with plants one day per week, you’ll be making inroads to not only a healthier you, but a healthier planet – and that’s something we can all feel good about.
Better for your hip pocket
Not only will you be doing something good for your health and the environment by becoming part of the Meat-Free Monday movement, you’ll also save yourself some coin along the way. Plant based sources of protein such as beans and legumes are a significantly more economical choice, even compared to the cheapest options of meat protein. With all of these benefits in mind, you’re well entitled to a sense of satisfaction when sitting down to your plant-based meals.
If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to incorporating more plant-based protein into your diet – jump online! There are thousands of different websites and forums that you can use to whet your appetite and get your creative juices flowing. Give it a go this week!