There’s nothing wrong with loving your meat, fish and dairy products. They provide an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and important antioxidants. So if the idea of cutting these products out of your diet holds as much appeal as sitting through a politician’s speech on fiscal spending, then why not consider a compromise.
As with most things, moderation and balance is a key to enjoying life. It can be disconcerting and even alarming to read all the hype about what you should and shouldn’t be putting into your body, and you would be forgiven for being confused with what to believe.
What the experts say:
Many scientific, nutritional and health experts have suggested that eliminating animal products from your diet for just one day a week could considerably reduce your risk of chronic and largely preventable conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Going vegetarian occasionally can actually increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
REDUCING THE RISK OF CANCER. It seems that there is quite convincing evidence proving that excessive consumption of processed meats and red meat can increase the risk of some cancers including those affecting the colon, oesophagus, lung, pancreas and stomach.
REDUCING THE RISK OF STROKE AND HEART DISEASE. Some studies have shown that one daily serve of fruits and vegetables can produce up to 5% reduction in coronary heart disease and stroke risk. And adding up to 3 serves of whole grain per day can lower the risks by up to 21%.
REDUCING THE RISK OF DIABETES. There is quite considerable evidence to show that adding more plants to your diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by helping keep your calorie intake down, and maintaining a healthy weight, which is a major component to preventing and treating the disease.
REDUCING OBESITY. Plants are rich in fibre, which is not found in animal products. Nutritionists believe that an increase in fibre can help contribute to a feeling of fullness, thereby reducing calorie intake. Not to mention that vegetables and fruits contain far fewer calories than meat. For example consuming more beans, and peas can raise your fibre intake as well as adding protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium without adding any fat.
If you’ve been to your local butcher or supermarket lately, you’ll notice that meats and cheeses are expensive! You can actually save money by structuring your menu around vegetables and grains just one day per week. If you think you can cut out the meat, but won’t compromise on your carbs, you can add pasta, rice, lentils, or even consider quinoa or couscous which have a low glycemic number…meaning that they won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
If you think you’d like to go meatless for one whole day per week, it really can be beneficial to your health. You could make it a designated day every week, or change it around. But if you want to start with baby-steps, perhaps you could try eliminating animal products of any sort (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) forjust one meal per day.
Here are some tasty, healthy meat and dairy free recipes to add some flavour to the idea of becoming a part time herbivore.
And it would be remiss of me not to finish with a reminder that adding potentiated bee pollen (which is a 100% natural vegetable superfood) to your diet every day, holds a myriad health benefits, whether you are a consummate carnivore or a verified vegetarian.