Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference
Embracing a healthier lifestyle
Eating less meat can lead to health benefits
According to the World Health Organization, we eat considerably more protein than is necessary or optimal for health – mostly from animal products. A meat-and-dairy-heavy diet is now being linked to some of the world’s biggest killer diseases: cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Plant-based eating can help the NHS save money
A study carried out by Oxford University’s department of public health found that eating meat no more than three times a week could prevent 31,000 deaths from heart disease, 9,000 deaths from cancer and 5,000 deaths from stroke, as well as save the NHS £1.2 billion in costs each year.
The US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that “appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases”.
Study after study supports the idea that a wholefood plant-based diet is optimal for health and well-being. The British Dietetic Association states that well-planned plant-based diets “can support healthy living at every age and life-stage”. The US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that “appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases”.
Is there enough protein in a meat free diet?
Yes there is. In Western countries, our problem is that we get too much protein, not too little, and this is causing health problems. Most Britons get at least twice as much protein as they need, and too much protein, especially animal protein, can increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney disease. There is protein in whole wheat bread, nuts, oatmeal, beans, corn, peas, mushrooms, green leafy vegetables and vegetables like broccoli – almost every food. Unless you eat a great deal of processed, greasy fast food, it’s almost impossible to eat as many calories as you need for good health without getting enough protein.
What about calcium?
Plant-based food offers plenty of calcium – for example swede, okra, broccoli, dried figs, chia seeds, almonds and dark green leafy vegetables (especially kale, spinach, watercress and pak choi). Fortified soya milk and calcium set tofu and are also good sources of calcium.
13 protein-packed recipes for healthy Meat Free Mondays