If you're looking to improve your health and help the environment, consider reducing the amount of meat in your diet. A plant-based diet has many health and environmental benefits, and it's easier than you might think! In this blog post, we'll discuss a few of the benefits of going meatless and give you a few tips for making the switch.
What is a plant-based diet?
For those looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, a plant-based diet can be a great choice. A plant-based diet is primarily composed of foods from plant sources, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes. These foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of dietary fibre.
Meat and dairy products do not have to be excluded entirely; however, a significant reduction in their intake (or removing them altogether) is recommended.
Is eating less meat good for your health?
It's becoming increasingly clear that eating less meat is beneficial for your health. While any healthy diet should include a mix of protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients, reducing your consumption of animal proteins may provide a range of possible health benefits.
Studies have shown that consuming less red and processed meats can reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers and heart disease, as well as help to reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol levels.
Additionally, the fibre from plant-based proteins such as beans can help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels more effectively than meat-based proteins.
What are the environmental benefits of reducing meat in your diet?
Eating less meat can have a range of positive effects on the environment. A shift away from animal proteins can help reduce the strain on water and land resources needed for livestock production, as agricultural land usage accounts for around a third of global freshwater usage.
Furthermore, certain types of livestock release harmful gases into the atmosphere; cows, for example, create large amounts of methane as well as carbon dioxide.
Additionally, most processed meats – such as burgers and sausages - are packaged with plastic-based materials which often fail to decompose after they enter landfill sites.
Finally, producing plant-based proteins generally requires less energy than creating the same amount of animal-based proteins, making it a more sustainable option.
Overall, by reducing our intake of animal protein we can make a real contribution to helping maintain the planet's environment.
How can you make the switch to a plant-based diet?
Deciding to transition to a plant-based diet can be incredibly rewarding but it requires some planning and effort to ensure success.
Start by familiarising yourself with easy vegan recipes, as this will make it easier to cook delicious meals. Meal prepping and planning is also recommended as they will save time and money in the long run.
When grocery shopping, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based ingredients. Canned or frozen produce are good substitutes when fresh options are unavailable.
Consider supplementing your diet with B12 vitamins that are mostly found in animal products but can come from plant-based sources like fortified foods or nutritional yeast.
Lastly, don’t forget to stay hydrated – the human body needs at least eight glasses of water per day regardless of your diet! Although transitioning to a plant-based diet might require some adjustments at first, no doubt making small changes can lead to a more sustainable food lifestyle.