Vegetables Healthier Than Eating Meat?
An analysis based on two studies spanning 26 years and involving 121,342 people found that for each three-ounce increase of red meat, the risk of cancer increased by 10 percent. They also found a correlation between the meat increase and a 16 percent greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Overall, the risk of dying from other diseases or illnesses increased 12 percent. This study confirms numerous previous study findings by providing more evidence that eating red meat daily is not only bad for health in general, but significantly increases the risk of dying overall.
The American Institute for Cancer Research’s “New American Plate” program recommends filling 1/3rd of the plate with 3 ounces of an animal-based food and 2/3rds of the plate with two vegetable based products, complemented by a whole-grain side dish. Under the “old plate” recommendation, meat was a main entrée where now it is treated more as a condiment, such as topped on a salad or part of a stir-fry made using a healthy oil.
Processed Meats v Vegetables
Studies also found that processed meats are not good for one’s health. A long-term diet high in meat processed by smoking, curing, salting, drying, canning or high temperature barbequing has been linked to cancer and heart disease too. Processed meats include sausages, bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami, jerky, corned beef and canned meat – generally any meat that has been modified to extend its shelf life or change its taste. Instead of eating red or processed meats, 1/3rd of your plate should come from healthier meats including turkey, chicken, pork or seafood. On rare occasion, substitute with a small portion of lean cut red meat.
With the other 2/3rds of the plate filled with vegetable products, not only does it increase fiber content, keeping you fuller longer, but also significantly reduces the number of calories consumed resulting in better weight management. And because vegetables are devoid of saturated fat in most cases, they help lower the risk of cancer instead of increasing it. At a ratio of 2:1, the New Plate program, has twice as much cancer-fighting properties as it does cancer promoting ones.
Limiting meats and increasing vegetables also lower the risk of developing other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Comparing all of the risks increased by eating red or processed meats, and all of the risks lowered by eating primarily plants, it is easy to see the smarter choice.
Going Meatless: Vegetable Tips for the Whole Family
Choosing a meatless diet for you and your family is a big decision. Vegetarian and vegan diets are followed by millions of people around the world for various reasons, including ethical, religious, and health ones. For many choosing to eliminate meat from the diet stems from the many health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Vegetables Equal a Healthy Heart
A lot of evidence exists as to the fact that vegetarian eating greatly supports heart health. Additionally, meatless diets help to prevent several cancers, and ensure digestive health. One of the most important health benefits may be that a vegetable based diet can prevent obesity and consequently prevents a plethora of associated medical complications that result from it. The bottom line is that plant foods are the most nutritious foods available, created by nature to provide you with essential nutrients for good health, disease prevention, healthy aging, and vitality.
Actually, going meatless can be easy once you find out what dishes can be prepared for a family of four who have decided to become vegetarians or vegans. The diet, which consists of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and plant-based fats, such as olive oil, can also include variant foods. Eggs or milk may be included, depending on a vegetarian’s personal dietary preferences.
Vegetable Meat Substitutes
There are many foods that serve as meat substitutes to provide you with the essential protein your body needs, and some of these actually contain more protein than beef or chicken. Great sources of protein, all of which serve as meat substitutes, include the following:
Make Some Substitutions Here and There
In some instances, families may just want to try out the vegetarian or vegan routine. If that is you, then you need not overhaul your family’s entire menu. You can just make some substitutions here and there, all which can make a big difference in your meal planning and fare. Instead of chicken stir-fry on Tuesday, serve tofu stir-fry. Make chickpea burgers for Saturday’s picnic. Serve black beans instead of steak on Thursday.
Pasta with Tomatoes and Veggies
Begin to cook spaghetti without beef, instead add tomatoes and many vegetables. Serve grilled vegetables more often as a side dish and as a main course.
Making an Easy Transition
Veggie burgers can be substituted for ground beef and stir-fry can include cubed tofu in the pan instead of chicken with vegetables. If you fix tacos for dinner, try using black beans and the fixings instead of meat. You can make going meatless an easy transition when you include such substitutes as tofu, tempeh, seitan, legumes, or beans.
Add Soy Milk and Protein Powder to Make a Smoothie a Meal
Going vegetarian or vegan also includes drinking smoothies. Reduce your meat intake and increase your fruit consumption instead. Not only are the drinks easy to make, they are delicious as well. Add soymilk to the blender concoction if you prefer a creamier drink. Should you choose you could make a meal out of the drink by adding protein powder as well.
Add a Large Salad to the Menu
Make eating meat a thing of the past by including a large salad in your daily menu. Include baby spinach, earthy mushrooms, juicy tomatoes, and olives that have been drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Then add such vegetarian accompaniments as nuts, sliced applies and arugula.
Obtain Some Guidance About Veg v Meat
In order to make family meal planning a breeze, invest in a good vegetarian cookbook or purchase a subscription to a vegetarian magazine. While some families want to try out the vegetarian lifestyle, they are not sure how to proceed. By buying the right reading material, you will have a ready resource to guide you along the way.
Staples for a meatless kitchen include potatoes, frozen vegetables, soymilk, flour, vegetable broth, olive oil, rice, pasta, mushrooms, black beans, and olives. Include flavors and condiments such as vegan butter, balsamic vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, lemon juice and homemade salad dressings.
How to Compensate for Meat Nutrients in a Vegetable Diet
How Much Protein Do We Really Need?
Vegetable diets are becoming increasingly popular with more and more people giving up meat for a range of reasons, including concerns about the environmental sustainability of meat production, ethical considerations such as the treatment of animals and due to their religious beliefs.
A carefully planned vegetable diet can be very health, however without sufficient research and planning a removing meat from your diet could lead to significant nutritional deficiencies, which can result in health problems down the road. Read on to discover how you can compensate for key nutrients found in meat when adopting a vegetarian diet.
Different types of vegetable diets
Firstly, there are three main types of vegetarian diets, whilst all focus on consuming plant foods they do differ in subtle ways.
Poorly planned vegetable diets place you at risk of nutritional deficiencies
When choosing to switch to a meat free diet it is important to not make a rash decision and dive in head first without doing your research. By simply cutting out meat products without considering, what you will replace them with can quickly result in you becoming deficient in a number of nutrients that are important for good health.
Many experts recommend starting out slow, like eliminating meat from menus one or two days per week. This allows you to ease into the lifestyle and to find new dishes and recipes to replace that steak or chicken that used to sit on your plate.
Poorly planned vegetable diets are commonly deficient in the following nutrients:
Try to include some of the following foods each day:
Minimize your intake of less nutritious foods
For many vegetarians who fail to plan their diet it is quite common to become reliant on less healthy foods such as cakes, muffins, chips and meat free takeaway foods.
This can be problematic, as these foods tend to be high in saturated fat, sugar, salt and low in the essential nutrients that your body requires. Over consumption of these foods will also displace healthier foods from your regular diet. Feel free to consume these foods occasionally but don’t let them become part of your staple diet.
Vegetable diets and children
Children have nutritional needs that differ significantly to adults. For parents wishing to put their child on a meat free diet it is incredibly important to consult with a dietitian so that all their nutritional needs are met. Failure to provide adequate nourishment to growing children can affect growth and development and have long-term health consequences.
As you can see, with just a little planning a meat free diet need not be deficient in nutrients. If you are considering changing to a vegetarian lifestyle be sure to do your research and seek professional assistance from a dietitian to ensure you don’t place yourself or your loved ones at risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Detractors of a plant-based diet always seem to return to one major argument. They point out that since eating lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries does not deliver enough daily protein, this type of approach to nutrition is unhealthy.
Never mind that a veg based diet has been proven time and again to be extremely healthy, especially in contrast to most modern-day diets. This argument usually comes from people who are overweight or obese, and whose diet consists primarily of processed foods and fast foods, so you should take it with a grain of salt.
However, that ongoing argument does bring up 2 great questions.
1 – How much protein does the human body require on a daily basis?
2 – Can you get the required protein from a plant-based diet?
Let's answer these questions in turn.
First off, understanding how much protein you need each day is an issue which should be answered by a health professional. So we turned to the globally respected health authority The Mayo Clinic for an answer.
They state that your sex, age, weight and activity level all come together to dictate your daily protein requirements. However, they recommend approximately "5 to 6 ounces of protein-rich food each day" as an average amount. This could be anywhere from 50 to 75 grams of protein.
The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) published by the Institute of Medicine in the United States believes in the following protein formula. They suggest you eat "0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 g per pound" every day. This amounts to anywhere from 45 to 70 grams of protein. Cooked cauliflower delivers 3 g of protein in just a 100 g serving. Bean sprouts, lentils and peas offer a tremendous 13 g of protein per 100 g serving. Cooked lima beans, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, sweetcorn, spinach and collard greens each deliver between 3 and 7 g of healthy protein in a 100 g serving.
Dairy products and eggs are extremely high in protein. So are nuts and nut butters. Meats are high in protein, but as you can see from the above numbers and requirements, you can enjoy a predominantly vegetable diet, cut back on or avoid meat altogether, and eat more than enough protein to satisfy your daily needs. Plant-based approaches to nutrition avoid the dangers of processed foods. They also provide plenty of healthy nutrients, minerals and protein as well. If you are thinking about adopting a healthy vegetable based diet, you can rest assured that you can easily cover your daily protein requirements.