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Try Meatless Monday: 7 Benefits to Try Meatless Monday

Updated on June 7, 2011
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Can I stop eating meat for one day a week?

You've heard about Meatless Monday, and know the movement is gaining momentum. You also like to eat meat and aren't sure that the vegetarian life is for you — even if it's only one day out of seven. What difference can it really make if one person gives up eating meat one day out of the week?

If you have read even this far, you probably are open to the idea, you just need a little convincing. And you would be surprised by the very real benefits that you can enjoy from eating vegetarian for a day.

A good vegetarian cookbook can help meat lovers make meals they enjoy

7 no-brainer reasons to give Meatless Monday a try

  1. Be Healthy. Eating less meat has been shown in study after study to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even some kinds of cancer. Why wouldn't you take the easy step of going veg one day a week if it means better health?
  2. Live Longer. Reducing meat consumption has also been proven to help people live longer. One need look no further than Okinawa, Japan which has one of the longest life expectancies of anywhere on the plant: Their diet is heavy on fish and veggies and very light on meat. So cutting back on meat helps you live longer and live healthier into that old-age? Sounds good!
  3. Help the Environment. Meat has a bigger carbon footprint than any other kind of food. The animals need food and water, and the food animals eat — grains and grasses — themselves require water, land and nutrients. Then there's the fuel required to transport the meat to the store and to your house; the energy required to refrigerate it and keep it fresh. It's good for the environment to eat less meat.
  4. Lose Weight. Meat provides good protein, but it also provides cholesterol and fat. Americans get more than enough protein in their diets. Diets light in meat, particularly red meat like beef or lamb, have been proven to help with weight loss.
  5. Be Mindful. Choosing to cut meat from your diet one day a week requires you to pay attention to what you eat and the choices you make. It helps you become more mindful and connected to the food you put in your body.
  6. Increase Energy. People who eat low-meat diets have more energy, and more sustained energy. The fuel from whole grains, fruits and vegetables provide a steady, consistent energy stream you can tap into all day long — you don't get those energy spikes that can also send you crashing.
  7. Try New Recipes! If your main course for one night of the week isn't going to be a roast chicken or steak or hamburger or pork chop, what can you make that will be hearty and substantial and satisfying and delicious? Meatless Monday is a golden opportunity to try out new, vegetarian recipes like a couscous stew, vegetarian lasagna or a bulgur veggie burger. You might stumble upon a meat-free recipe that becomes an any-day-of-the-week favorite.

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