Benefits of Eating Vegetarian Twice a Week
Do you have trouble going without meat for a day? New science suggests you don’t have to swear off meat for good to reap many of the health benefits of being a full-time vegetarian. Going vegetarian for just two days a week can help reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. Keep reading for 7 benefits of eating less meat throughout the week.
1. Great for Heart Health
Eating vegetarian can help lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels, and decrease your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. All of these benefits can also reduce your overall risk of heart disease and stroke.
2. Lowers Risk of Cancer
Plant-based foods contain phytochemicals, which help your immune system fight off diseases like cancer. Increasing your intake of fiber-rich vegetables can help you promote good health. Those who follow a vegetarian diet may have a lower risk of developing cancer as a whole.
3. Decreases Asthma Symptoms
Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which can contribute to asthma. These diets are also high in fiber, which has been shown to improve lung function.
4. Great Variety of Plant-Based Protein Alternatives
Yes, plants have protein! A common concern about vegetarian diets is that they lack sufficient protein. Luckily, there are many plant-based alternatives to choose from, including tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, almonds, and quinoa. These alternatives have many health-promoting nutrients to reduce your risk of various diseases.
5. Lose Weight
Vegetarian meals can help promote weight loss because they are filled with nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. One tip to lose weight is to fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables such as artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini.
6. Help the Environment
Replacing meat with vegetarian sources of protein can reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. Today, a vegetarian diet requires two-and-a-half times less the amount of land needed to grow food, compared to a meat-based diet.
7. Save Money
Since meat is often the most expensive part of a meal, eating vegetarian twice a week can help you save money. Instead of splurging on steak, try new types of produce, stockpile your favorite frozen vegetables, and make use of bulk bins for dry goods like oatmeal, lentils, and beans. These low-cost alternatives provide necessary nutrients and also help you stay fuller for longer.