Posted on Aug 23, 2016
Becoming a vegetarian isn’t for everyone, but it does have some fact-based health benefits that are worth considering.
“A large body of scientific literature suggests that the consumption of a diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and fruits, with the avoidance of meat and high-fat animal products, along with a regular exercise program is consistently associated with lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, less obesity and consequently less heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and mortality.” – Winston Craig, MPH, PhD, RD
Luckily, making the transition to a plant-based diet isn’t as hard as you might think! So whether you’re thinking about cutting back or cutting it out all together, here are three easy-to-follow steps to removing meat from your diet:
The most important part of adopting this new lifestyle is having a well-rounded idea of what you’re getting yourself into. Along with figuring out meatless protein sources and other tips for crafting meat-free meals, you might also want to research the facts about why cutting meat out of your diet is good for your health and the well-being of the environment. This will help reaffirm your decision to go meat-free and will ultimately make the transition easier for you (and easier to explain to your curious friends and family).
This part can be tricky! However, vegetarianism is very personal and looks different on everyone; there’s not one right or wrong way to go about it. While one person might actually find it easiest to just stop eating meat cold turkey (no pun intended), another person might need a few weeks or a few months to slowly replace meat in their diet with plant-based alternatives.
This is where the fun begins! Try new vegetarian recipes, figure out how to use new ingredients and explore the vegetarian/vegan section of your local grocery store.
Again, being a vegetarian can be whatever you want it to be. Figure out what works for you and go with it. Do you still want to eat fish? Okay, that’s fine! Eggs? Totally fine, too. You can even decide to still keep some meat in your diet if you decide that’s what works best for you (i.e. just cut out red meat, still eat sustainably sourced meat on occasion, etc.). It’s all up to you and your well-being!
If you want to learn more about a vegetarian lifestyle as it relates to your health, here are a few awesome resources: