From: Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen Posted 5/17/12
Going meatless once a week has a variety of health benefits, such as:
- § Limit Cancer Risk: Excessive intake of both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.
- § Reduce Heart Disease: A Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%
- § Prevent Diabetes: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- § Prevent Obesity: Many people on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and BMI. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.
- § Longevity: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
- § Optimal Health: Consuming meatless options often results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
Social Significance: While we certainly all know about having “a case of the Mondays” or the “Monday blues,” there is also a desire to restart our week positively. Many of us reframe our mindset on Mondays as on opportunity for a fresh start or a day to “get it together, “especially if we had a hectic or perhaps an off-Plan weekend.
Health Promotion: Studies have shown an increase in secondary care referrals on Monday related to heart problems, occupational injuries, strokes, suicides, etc. These are likely caused by stress, unhealthy weekend behaviors and disruption of sleep cycles. Health promotions, such as Meatless Mondays, which foster a positive transition to a structured routine, can have the potential to improve these health conditions and reduce secondary referrals.
Monday=Health Day: People are more likely to start diets, exercise routines, start smoking cessation, schedule doctor’s appointments on Mondays than other day of the week. A health promotion that reinforces this tendency can help people adhere to their health goals.
Cyber Monday: Internet searches for health related information is highest on Mondays. Searches include: “healthy recipes,” “healthy children,” “weight loss” etc.
Sample Meatless Lean & Green Meals:
- Mediterranean Salad
- 1 ½ cups 1% Cottage Cheese on a bed of 2 cups of lettuce greens, topped with ½ cup of chopped tomatoes, 5-6 olives, sliced and drizzled with 1 teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
Provides: 1 Lean Option, 3 Green Options, 2 Healthy Fats and 1 Condiment
- “Spaghetti & Meatballs”
- 12 Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs on top of 1 cup spaghetti squash and ½ cup sautéed mushrooms, topped with ¼ cup Walden Farms Pasta Sauceand 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Provides: 1 Lean Option, 3 Green Options, and 2 Condiments
- Taco Lettuce Wraps
- Divide 1 cup Morning Star Farms Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumblesseasoned with 1 teaspoon low-sodium taco seasoning, between 3 leaves of Boston Lettuce. Top with 2oz of 2% milk cheddar cheese, ½ cup chopped tomatoes, ½ cup chopped bell pepper , 2 teaspoons sour cream and ½ oz avocado (divided between the 3 lettuce wraps)
Provides: 1 Lean Option, 3 Green Options, 1 healthy fat and 2 Condiments
Thanks, Dr. A!!!
There is always a way to go from where you are, your current reality to where you would like to go, or your desired outcome. The strategy is to find ways to get there that keep you on the path, moving forward. It doesn’t matter how fast you move, as long as you are moving in the direction of your desired outcome. We can have an ‘advancing’ underlying structure to our goals instead of an ‘oscillating’ underlying structure. That way we keep moving forward instead of back and forth, or what we have come to appreciate as ‘yo-yo’ dieting. This is just one more tool in the box to achieve your goal in a healthy, satisfying and emotionally intelligent way. Enjoy!
Let me know what you think. Always available to you! 🙂