Meatless Monday is a movement across the nation that encourages people to cut out meat from their diet for just one day a week. Meatless Monday aims to improve your health through your diet – give it a try!
Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns who, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, wants “to help you reduce your meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet”.
Meat production has a huge impact on our environment because of the high amount of resources that animals intended for slaughter require. According to the Journal of Animal Science, a one quarter-pound hamburger costs more than you would think. After the entire process has been completed, the materials required for production of a single quarter-pound hamburger include:
– 6.7 pounds of grain and forage to eat
– 52.8 gallons of water for drinking and irrigation of feed crops
– 74.5 square feet of grass for grazing and growing feed crops
– 1,306 Btus (fossil fuel energy) for feed production and transport
(enough energy to power a microwave for 18 minutes)
Surprisingly, skipping just one hamburger can have a substantial positive effect on the environment. There is a lot of talk about reducing our carbon footprint, but going meatless is a quick and easy way to take action. Helping the environment is one of the benefits of Meatless Monday, but perhaps the most important is how opting for veggies instead of meat affects your body.
What About Me?
On average, Americans eat 50% more than the daily recommended intake of meat. On the flip side, we consume less than half of our daily recommended intake for fruits and vegetables. Basically, we are deficient in produce and overdosing on meat, and it’s not just bad news for the environment.
Over the past several years, many studies have found links between meat and heart disease. A diet heavy with meat increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and obesity. Although red meat has been identified as the most dangerous culprit, a recent study linked all animal products, including dairy, to worse health.
A study released just this month found that on average, vegetarians have a 12% reduced risk of death compared to meat eaters and according to the CDC, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. This alone should be motivation to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily routine.
With heart disease and obesity on the rise, long term care is becoming a prevalent problem for many. If you do have a heart attack or a stroke and you end up needing care after you have been released for the hospital, paying for that care may present a big obstacle. That is why prevention is key. 1 in 2 Americans will need long term care at some point and when you hit age 65, that chance jumps to 70%.
Insuring yourself against the risk of long term care is a sensible idea. Long Term Care Insurance provides a safety net for those looking to protect their assets and receive quality care if the situation ever arises. Just because you have a policy, however, doesn’t mean you can (or should) throw your health down the drain. Maintaining your health is just as important as buying an LTCI policy. Meatless Monday is a great step towards improving your health by cutting your risk of disease.
Want to give Meatless Monday a try but not sure what to make? There are tons of websites out there with meatless recipes that taste just as good, if not better, than your typical Monday night meals!
Here are just a few:
Fitness Magazine’s “10 Vegetarian Meals to Make for Meatless Monday”
Eating Well’s “Meatless Monday: Healthy Vegetarian Recipes You Must Try”
HuffPost Food’s “24 Vegetarian Recipes to Make Meatless Monday Go Down Easier”
Still not inspired? Follow our Pinterest board “Meatless Mondays” for some great new recipes pinned every week!