Meatless Monday for health benefits

Monday is the day of the week that has a reputation for welcoming change and beginning better habits. Whether it’s about encouraging healthy eating, stopping smoking, or kicking off an exercise program, you may want to be a part of one of these to help start your week on the right foot.

Meatless Monday was begun in 2003 by Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of The Monday Campaigns, as he had just started taking a cholesterol-lowering drug and became more aware of research studies that linked excessive fat consumption to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. He learned that a 15 percent decrease in meat consumption (equivalent to 3 meals, or 1 day a week) might help prevent these diseases. He recalled Meatless Monday from WWI and WWII days when it was used for rationing and started a movement.

Research suggests that people are more open to trying healthy behaviors at the start of the week. Monday offers an opportunity to “reset” and get back on track after any lapses over the weekend and studies show people that get back on track at the beginning of the week are better able to maintain progress over time.

Environmental advocates welcome efforts to go moderately meatless, too. They’re concerned about reducing carbon footprint and saving precious resources like water. 

Meatless Monday has brought families together and introduced young minds and bodies to plant protein choices like tofu, yogurt and a bounty of colorful vegetables and fruits. Another Monday Campaign, The Kids Cook Monday, does a wonderful job of setting a healthy, inviting table. 

Meatless Monday can make a big difference for your health and the health of our planet. Replacing meat with plant-based choices each Monday can offer numerous health benefits and help you take action against climate change by reducing your carbon footprint and helping you conserve precious environmental resources.

 For Your Health

Consuming less red and processed meat and more plant-based foods such as vegetables, beans, soy, and nuts can offer many potential health benefits:

  • Eating less meat and more plant-based foods, such as vegetables, beans, and nuts, can improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Skipping even a half serving of meat every day and replacing it with a plant protein like beans or tofu can decrease your risk of getting type 2 diabetes
  • Substituting plant-based foods for meat can help you maintain a healthy weight
  • Cutting back on red and processed meat and eating more plant-based foods can promote kidney health
  • Beans, nuts, soy, and other vegetables can give you all the protein you need in one day

A new study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that eating plant-based may be the key to adding the most candles to your birthday cake.

This info isn’t actually all that surprising, since previous studies have shown eating a vegan or plant-based diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease. But this study from Harvard wanted to examine how changes to diet could influence all of a person’s risks of dying, no matter how old they were or what their diet looked like before. 

At Doctor for Life, we believe adding high-quality plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet can only be beneficial to your health in the long run.  We challenge you to try a Meatless Monday for the next months and see how you enjoy expanding your horizon for new plant based food choices.  This is such an exciting time of year as the spring crops are in and summer crops are just around the corner.  We offer expert help here at Doctor for Life in getting you started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle program.  Give us a call today to schedule your first step.  864-640-0009. As always, before beginning a new way of eating or exercise program, consult with your doctor to make sure the change is right for you.

rfosterMeatless Monday for health benefits