healthy_eatingAre you a fan of vegetarian cuisine? Do you enjoy ‘meat free Monday’ or something similar during the week with your family?
The rise of the occasional ‘meat less’ menu is a movement that’s been gathering steam for the past couple of years.
While vegetarianism calls for eschewing meat all together (or to varying degrees), partaking in a meat free day or days on a regular basis is more about eating creatively and taking your nutrients from other food groups, instead of those that run, waddle and swim.
Spearheaded by Sir Paul McCartney in the UK, going meat free one day a week is as much about individual health and well-being as it is the health and well-being of the planet.
Meat is one of the most resource intensive foods to produce, meaning that it takes a considerable load of water, energy and fuel to get that steak/chicken breast/fillet of fish onto your plate.
By cutting down on the amount of meat we consume, it is thought that we can actually reduce our carbon footprint and lower things like fossil fuel emissions, in turn combating global warning.
Not only great for the environment, going meat free for one day or a couple of meals a week is also thought to have considerable health benefits.
This is especially true of red meat. Aussies typically eat a meat rich diet, with some reports stating that we eat, on average, three times as much red meat as the world average. The same report also found that up to 90% of Aussies over the age of 16 struggled to eat the recommended five serves of vegetables a day.
Red meat itself, when prepared correctly, is a great source of nutrients, in particular protein, iron, iodine and vitamin B12, all essential for healthy eating and when trying to lose weightThe amount of meat that we eat however, can sometimes lean towards the ‘too much, too often’ end of the scale.
An average serve of red meat should be around 65-100 grams which is much smaller than what we usually serve ourselves. Current nutritional guidelines recommend servings of this size three to four times a week.
Aussie adults, on average, consume up to 110 kilograms of red meat a year, which is roughly three times as much as is recommended and can mean that we are eating our weekly intake in one or two sittings.
While it’s important to bear this in mind, there’s no need to cut red meat from your diet entirely. Choosing lean cuts, keeping an eye on your portion sizes and preparing your chosen cuts in the correct way means that meat can still be on the menu.
Adding a meat free day to your menu though, is a great way to balance things out and keep plenty of variation in your eating.
Concentrating on the other foods groups once a week can be a healthy option, so long as you ensure that you’re still eating a good serve of protein. Legumes, nuts, tofu and certain grains like quinoa all provide our bodies with an excellent amount of plant based protein, leaving us feeling full and satisfied.
Removing meat from the equation once a week also helps us to think outside the square when it comes to meal preparation and perhaps become a little more creative in the kitchen. There’s a whole range of delish, low fat recipes that are fab for healthy weight lossall sans meat. Check out our selection of scrummy meat free recipes here and get creative in the kitchen!
If you are ready to lose weight then the Lose Baby Weight plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine.
And don’t forget to check out our current promotions and discounts page to see what specials we have on this week on our Healthy Mummy product range.