Monday, May 26, 2008

Occasional Vegetarians

Meatless menu options are one of the hottest trends going, say the chefs polled in a recent National Restaurant Association survey. Juicy portobellos are replacing burgers, and savory pumpkin ravioli competing with filet mignon. But The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) reports that only about 3% of U.S. adults are vegetarians. That number has been holding steady for several years. So what gives?

It turns out that most Americans aren't turning in their steak knives just yet, but millions are discovering you don't have to be a full-time vegetarian to enjoy meatless meals. The VRG estimates that 30-40% of us choose meatless options some of the time while eating out. This new trend even has a catchy name: flexitarianism. And there are compelling reasons to consider it.

Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat, so they have lower heart disease risk. When you eat a more plant-based diet, you generally consume fewer calories as well. Americans need to get off the saturated fat kick we've been on.

While a full-time vegetarian diet may give you a healthy edge, can going meatless only part-time really make much of a difference? ABSOLUTELY!!

Meatless Monday, a national public health campaign suggests going meatless one day a week. That action alone can reduce saturated fat intake by about 15%, enough to significantly lower the risk of heart disease. The goal is to move people closer in line with the food pyramid, not make everyone a vegetarian.

Monday works well because if you've had a weekend where you've had too many calories and fat, you can wake up Monday morning and get back on track.

An added plus to cutting back on meat is that it promotes a healthier planet. Its estimated that raising food animals contributes 18% of greenhouse gases.

-Article clips taken from HERE


MOM said...

I don't know if I've been practicing this once a week but I often do choose a vege meal on purpose.... think I'll work on that Meatless Monday idea. Thanks!

bonnie said...

Sounds good to me! I love "fresh from the garden" vegetables!
Vegetable mondays...we could even try other vegetables we don't eat as often.

Amanda said...

I've heard that our digestive systems are more like bears (definitely not like lions or other carnivorous animals), so we were probably meant to eat more like bears. A bear's diet is mostly fruits and vegetables, with some fish and other meats.

John and I eat meat twice a week or less. Since we started this, I think we are healthier and we save A LOT of money!

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