Meatless Mondays Mean More Fruits And Veggies

Everyone knows how American’s love their burgers… but there’s a growing movement hoping to encourage us all to forgo meat on one day of the week. The campaign, known as “Meatless Monday” urges us to replace red meat on one day each week with other foods, mainly fruits and veggies according to a recent survey.

When 1,000 American adults were asked about their meat eating habits, 59% have, in fact, cut back on meat eating over the last year according to Peggy Neu who is president of The Monday Campaigns. The campaign is associated with The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as well as both Syracuse University and Columbia University.

Here are some of the other findings of the survey.

- 41% of respondents say they’re trying to cut down how much meat they eat.

- 3% said they have eaten more meat than in the year before.

- A full one third say they haven’t cut back and won’t consider doing so.

- 62% say health is the reason they’re eating less meat or thinking of doing so.

If people do skip meat on Monday, here’s what the survey respondents said they ate instead…

- 73% ate more veggies

- 65% ate more fruits

- 42% ate more beans

- 47% ate more whole grains

You might also try a veggie burger, whole-wheat pasta with cheese or a whole-wheat tortilla filled with delicious black beans.

Meatless Monday, begun in 2003, is one of many initiatives to get people to eat less meat on the first day of the week – the day experts think is prime time to make beneficial changes. Monday is thought to be the “January of the week”. It’s like a reset day for health… a fresh start where you can begin a diet or exercise program or break a bad habit. It’s a chance to put those good health intentions into practice. Meatless Mondays are now a global movement that’s arrived in schools, at work sites, in restaurants and even some communities.

The great thing about the Meatless Monday program is it’s offering a simple solution to reduce our fat intake. Skipping meat for just one day a week could translate to almost a 15% reduction in your intake in saturated fats.

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Meatless Mondays Mean More Fruits And Veggies Continued…

Research has shown that diets that have lots of saturated fats, especially form red and processed meats, bring up the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers. The Meatless Monday campaign helps people adhere to the 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines that call for us to take in less saturated fats and more good foods like fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains.

Of course the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association disputes the need. This group believes that lean beef is part of a healthy diet. Beef is nutritionally efficient according to Shelley Johnson who is a dietitian and associate director of food and nutrition outreach for the group. She suggests adding produce to your lean meat so that you do more to reach the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines.

Whether you decide to go fully meatless, or simply cut back on your red meat a bit, adding more fruits, veggies and whole grains to your diet, as well as chicken and fish can’t be bad for your body.

To your good health,