For one reason or another, maybe you have considered giving up meat. You’ve heard of various ways you could eliminate pork, beef and poultry from your normal meal rotation but how do you know what method and lifestyle would work best for you and/or your family?
There are many reasons people consider a life without meat. Some are driven by ethical considerations for animals and concerns over how agribusiness treats animals raised for food. Others are driven by health concerns as plant-based diets have been shown to decrease the risk of inflammation and various chronic diseases. A study by Barnard and Leroy published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that those with an omnivorous diet are at an increased risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes.
Many people rely on meat as their primary source of protein. By eliminating meat from your diet, you will need to find other ways to ensure your body is getting the protein it needs for muscle growth and development as well as energy and satiety. Good protein sources include nuts and seeds, grains such as quinoa, soy products, legumes and chia seeds. For vegetarian diets, additional options include eggs and dairy products. Pescatarian diets also include fish and shellfish.
Regardless of which path you choose, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will give you a variety of nutrients to help with cell growth and repair. Even if you decide not to completely change the way you eat, incorporating more meatless meals throughout the week can still have health benefits for you and your family.
*Before engaging in any new eating lifestyle, always consult your doctor and/or pediatrician
For those looking to eliminate meat from their diet, pescetarianism may be a good first step. Pescatarians eat fish and seafood, eggs and dairy products, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The only restricted foods are meat products that come from animal sources that live on land. If you like seafood, this can be a good way to slowly transition away from eating animal meat.
Pescatarian Shopping List
Vegetarians eat a primarily plant-based diet but besides eliminating meat from land animals, they also exclude seafood. In general, vegetarians still eat some products derived from animals such as eggs, cheese, milk, honey and ice cream. Because vegetarians do not exclude eggs, they are also able to eat traditional baked goods, which often include eggs and/or milk.
Vegetarian Shopping List
Sugar Snap Peas
A vegan’s diet is similar to a vegetarian’s meal except that vegans exclude all products derived from animals. Vegans do not eat eggs, dairy and in some cases, honey. Unlike the vegetarian versions of staples like yogurt, cheese or baked goods, vegan eaters choose dairy alternatives and baked products prepared without milk, butter or eggs. Those opting for a vegan lifestyle sometimes do so for ethical reasons so it can extend beyond the diet to household and clothing products. For example, some vegans would not wear leather shoes or use cosmetics that may have been tested on animals.
Vegan Shopping List
Vegan Cream Cheese