Burgers, steak, lamb chops — red meat is a staple of the American diet. In fact, the average American ate about 107 pounds of red meat in 2022.
And while it may be unreasonable to cut it out of your diet completely, going vegetarian at least one day a week can go a long way toward improving your health. That’s why we outlined seven scientific reasons why you should try Meatless Monday and reap all the benefits of reducing your meat consumption.
1) It may reduce your risk of heart disease.
A recent study from Cleveland Clinic and Tufts University researchers found a 22% greater risk for heart disease for every 1.1 servings of meat per day. Previous studies have also linked high meat consumption with a greater risk of developing heart disease.
2) It may lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
A 2014 study from The George Washington University School of Medicine analyzed how meat consumption impacts the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. It found that those who eat meat are more likely to develop the condition and urged dietary habits that omit the meat.
3) It may prevent you from getting cancer.
A 2007 study found that red and processed meat consumption may increase the “risk of cancer of the colon and rectum, esophagus, liver, lung, and pancreas.” Subsequent studies also support the notion that eating less processed meat may lower cancer risk.’
4) It may help with weight loss.
Eating large amounts of red and processed meat may cause obesity, according to a 2009 study. That means lowering how much of it you eat each week can go a long way toward helping you shed unwanted pounds, too.
5) It’s good for the environment.
A 2020 report from IDTechEx found that the amount of land needed to maintain livestock is unsustainable. In addition, the process of creating and slaughtering livestock is a huge driver of climate change and biodiversity loss, according to a report from FutureLearn.
6) It can help you save money.
The top three foods with the highest price tags are beef, bacon, and chicken, according to a report from Good Housekeeping that leverages Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2021. As grocery prices continue to skyrocket, cutting meat at least one day a week can help substantially lower your grocery bill.
7) It can help save animals.
According to Animal Clock, more than 55 million animals were slaughtered in 2022 for food. That includes more than 8 billion chickens, 214 million turkeys, 36 million cattle, 124 million pigs, and 3 billion fish. By giving up meat at least one day a week, you’re doing your part to keep those numbers at reasonable levels.
Ready to give Meatless Monday a try? We make it easy! Diet-to-Go meal plans include a vegetarian option with mouth-watering, restaurant-quality flavors and food that is controlled for portion size, calories, and nutrition. You can also use the myDiettogo portal to substitute and customize any meal plan to ensure you get meatless meals for one day a week!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.