Meatless Monday is a global movement that started in 2003, which focuses on skipping meat one day of the week–something that is great for your health and for the planet. Several Latin American countries have adapted this new way of life, including Peru, Mexico, Honduras and Chile, as well as several cities in the U.S.
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On average, Americans eat 8 ounces of meat per day, which is 45% more than the USDA recommends. Since Americans consume an excess of meat, one day won’t interfere with the daily allowance of protein. While you can choose not to eat meat any day of the week, research shows that since Monday is the beginning of the week, it makes it the perfect time to start something new and continue, just the same way people are more likely to start a new workout routine when they start at the beginning of the week.
What are the Benefits?
- Cancer: Studies show that if you adapt diets high in fruits and vegetables you can reduce your cancer risk. Plus eating a lot of red meat (which most Americans do) can limit the risk for colon cancer.
- Heart Disease: Reducing saturated fats can keep your cholesterol levels low. The saturated fats found in red meat can cause lipids to line the walls of blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease.
- Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is very prevalent in the Hispanic community and a plant-based diet that includes little to no processed meats can reduce your risk for this disease.
- Obesity: A diet rich in vegetables is a great source of fiber, which makes you feel full with fewer calories, so even if you eat tons to fill up, it’s o.k. Eating more veggies can also keep you at a healthy weight, helping you adapt a healthier lifestyle and keeping you from gaining weight.
- Improve your quality of life: When you put a focus on a plant-based diet, even if it’s just for one day, you benefit from all the nutrients that you won’t get unless you take a multi-vitamin. Nutrients can include, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, protein, fiber, foliate and many more.