Why Is Meatless Monday a Good Thing?

Meatless Monday is a concept that is old but also in fashion. Meatless Monday and Wheatless Wednesday were started in WWI to aid the war effort. It was revived again during WWII for the same reason. Then without any connection to conflict, it was brought back by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future in 2003.

Cutting back on meat can be good for both your wallet and the environment. Swapping meat for plant proteins, like beans, added to a salad or dish can help your weekly budget. It also reduces your carbon footprint, water usage and fuel dependence. We like simple acts that can save us money and make us feel like we’re acting responsibly for our community.

But does it make much of a difference to your health? On average, we eat 75 pounds of meat a year. That means, if a person usually ate the same amount of meat every day, they could cut out almost 11 pounds a year. New research has said that red meat poses no threat to heart health, however many doctors disagree. Moreover, meat has still been linked to cancer and type 2 diabetes. Also, several studies have shown that people who eat less meat live longer. With that in mind, it’s important to speak to your doctor about how much meat you should enjoy in your diet. If that amount is lower than you like, embracing Meatless Monday might help you meet your goals. While a meatless diet isn’t healthier by default, it might prompt you to think outside your standard meal ideas if you are a daily meat eater.

Some people are concerned that B12 and iron levels in the body may suffer from cutting meat. But if it’s once a week, you needn’t be concerned. There some benefits to cutting down on meat; animal proteins are harder for your body to breakdown than plant proteins, so you don’t always absorb as much protein as you would from plant proteins. And, meat can be harder on your digestive tract. If you usually stick to the same meat-based meals, this can also give you a chance to try new recipes, add variety to your diet and get nutrients that might otherwise be lacking from your diet.

Meatless Monday can make you feel good physically, may help you in the long term and can make you feel like you’re making a small, positive change to the environment. Of course, Meatless Monday needn’t actually be on a Monday; we just like starting the week on a fresh note. If you always have Sunday dinner leftovers for the first day of the week, try out Meatless Tuesday instead, it’s never a bad day to make a healthy choice!
October 14, 2019

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