The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Body And The Planet in 2019
We are all trying to be less wasteful and trying to leave less of footprint on the environment. Paper straws have replaced plastic, we now recycle our trash, which are all ways to help protect the environment. One that we often don’t think about is our meat consumption and the hefty impact it has on the environment – from fueling climate change to polluting landscapes and waterways. Americans are consuming 222 pounds of meat per person annually, the highest intake in the world. What we are risking is the sustainability of the whole farming system according to the new study from a landmark UN report. According to recent studies, large reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment. In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and should be replaced by five times more bean and other plant- based proteins.
Secondly, the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, in November 2018, concluded that eating less red meat and processed meat are two of the most important changes Americans need to make to decrease risk of CHD, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
Our food choices are very personal, and our behavior is difficult to change, but the evidence is now unequivocal, we need to change our diets to have a sustainable future and to improve our health.
Yes, there is a movement toward vegetarian lifestyle, especially with the younger population. But if that seems too difficult or extreme for you there is great value in practicing being a Flexitarian. A Flexitarian eating pattern means that you eat meat less often and less quantity of it, making up for it by eating some plant based protein meals, whole grains, beans and lentils, along with the recommended 8-10 serving of vegetable and fruits. If all of us could do this it would greatly ease the pressure on our global food system and moves us toward a planet that has sustainability. It decreases risk for chronic disease because it lowers overall inflammation that is the base of most diseases that decrease longevity and quality of health.
Being Flexitarian is a win-win for all of us!
Tips on being a Flexitarian:
Out of 14 lunches and dinner, aim for 4-7 plant based meals versus animal proteins. There are many new products in the market now that makes this easy and tasty.
When eating meat, eat less! Order a single burger versus a double, a petite steak versus a 12 oz. steak. 1 pound of animal protein should provide 3 adult portions.
Eat more sustainably raised fish, it takes less feed and no water in production with the added bonus of being heart and brain healthy as well.
Increase your vegetable intake for volume at meals, not only so much easier on the environment but on your waistline as well.