9 Meatless Monday Meal >
Going vegetarian just once a week can boost your health – and help the environment. Spice up your meat-free routine with these ideas.
Americans eat about 25 percent more meat than the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend, says Mary L. Meck Higgins, PhD, RD, an associate professor in the department of human nutrition at Kansas State University and a sustainable diet researcher. What’s more, meat consumption by American adults — at 100 to 150 grams a day (0.2 to 0.3 pounds) is more than three times the global average, according to research published in the journal Public Health Nutrition. Abstaining from meat just once a week will help you dial back these total, and by increasing vegetables, help you meet other daily diet goals for vitamins, minerals, and fiber, typically found in plant-based foods. Reducing meat consumption could also reduce your risk for some chronic diseases and cancers. And you’ll be doing the planet a favor too, Higgins says, because plant foods require fewer resources to grow.
Grow your garden of meatless meal ideas with these recipes.
Amazon Bean Soup With Winter Squash and Greens
This tempting soup is perfect for cool nights. Chock-full of carrots, squash, pinto beans, and spinach, this recipe features legumes and vitamin-A-rich veggies, two diet staples Americans need more of Higgins says. One of the proven benefits of all those colorful veggies is a reduced risk for coronary heart disease, according to data from more than 20,000 men and women whose diets and health outcomes were tracked over a 10-year period.