One of the most frustrating things for many about embracing a plant-based lifestyle is the thought of reducing or eliminating meat intake. After all, our parents and grandparents grew up on meat and may even have raised us on meat. Why stop now? How will my food taste good? How will I get my protein? Let me try to answer these common questions for you.
Why not meat?
According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a high intake of processed and unprocessed red meat is associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality. Researchers at Harvard Medical School, based on a study of 120,000 candidates, concluded that a diet high in red meat can shorten life expectancy by increasing one’s risk of death from cancer and heart-related problems. I could go and on with facts and figures but don’t take my word for it. Look up this information and you will see how dangerous it can be.
How will I get my protein?
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a large amount of protein to be in good health. On average each person needs 60 grams of protein daily which amounts to 25-30% of your daily caloric intake. Plant based sources are excellent. For example, one cup of cooked soybeans has 68 grams of protein and one cup of lentils, 18 grams of protein.
How will I enjoy eating without meat?
What many of us don’t realize is that it isn’t the actual taste of meat that makes the meat taste good. Try having some meat with no added herbs or salt and you’ll realize how unappealing it is. The same flavors that we infuse into our meats can be infused into non-meat foods and create very similar flavors. I have taken the effort out of this process by creating a cookbook full of delicious, flavorful recipes. Check it out here! Incredibly Delicious Vegan Meal Plans & Recipes
Begin your journey by decreasing the amount of meat you eat and including more plants. Doing this alone will have you seeing great benefits in how you feel and look and your overall health. Tell me about your journey in the comments below.
To your health,
Dona Cooper-Dockery, MD