There are many health benefits to cutting down on meat, and one is that dieters consume more fruits and vegetables. They are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. Eating less meat means that the menu includes foods that are low in bad cholesterol, sodium, and trans fats and saturated fats. Dieters are at a lower risk for overweight, obesity, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems.
There are different ways to cut down on meat without becoming a vegan or vegetarian. Some people choose a pescatarian or flexitarian diet. Pescetarians eat plant food such as grains and legumes, along with dairy products, fish, and seafood. While red meat is high in saturated fat, fish contains essential omega-3 fatty acids. This diet is said to reduce the risk for heart problems such as ischemic heart disease. A flexitarian diet is another option for people who want to cut down on their meat intake. Flexitarians consume meat occasionally, including lean and red meat, poultry, and fish. This is a mostly vegetarian diet that emphasizes eating leafy greens, legumes, beans, eggs, and dairies. Dieters are at a lower risk for cancer, diabetes, and stroke. Some studies have shown that people who eat meat occasionally live longer than regular meat-eaters.
Another option is to use meat substitutes such as tofu, TVP, beans, and seitan. Beans are an excellent source of healthy protein and dietary fiber. Dieters can substitute poultry and red meat with kidney beans and fava, which are rich in protein. Edamame is made from soybeans and makes for a great addition to any salad or soup. Tofu is a good source of protein and can be added to mousses, stews, soups, and salads. It can be consumed deep-fried and stir-fried and is easy and quick to prepare.
While some people become flexitarians or pescatarians and others use meat substitutes, the most important thing is to eat a balanced diet that contains protein, fiber, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates should be avoided because they cause spikes in insulin levels.