Contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Laura Delfausse
So I am a vegetarian.
No, I don’t mind if you eat that Philly Cheesesteak in front of me; no, I don’t miss bacon; and yes, I get plenty of protein. I do own a juicer (though admittedly I’ve only used it twice), I try to buy organic when it is feasible, and…sometimes…I do wear leather shoes. The point I am trying to make is that we like to affix labels to people based on our own lifestyle choices. And in my experience, some people fit these stereotypes to a “T,” but most of us do not, and so these labels can be very damaging.
Take the vegetarian diet, for example. There are so many health benefits to meatless meals, but so many people hesitate to try vegetarianism because they are afraid of meat substitutes or because they think it is impossible to get all of the nutrients they need (even though many cultures have sustained themselves for a millennium on vegetarian diets!).
I would never suggest that anyone go vegetarian unless they wanted to, but Americans as a general population eat way too much meat, and this is often because our portion sizes are way out of control. Cutting back on meat consumption may not be such a bad idea after all. John’s Hopkins University even started a ‘Meatless Mondays’ campaign with the simple concept of eliminating meat and high fat dairy products on Mondays only. It’s a wellness-promoting campaign aimed at reducing the intake of saturated fats, which are the heart-clogging fats found mostly in animal products. According to the University’s research, by cutting out meat and high-fat dairy products for just one day, a person can reduce their overall intake of saturated fats by 15-pecent! That’s a pretty significant amount, and considering heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., this is something that we should all consider.
Long story short, don’t be afraid to try a meatless meal every once in a while! Especially with Good Measure Meals, which has a wide and delicious variety of vegetarian meals to keep newcomer, temporary, and even seasoned vegetarians excited and satisfied.
Chances are even good that you already incorporate meatless meals into your diet from time to time, but this may not be a conscious decision on your part. My recommendation is to step out of the box a little and make a conscious decision to reduce your saturated fat intake regularly. You will probably even discover some new foods that you really like (GMM’s Thursday Quinoa Loaf dinner this week with Cheesy Whole Wheat Penne and a side of Green Beans, for instance) and that’s a win-win situation in my book!