You must have heard about the health benefits of not eating meat. A plant-based diet that includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts is linked with high nutrient content, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Reducing the intake of meat is also linked with improved gut health. It is associated with a reduced risk of various diseases. However, all these things depend upon the type of meat and quantity you consume.
Here you will come to know about the benefits of not eating meat.
Helps in weight loss and management
Eating no meat is linked with various health benefits including weight loss and its management. Researches have shown an increased risk of developing heart diseases in people with animal-based diets. Eating a plant-based diet reduces the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Vegetarian diets also reduce the risk of diabetes and help in losing weight fast.
People following plant-based diets lose more weight than non-vegetarians. Plant-based diets also increase the intake of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Adding more plant-based diets will help you eat fewer fats.
It is important to note here that relying only on plant-based diets may also deprive you of calcium, iron, zinc, and omega -3 fatty acids that are found in animal-based diets.
Reduces risk of heart diseases
Eating too much meat can lead to various heart diseases. These animal-based products are rich in saturated fats.
Few studies have shown their negative impact on health. Eating meat and its products like sausages, mince, and store-bought kebabs in moderate quantity may not cause any harm to you. But eating meat extensively will increase the amount of cholesterol in your body. That may cause harm to your heart health.
Instead, choosing polyunsaturated fats or plant-based fats like flaxseed, avocado, walnut, and olive oil will reduce the chances of developing fat layers into your body.
Similarly, eating processed meat that is high in sodium content can increase your blood pressure.
However, it is good to eat meat in moderate quantities and choose lean cuts. Do not consume processed meat products, instead, add fish to your diet to avoid heart diseases.
Protection against cancer
Eating too much meat may also increase the chances of developing cancer. Eating processed meat that is high in sodium is associated with colon cancer. Eating red meat excessively increase the chances of breast cancer however, fish and poultry are excluded from this category.
It is not confirmed how meat plays a role in developing cancer. More studies are required to see its negative impacts on cancer.
On the other hand, plant-based dieters show lower incidences of colon and other cancers. It lowers the risk of various inflammatory diseases.
May benefit the gut
Diets other than meat are rich in dietary fibers. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are rich sources of fibers. They promote healthy gut bacteria. These bacteria play a crucial role in supporting the body by developing anti-inflammatory properties.
The gut bacteria protect the body from developing certain cancer cells. It prevents diabetes and controls the blood sugar level. It promotes good gut health.
On the other hand, eating meat regularly possesses a negative impact on your health and gut. It does not promote the proper development of gut bacteria and can disturb the metabolism.
Eating a plant-based diet will help you promote gut-friendly bacteria. Understanding gut bacteria and their role are quite complicated – so more research is required to fully understand their functions and linkage with meat consumption.
How to reduce meat consumption?
Here are a few ways by which you can reduce the intake of meat.
- Try to add more lean cuts, fish, and poultry to your diet. Avoid red meat and eat turkey, fish, and chicken. These are low in cholesterol.
- Switch to plant-based sources to increase the intake of protein like nuts, seeds, legumes, chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans, lentils, and soy-based products.
- Replace meat with plant-based foods to make your meals. Use more vegetables in baked pasta, casseroles, and breakfast recipes. You can use different ways to eat more vegetables than meat.
- Mostly, we use vegetables as a side dish for our meals. Make meat your side dish. Rethink the strategy and fill 3/4th of your plate with vegetables and only a quarter with meat.
- Make meat-free dishes once or twice a week. Gradually add in more days and stick to it. It is quite hard to develop a habit. So take small steps to reduce the intake of meat.
You do not necessarily need to cut out meat completely. Eating meat has other benefits too. The only thing you need to follow is its consumption in limited quantity.
Adding more vegetables to your diet along with a small portion of meat is the best way to avoid severe health impacts.