Lose Weight With Meatless Mondays
Have you ever considered going meatless as a way to lose weight? I'm not suggesting a full-fledged vegetarian lifestyle. I'm talking about taking the meat off the dinner table one night a week - Mondays for example. Besides weight loss, there are many health benefits associated with substituting plants for meat. Check out this week's feature article to find out more about the benefits of going meatless on Mondays.
According the Meatless Campaign, going meatless once a week can have the following health benefits:
1. LIMIT CANCER RISK. Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.
2. REDUCE HEART DISEASE. Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds)reduces the risk of heart disease by 19 %.
3. FIGHT DIABETES. Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
4. CURB OBESITY. People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.
5. INCREASE LIFE EXPECTANCY. Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
6. IMPROVE DIET QUALITY. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intake of saturated fat and total fat.
Ideas for Meatless Monday Meals
• Tacos or burritos filled with beans, textured vegetable protein, or tofu rather than meat
• Salad topped with beans in place of chicken or beef
• Pizza with or without cheese and topped with vegetables, tofu or soy crumbles
• Whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce plus vegetables including mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and onions
• Breakfast for dinner - oatmeal with fruit and walnuts, whole grain cereal with soy milk (or lowfat milk), or whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana
• Chili with beans, textured vegetable protein and (soy or rice)cheese
• Vegetable burger with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole on whole-grain bun
December is winding down and the New Year is right around the corner. It's the perfect time for a fresh start. People are more likely to begin an exercise program or start a diet in January than any other time of the year. Why don't you join in and make a move to get healthier in the upcoming year? By eliminating meat from your diet - just one day a week - you will take a huge step towards improving your eating habits and shedding some pounds. Say YES to Meatless Monday. In fact, why wait until January? Get started next Monday with this terrific meatless recipe from Mark Bittman.
Mark Bittman's Simple Bean Burgers
Makes 4 -6 Servings
Time: 20 minutes with cooked beans
14-oz. can of beans, drained (black, garbanzo, white, lentils)
1 small onion, quartered
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 tbsp. chili powder or spice mix of your choice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the beans, onion, parmesan cheese, oats, chili powder, salt, pepper, and egg in a food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed, adding a little liquid if necessary. With wet hands, shape into whatever size patties you want (You can make the burger mixture or even shape the burgers up to a day or so in advance-just cover tightly and refrigerate). Bring everything back to room temperature before cooking. Film the bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet with oil and turn the heat to medium. Cook until nicely browned on one side, about 5 min.; turn carefully and cook on the other side until firm and browned. You can refrigerate or freeze any