February Challenge – Meatless Mondays!

When you think February, don’t just think roses and chocolate for your love! Think about loving your body too! With the new month, we have a new challenge to help you lose weight and get healthier! Consider going meatless once a week – Monday’s are ideal!

meatless monday - albany move fit february

Benefits of Meatless Mondays 

Reduce Heart Disease and Stroke—Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease. One study found that each daily serving of fruits or vegetables was associated with a 4% decline in coronary heart disease, and a 5% lower risk of stroke.

Limit Risk of Cancer—There is convincing evidence that red meat and processed meat consumption increases the risk of colorectal cancer. There is also suggestive evidence that red meat increases the risk of esophagus, lung, pancreas, and endometrium cancer and that processed meat consumption increases the risk of esophagus, lung, stomach, and prostate cancer.

But a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may decrease the risk of several types of cancers, including mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach!

Fight Diabetes—Research suggests that plant-based diets, particularly those low in processed meat, can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Curb Obesity— Eating a plant-based diet can decrease total calorie consumption, which helps you obtain and maintain a healthy weight!  Several large studies in Europe and the United States have demonstrated that people on plant-based, vegetarian diets tend to have a significantly lower body weight and body mass index (BMI). This may be in part because plant-based diets are rich in fiber, which contributes to fullness, resulting in lower calorie intake and less overeating. Win, win!

Improve The Nutritional Quality of Your Diet—Going meatless once a week encourages consumption of plant-based sources of protein, like beans and peas. Consuming beans and peas results in a higher intake of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. And diets high in beans and peas are associated with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.

Meatless Mondays – Bonus! 

Cut Weekly Budget—Many people save money by adding meatless meals to their weekly menus because they are built around vegetables, beans and grains—instead of meat, which tends to be more expensive. Though it can be challenging to serve healthy meals on a budget, going meatless once a week can help conserve money for more fruits and vegetables :)

Help the Environment – Going meatless once a week can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water. So Meatless Monday means a healthier planet AND a healthier you!

We’ll be posting a Meatless Monday recipe every week for the month of February, so check back here often! And be sure to share your favorite Meatless recipes on the Albany Movement & Fitness facebook page!

Sara K. Madden

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