There are many benefits to going on a meat-free diet. Although it can be a difficult adjustment when you first start, there is never a better time than the present! The lockdown meat-free challenge presents the ideal opportunity to give a more plant-based diet a try.
This challenge opens the door to a plethora of benefits. These include:
Meat contains a great deal of fat, so enjoying well-planned and balanced meat-free meals will assist you in reducing your calorie intake. Why is this beneficial? You will consume less saturated fats, and more mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. Saturated fats can cause unwanted body fat and lead to chronic diseases, so it's best to reduce your intake if you can. Just remember that you'll generally need to eat more in order to stay full on a meat-free diet.
Prevention Of Diseases
Although meat is packed with protein, meat consumption may potentially trigger diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, gout and osteoporosis, among others. Meat-free diets tend to be higher in nutrients which can help prevent certain diseases. Of course, this is only achievable when eating a balanced diet.
Good For Budget
Meat has become quite an expensive commodity, therefore replacing it with other sources of protein can really help you save. So if you are on a strict budget, the lockdown meat-free challenge could be a fantastic option both for your health and your pocket. Try to replace meat with more affordable sources of protein such as beans, lentils, chickpeas and eggs.
There is a common misconception that food cannot be delicious without meat, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Once you learn how to cook and experiment with meat-free dishes, or even develop recipes of your own, you'll discover that veggie-based dishes can be quite delicious and filling.
Something To Think About
If you just want to try out the meat-free challenge, make a list of meat-free recipes to try at home while on the challenge. Choose well balanced meals comprising all the major food groups to benefit the most from this eating plan.
Give It A Try
Lentils are easy to cook and are an affordable source of protein and nutrients. Try this simple and delicious recipe for lentil soup!
Easy Red Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 large stalks celery, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 4 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
- For serving: Olive oil, yoghurt, or other topping (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrot, celery, onion and salt and stir to combine. Cover and let the vegetables sweat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils, water or broth, and bay leaf and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer, covered, until the lentils begin to fall apart, about 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and season with salt as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve with toppings if desired.
Recipe sourced from thekitchn.
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