Eat Less Meat and Reap the Rewards
Chicken, beef and pork are some of the foundations of the American diet. In fact, the average American consumes about 222 pounds of meat annually. Whether it comes in the form of a cheeseburger, chicken salad or a hearty pork chop, over time it can contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. While a diet overly rich in red meat has always been frowned upon by medical experts that’s not the only reason to reach for a salad once in a while. Eating less meat can also save you money and be good for the environment. Let’s see how.
Helps Curb the Monthly Food Budget
Meat can be very pricey. One of the biggest advantages of cutting back on meat is that it can save on your monthly food budget. Roasts, chicken breasts and steaks can cause a grocery receipt to explode, leaving less room for healthier foods like fruits and vegetables.
For those feeding a large family, staples like inexpensive rice and bean-based foods are more affordable and a good choice for vegans or those looking to cut back on meat for a bit.
Red meat is a leading contributor to heart disease. Cutting back on pork and beef can help reduce weight and improve lab results over time. This may minimize the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Substituting chicken and seafood as protein in place of red meat can help control cholesterol levels and overall fat intake.
Leaves a Good Environmental Impact
While beef, pork and poultry production will always be going strong because of demand, individuals who want to help the environmental impact can do their part. Cutting back on meat offers a green way to reduce pollution and chemical by-products associated with feeding, slaughter and manufacturing.
Ready for a Change? Don’t Go Cold Turkey
While the pun is bad, the advice isn’t. You don’t have to do it all at once. It’s easy to make daily changes to cut back on meat. The answer is simple — buy and consume less — not none. There are vegan meal alternatives such as veggie burgers and casseroles made with more beans and pasta. Start slowly, and implement the changes into existing household recipes.
For those who can’t give up meat completely, take advantage of in-store sales and only buy items in bulk to help keep costs down. Reduce consumption by freezing low-cost bulk meats to use for future meals. All it takes are small steps to make a big impact.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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