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Why Switching To A Vegan Diet Is Good For The Planet

If you are concerned about your health and have given some thought to switching to a diet that is more plant-based, you may also be helping the environment in the process.

What you do on a daily basis can have an impact on the environment around you. This includes how you live, the vehicles you drive, and the products that you purchase. It should come as no surprise that a message that emphasizes the significance of decreasing one’s carbon footprint is becoming more widespread, and that an increasing number of individuals are looking for simpler ways to be less detrimental to the environment.

You may try your best to help the environment by recycling, selecting a vehicle that gets better gas mileage, and ensuring that the water in the sink is turned off while you brush your teeth. There is another option to live a lifestyle that is much more environmentally friendly, and that is to switch to a vegan diet. These tiny efforts do make huge differences (every little bit counts), but there is another alternative.

How a Plant-Based Diet Impacts the Earth

You have the freedom to choose what you want to consume for all three meals of the day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You have the power to have a significant, and sometimes even a dramatic, influence on the environment through seemingly insignificant choices, such as requesting almond milk in your latte or requesting that there be no bacon on your salad. These choices range from simple to complex.

“It is imperative that we keep a watchful eye on what we are doing. Consuming food is something that everyone on the planet does, and everyone possesses the capacity to exercise some degree of influence over what they eat “According to Joan Sabaté, M.D., Dr.P.H., who is a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Loma Linda University and also directs the school’s environmental nutrition research program, which is concerned with the effect that human diets have on the environment, “environmental nutrition research focuses on the impact that human diets have on the planet.” In comparison to a diet that is heavy in meat, one that is plant-based requires significantly fewer natural resources to generate.

According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a typical nonvegetarian diet uses 2.9 times more water, 2.5 times more energy, and 13 times more fertilizer than a vegetarian diet does. Research also shows that reducing the amount of animal-based products that we consume in our meals can have a significant impact on the environment.

The United Nations issued a report a decade ago stating that the production of meat causes more greenhouse gas emissions than the whole transportation industry. The report also recommended that governments establish goals for lowering the amount of meat that is consumed.

A Less-Meat Approach Is Helpful Too

Don’t panic if the thought of eating more sustainably appeals to you, but you’re not quite ready to give up all meat and animal products just yet. It is not necessary to eliminate entire food groups in order to be helpful to the environment.

Sabaté states that the positive aspect of the situation is that it is not an all-or-nothing undertaking. “There are advantages to cutting back on meat eating, whether you do it in terms of quantity or frequency.”

According to the findings of several pieces of research, diets that are greater in vegetable content and lower in animal products can also have profound benefits. According to the findings of a study that appeared in Environmental Health in 2013 and focused on the Mediterranean diet, this eating pattern may be associated with much lower rates of energy use, land use, and water consumption. A growing body of evidence, which has been brought to light by the Climate Institute, suggests that diets low in meat, such as the pescatarian diet (which consists of eating fish but no other meat), can dramatically cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

If you have been debating whether or not to cut back on the amount of meat you eat, you should think about doing so for another crucial reason: for the sake of yourself.

According to Sabaté, “[diets based on plants] may lessen the risk of some diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain malignancies.” There are several potential advantages to adopting a vegan diet, including improved health for the heart and overall increased longevity. The benefits of following a vegan diet are quite similar to those of following a diet based in the Mediterranean region, with the added benefits of improving brain function and offering anti-inflammatory characteristics.

How to Start Eating Less Meat

You can use one or more of the following ways to reduce the amount of meat you eat, which is beneficial not only to your own health but also to the health of the planet:

  • You should give Mondays without meat a try. This technique recommends going meatless for one entire day of the week, which includes all three meals. When you feel as though you have that under control, move on to two days. Continue moving up until you are eating a diet that is almost entirely free of meat.
  • Eat vegan food before six in the morning to strike a balance in your day. The Vegan Before 6 movement is the idea of author and food critic Mark Bittman. It encourages individuals to refrain from eating any meat or animal products during the three hours before supper. It is a straightforward method for increasing the number of vegan recipes one consumes, and it maintains flexibility.
  • Instead of making meat the primary course, you should concentrate on utilizing it as a condiment. Get out of the rut of eating meat and two sides every night and search instead for meals in which meat is not the primary ingredient. Dishes made with pasta and rice, as well as stir-fries, soups, and curries, make for excellent options in this establishment. In order to maintain the meal’s nutritional value, look for grains that are whole.
  • Try each of our top 30 vegetarian recipes to see which one you like best. Put your cooking skills to the test and attempt to recreate each of these mouthwatering vegetarian recipes. During this process, you will not only reduce the amount of meat you eat, but you will also learn new skills, new favorite ingredients, and new methods to extend your repertoire of meat-free recipes.
  • You should give our 7-Day Mediterranean Meal Plan a week of your time. Try out this tailor-made meal plan for a vegetarian or pescatarian diet and see how satisfying a vegetarian or pescatarian diet can be. This plan includes all three meals and snacks for the week. After that, you can move on to some of the other steps here to continue reducing the number of meat you eat and increasing the amount of plants you consume.

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