Many people will be choosing to go vegan this ‘Veganuary’. You may have considered it yourself, but the thought of giving up all meat and animal products can be challenging for many of us for a number of reasons. Moreover, attempting to go vegan without any knowledge of nutrition could see us start to lack the vitamins and nutrients we need. So it’s important that before making any radical changes to your diet, we would recommend seeking advice from your GP.
If you are taking part in Veganuary, well done to you for taking steps to improve your health, and the planet. But if, for whatever reason, you’re unable to take part fully, reducing your meat intake will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your overall health, but especially your heart.
Numerous studies, demonstrate that restricting meat impacts the body in a number of positive ways. A plant-based diet has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Plant based diets have also been strongly associated with weight loss, which in turn can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here's some small steps you can take to reduce the meat in your diet that your heart will thank you for:
◦ Fill your plate with vegetables and fruit - the more colourful the better.
◦ Eat more whole grains. Examples include brown rice, whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers, bulgur, quinoa and oats.
◦ Eat more proteins such as beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, quorn and tofu.
◦ Include some unsaturated fat in your diet. This can include avocado, oily fish, nuts and olive oil.
◦Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day - aim for 2 litres if you can.
Remember, it’s ok to gradually reduce your consumption of meat if you can't give it up completely, and you will certainly see some benefits from doing so.
Visit Veganuary for more tips, advice and recipes to help to reduce your meat intake this January and beyond.