The Benefits of Reducing your Meat Intake
Meat is a staple of much of our diets. Versatile and full of protein, it has been a large part of the British diet for as long as has been recorded. However, recently there has been a steep rise in vegetarian or plant based diets. Currently, 14% of adults in the UK (7.2 million) are following a meat-free diet.* What then are the benefits of eating a meat free diet?
- Cutting meat out of your diet may reduce the risk of heart disease
Although there are certain types of meat which are low in fat, those meats which are high in saturated fats have been found to have some form of link to heart disease.** Guidance is already in place to help minimise peoples’ saturated fat intake, but some people don’t see the breakfast staples of bacon and sausages as a potential health risk. It is best to reduce these types of meat such as:
- hot dogs
- fatty cuts of red meat
Saturated fats crop up in a lot of meat-heavy food groups, such as fast food. Polyunsaturated fats usually crop up in less heavily meat based diets, and examples of these are:
- vegetables and nut oils
- nuts and seeds
Omega-3 fats are an important element of polyunsaturated fats. By swapping out meat for fish in some meals will boost the benefits of omega-3 for the body.
- Cutting meat out of your diet can help with your gut health.
Removing meat entirely isn’t guaranteed to improve your gut health, however in doing so, most people diversify their diet in response to this gap in their diet once filled by eating meat. Meat substitutes are often filled with fibre due to them coming from plants. Some of the most fibrous foods you probably have in their diet are:
- raspberries and apples
- leafy vegetables
- beans and legumes
- whole grains
- No meat does not equal no protein.
If anything, having a very meat heavy diet can actually reduce your potential protein intake due to only relying on meat. Here are some examples of vegetarian proteins you could incorporate in your diet:
- edamame beans
- hemp and chia seeds
- lentils and beans
- greek yoghurt and cottage cheese
- green peas
- peanut butter
Some people are less inclined to cut out meat for health reasons. There has been much talk lately about the environmental issues surrounding meat production, and this is only getting more serious. By cutting meat out of your diet, you could save the same amount of emissions as a family stopping driving their car for 6 months.*** So, even if you’re still not convinced to cut out meat for your health, there’s this additional bonus, too.
Simple steps you can take in order to begin reducing your meat intake:
- Swap your usual red meat for lower fat alternatives. For example, you can replace the bacon in your breakfast for turkey bacon, or perhaps swapping meat for fish would not only potentially help your health, but help diversify your meals.
- Instead of a meat based curry, maybe try using lentils or chickpeas. Doing this also could make your curry more authentic, too. You can introduce this slowly by cutting the quantity of meat in half and replacing the other half with a pulse.
- If you cook for a family of staunch meat eaters, maybe try introducing new meals into your repertoire rather than immediately substituting the meat in their favourite meal. This might help get their head around having several meals a week meat free, whilst keeping your family staples.
- In June 2022, we at Hides are publishing a series of tasty vegetarian recipes for you to make at home using our wonderful products. See these recipes below:
- Hides Fine Foods’ Veggie Chilli
- Hides Fine Foods’ Golden Rice Pudding
- Hides Fine Foods’ Simple Cashew Cream Sauce
- Hides Fine Foods’ Chickpea Curry
However, with the nature of our products, we already have many wonderful meat free recipes for you to try. Here are a select few:
- Hides Fine Foods’ Winter Warmer Soup
- Hides Fine Foods’ Fava
- Hides Fine Foods’ Peanut and Sweet Potato Curry
Remember, a transformation overnight is often unachievable. Slowly making a change is the best way forward, and no one is perfect, it is normal to slip up.
The information in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. This should not be used for health or diet recommendations. Third party sources have been provided where used. Some estimates have been used in this article and should be checked by the reader prior to consideration. Hides Fine Foods takes no responsibility for the subsequent use or application of the information provided in this article.