Life Style

Eat less meat? You should pay attention to this

Next week (8 to 14 March) the ‘Week Without Meat’ will take place, to introduce people to eating less meat. An environmentally friendly and healthy alternative. An initiative that we support as Eigen Huis & Tuin Lekker Leven! That is why Hugo will only make vegetarian dishes next week. To inspire you and to show that it doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

Eating meat is part of a healthy diet, according to Groenenberg: “But you have to make sure that you eat it not too often and too much is doing. Eating a lot of red and processed meat (burgers, sausage, marinated meat) in particular can increase the risk of colon cancer, stroke and type 2 diabetes. “The Nutrition Center therefore always recommends a maximum of 300 grams of red meat per week to eat.

Red meat worse than white meat

Red meat is more harmful to the environment than white meat, because red meat requires more land, water and feed than white meat. Red meat includes beef, pork, sheep and goat and white meat includes chicken and other poultry.

Eating less meat lowers your blood pressure

Groenenberg emphasizes that both a vegetarian diet and a diet with less meat have good health effects. “Eating no meat lowers your blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, but eating less meat also helps considerably.”

Supplement vitamin deficiencies

Meat also contains good nutrients such as vitamin B12 and iron. This means that if you decide to stop eating meat, think carefully about how you will still get those nutrients. For example, you can easily get iron from foods such as nuts, legumes, whole grain cereal products and leafy vegetables.

“If you want to increase your iron absorption, eat a lot of fruit or vegetables with your meal: it contains vitamin C and therefore you absorb more iron from your diet,” says Groenenberg.

The nutrition expert continues: “Replacing B12 is a bit more difficult, because this is really only in animal products. We therefore recommend taking a B12 supplement if you eat little or no animal products.” B12 is an important vitamin, which in particular ensures that you produce red blood cells and that your nervous system works properly.

Supplements

It is difficult to distinguish whether you are deficient in iron or B12, because the symptoms for a deficiency differ little in both. Therefore, in case of doubt and complaints such as pale, dizzy and ringing in the ears, always visit the doctor to do a blood test. If necessary, you can adjust your diet to supplement your deficiencies or (temporarily) take a supplement.

“Vegetarians, for example, have to eat slightly more protein than people who do eat meat. The quality of proteins in vegetable products is often lower than the quality in animal products. For example, a vegetable product does not contain all amino acids, or they are there, but not. in the right proportion, “says Groenenberg.

No meat? Then you need more proteins

On average, according to Groenenberg, we should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. “As a vegetarian, preferably 20% extra. This is not very difficult, because on average we already consume more protein than is actually needed. You get protein from nuts, whole grain products and legumes, for example.”

To get a nice amino acid composition, you can, for example, combine legumes with whole grains. Examples are wholemeal wraps with kidney beans or lentils with wholemeal couscous.

More fiber through plant-based food

Besides the fact that eating less or no meat reduces the risk of certain diseases, it also has other advantages. Groenenberg: “By eating more plant-based, you often also get more fiber. Not everyone eats enough fiber on their own, while these are very important for a good bowel movement. In addition, fiber gives you a satiated feeling, so that you don’t get hungry again. . “

If you still like to eat meat, choose unprocessed meat. Processed meat in the supermarket is often seasoned and marinated with a lot of salt. And choose the lean variety: it contains less saturated fat, but provides the same valuable nutrients.

Be careful with meat substitutes, because these often do not fall within a healthy diet, because a lot of sugar and salt are added. It also does not always contain bent B12 or iron. “Therefore, read the packaging carefully in advance to see if you have a healthy product in your hands,” says Groenenberg.

Are you also participating?

During the ‘Week Without Meat’ you are encouraged to avoid eating meat or fish for a day more often. According to the initiators, this is a small effort with an enormously positive impact on people, animals and the environment.

By not consuming meat at all during the National Week Without Meat, the environmental impact of your diet is lower and you save on the emission of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change and water use.

Any carnivore who can manage not to eat meat for a week saves on average:

  • 101 liters of water
  • Driving 79 kilometers
  • 770 grams of animal meat

We help you!

We think it is a super good initiative and that is why we participate. Next week, Hugo will be cooking vegetarian recipes all week, making participation even easier.

Register for the Week Zonder Vlees or read more information on this website.

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