This week’s small change focuses on substituting meat for other protein-packed alternatives.
Some of our favourite meat alternatives are:
Beans (Kidney beans, black beans, white/navy beans)
Tofu (Firm or Silken)
Roasted soy nuts
A plant-based diet is one that includes more veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, and focuses less on animal foods and processed foods. Although it isn’t necessary to give up meat all together, eating less meat has many benefits. These include:
- Saving on cost – Meat is usually expensive. Alternatives such as beans, lentils, eggs, and tofu are often quite inexpensive. A half cup serving of dried beans costs about 10 cents!
- It’s good for your health – Substituting meat for beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds may result in a higher intake of fibre, folate, zinc and magnesium, while still providing plenty of protein to fill you up. Studies have shown that a diet lower in meat (especially red and processed meats) and higher in plant-based foods can protect against heart disease and some types of cancers.
- It’s better for the environment – Producing meat requires a lot of water and fossil fuels, and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Plant-based foods require less natural resources, so are more earth friendly.
If you're like me and are in the habit of eating meat almost every day, start small by making one meal each week a meatless meal, such as "Meatless Monday".
Check out our recipes for One Pan Mexican Casserole, Tofu Stir Fry, or Red Lentil Curry to help you get started.