Meat-free options to make your diet healthier

Over the years there have been a few scary stories in the media about our foodstuffs and what they contain. Meat in particular has come in for a lot of criticism due to farming techniques, including the conditions in which animals are housed, and the ingredients in their feed that are then indirectly consumed by people who eat the meat. Fortunately, incorporating more vegetables into your diet has never been easier and arguably offers you the chance of a healthier alternative to traditional meat-heavy meals. Here are a few suggestions that might help you get started.


Red and white meat

Red meat – beef and lamb, for example – has more myoglobin than white meat such as chicken and turkey (excluding legs and thighs). Myoglobin carries oxygen to your muscle tissues and fortifies your body with iron, so it may sound like a good thing, but the type of iron found in meat can cause damage to cells in your body. In many ways, red meat does provide you with important nutrients; however, according to the American Cancer Society, research has shown a strong correlation between colorectal cancer and the consumption of red or processed meats. In fact, eating this kind of meat is associated with a number of cancers, including cancer of the stomach, lungs, esophagus and pancreas.

Pork is a sort of hybrid meat, considered red meat in nutritional terms but commonly grouped with white meats due to its pale color when cooked, all of which is a little confusing.


For many centuries, fish has been an important source of protein and vitamin D, and some people consider it one of the healthiest foods available. Iodine, and some minerals that are often in short supply, are also provided in fish, and the higher the fat content in the type of fish the more beneficial it is. If you’re serious about letting go of eating so much meat, consider searching instead for trout, salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna in your local store as great alternatives to beef steaks and lamb chops. You will also benefit from omega-3 fatty acids that help your brain and your body to function well.

Vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and grains

Now to the best part of the changes you can make to your diet to promote your good health: vegetables, grains and beans. Plant-based diets followed by vegetarians can offer you all the important nutrients you need without the issues that can occur in relation to red meat. For example, leafy green vegetables are a great source of the iron you might normally get from red meat. Vegetarian dishes can also help you to eat less fat and fewer calories, plus reduce your risk of suffering from heart disease.

Increasingly, scientists are also examining the benefits of dietary changes that reflect smaller quantities of dairy products, in favor of soy alternatives, and reduced consumption of eggs. For example, you can now find dairy-free options for sauces, treats such as cookies and even mayo. In fact, if you visit the Hampton Creek Facebook page you’ll find a whole new world of healthy possibilities. The information here will help you in your quest for healthy eats, whether you’re dealing with reducing your meat intake, countering allergens or following a special diet.

Finally, help yourself by introducing changes to your diet slowly. For example, swap that Friday night steak for poached salmon and try a healthy and magnificent eggplant with basil centerpiece instead of your Sunday roast dinner. Bake a country vegetable pie with all your favorite ingredients and savor it one delicious slice at a time. Try it – you might surprise yourself.