April 17, 2014

The Benefits of Adopting a Meatless Monday

Tomatoesby Alexandra Caspero, MS, RD, CPT

Should you go Meatless one day a week? The city of Los Angeles thinks you should. “Meatless Monday” was unanimously passed by the Los Angeles city council, encouraging the community to go vegetarian for the day. Los Angeles, the largest city to pass the Meatless Monday resolution, is known for a large population ranging from A-list celebrities to low-income families.

Why meatless? More than half of our adult population is considered to be overweight, a third considered to be obese. While individual choice and environment are huge factors in these numbers, public policy also bears some responsibility. Those who are obese are at an increased risk of developing diseases associated with it. While going meatless one day a week won’t solve these problems, it might help. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics discusses this role in its position paper on vegetarian diets. Eating less meat can decrease risk of health problems including hypertension, diabetes, and some cancers. Other benefits of Meatless Monday include protecting animals and the environment.

Just because you remove the rib eye from the dinner, doesn’t make it a healthier choice, but it’s a good start. Including more fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-packed foods will help lower potential health problems and also raise awareness for healthy lifestyles. Adding more plant-based meals tends to increase intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, nutrient dense foods that don’t contain a ton of calories.

While this law will not be enforced by the LAPD, it’s a step closer in spreading the knowledge of the Meatless Monday movement throughout the city. Surprisingly, restaurants have already joined and are promoting Meatless Mondays. The city council hopes to encourage education within schools, hospitals, and other sectors of the community as well.

Want to join the movement? Visit MeatlessMonday.com for more information on how you, your family, or your community can commit to passing on meat one day a week. If you’re looking for healthy, delicious plant-based recipes, Delicious-Knowledge.com is a great place to also start.

Alexandra Caspero, MS, RD, CLT is the phenomenal dietitian, exercise physiologist and founder of Delicious Knowledge. Specializing in weight management, sports nutrition, and plant-based diets, Alexandra shares real-life advice with clients and blog followers on a regular basis to help them successfully meet their healthy eating goals. Follow on Facebook and Twitter

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