10 Reasons to Go Meatless (At Least Once A Week)

Published: March 18, 2014

 

I was faced with a lot of ridicule and even outright hatred (my own sister telling my nephew being a vegetarian is a mental illness in front of me and my mother), the health benefits of going meatless have been overwhelming and have even caused other family members that once scoffed and my own MD to ask about the process. Here's some even better news for those that just can't chuck the chuck wagon entirely; even going meatless just one day or one meal a week has incredible benefits by itself! The benefits aren't just for your body, though, but that's mainly what we're focusing on in this list. Here are 10 reasons to, at least once a week, go meatless:

  1. Reduced Risks of Heart Disease and Stroke

    This is the number one reason dieticians recommend a low-animal protein diet; heart attacks, coronary artery disease, and stroke. It's no secret that fat in the blood doesn't break down and that essential fatty acids or fats from grains and veg behave differently in the body because they are of different amino sources. Going meatless just once a week can improve your heart health (perhaps even your cholesterol as it did for one of my relatives) drastically. Don't expect to get thin and healthy overnight or even over a year, but do expect your heart and brain to thank you!

  2. Natural Increase in Energy

    Lose the Red Bull when you ditch red meat at least once a week. Digesting animal protein takes a lot of energy, though it doesn't cause stored fats and glucose to convert properly which means you need to eat more good foods to power your body enough to process the mediocre ones. Also, meals without meat are usually higher in vitamins like B6, B12, D, and K which natural energy drinks claim to have instead of caffiene. So why pay for a 'natural energy drink' when you could have a 'natural energy meal' once a week?

  3. Better and Stronger Libido

    Remember your mother telling you to eat your vegetables even if you didn't love them? Well love-making may be one reason to give wholesome veggies a good try and ditch the animal protein once a week at the least. Again, it takes a lot of energy to power through animal protein and when that's not in the way, your other desires (in this case some very tender and specific desires) get to shine through with the energy to accomplish your goals. So finish your vegetables . . . and then you can have dessert!

  4. Avoiding Potential Allergins, Toxins, or Other Harmful Materials

    Take a look at a PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) from 1993, then from 2013; take a look at the statistics in 'The Pill Book' or 'Mosby's Pathology' from 1993 and then 2013. What do you see at the top of the list of medicines perscribed? Antihistamines and histamine response blockers for food allergies. The numbers and types of food allergies and sensitivities have risen exponentially in the last 20 years and experts are at odds as to what causes it. This isn't as much ditching meat, though that will definitely help too, as it is ditching GMO foods as often as possible. The problem here is that while vegetables and grains have to be labeled as being GMO or not, meat does not and you never know if you're eating truly organic meat or not even with a USDA organic stamp (look up the numerous lawsuits and violations reported even at organic farms following outbreaks of illnesses). By doing without meat at least weekly, you're reducing your risk for sensitivities turning into allergies or sensitivities at all. After all, sensitivities develop by repeated exposure to a harmful substance and even more exposures after the sensitivity develops become an allergy. So do without the meat once a week and reduce not only your risks for those things, but possibly your need for medications to accompany them as well!

  5. Better Dental Health

    Dentists offices have posters plastered all over children's sections about eating plenty of fruits, veggies, and grains. Why? Those items are chocked full of vitamins and minerals essental to dental health internally which is where the majority of dental problems begin. Also, animal protein leaves residue (specifically the more dense meats) which can lead to thick plaque, gun disease, and decay. While regular flossing, brusing, and dental cleanings help, the rest that requires internal help can realy get the boost it needs if you boost your veg once a week and give meat the boot! Dental work is expensive; and if missing a few steaks will mean a few less fillings, then that's just better spending!

  6. Naturally Looking Younger

    It can't be stressed enough that animal proteins are a little more difficult to digest; so what happens when you expend this kind of energy over years without the fuel that's going to digesting your meat going to other areas of your body? You age early and often times not well. Peop who naturally look younger have diets low in meats period and choose lean meat or fish when they do eat it. If it works for them, it'll work for you.

  7. Better Brain Function and Long Term Health

    One of the issues facing stroke and Alzheimer's patients is free-flowing cholesterol and fats in the blood that also end up in the brain. When we eat animal protein, we have to consume the fats that are naturally in it an oftentimes those fats do not digest, but should be excreted as wastes. In a body that isn't working at 100%, which is the majority of the world, that fat has to go somewhere and it can slow your processes way down. Also, not having the good nutrients from fruits and veggies and grains going to their proper places and helping you digest instead slows you down. Wait, wasn't this also in the energy article? Well, what's true of the energy flow in the rest of the body is usually true of the brain. Movement and perception and memory all rely on neurons and your brain is made up almost exclusively of neurons. The easier your body puts power where it belongs, the easier it is to learn, recall, and have fun. And again, this is just making a small change weekly!

  8. Longer Natural Life Span

    Look at the articles pertaining to the world's oldest men and women; most of them come from third world countries with poor medical care and scarce food . . . so how did they do it? Firstly, where they lived probably had decent healthcare and food, secondly, look at their memoirs and you'll see three things in comon: plenty of sleep, walking daily, and eating very little meat. The world's current oldest woman has only a few times in her life consumed meat and the rest of the time relied on sushi and fish proteins (sushi is the rice used, not the fish-made rolls). So if going without meat once a week could add even just that extra day to your life, is it worth it? You bet!

  9. Better and Easier Potential to Build Muscle!

    Because animal protein takes so much to digest, it isn't practical for building muscle. This is why you see soy, whey, and other forms of powdered protein in the body-building and body-sculpting sections of your local retailers. If you want muscles that are defined and powerful, then doing without meat at least once a week will allow your body to properly absorb natural proteins to feed your muscles and build the necessary tissues.

  10. It's Best for the Planet!

    Let's not get immature and talk about cow-based methane, it's not as big a contributor to pollution, human rights violations, and damage to the surrounding land (soil and water) as meat producing plants are. Because of the demand for meat, many of these plants work almost 24 hours a day if not 24 hours a day (like our local chicken plant which has been responsible twice for issues with our water, human rights violations, and law disputes about terrible injuries). When you do without meat at least once a week, you're lowering the demand and when the demand is lowered, so will the supply. Think about it; you wouldn't run your car 24 hours a day while it leaked oil in the middle of a field? Do some research; some of these plants are doing more damage to the environment than car exhaust and corporate waste. And a weekly change can alter all of that!

Allow me to stress that I don't think vegetarianism is for everyone, but I do know that eating meat at every meal is not healthy, either. Our bodies rely on balance and our western world has over-encouraged us to eat meat as our only source of protein which means having it at every meal. This is not true at all. Once a week doing without meat is equivalent to owning a hybrid car for a year, recycling and buying without packaging for 7 months, and picking up/cleaning up an area in need for 4 weeks. All of that from just once a week without meat? Let me hear a 'Yes, please!'