Eating less meat encourages the consumption of more plant-based foods, including protein-packed beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And because diets high in meat consumption can be associated with obesity, eating less meat is beneficial not only for heart health, but can help us look and feel great and can help lower the risk for other chronic, preventable diseases.
Eating more meat-free foods is catching fire among Americans. According to a Mintel study, 113 million of us report regularly choosing meatless meals. For example, many are participating in Meatless Monday.
For those looking to make a dietary change of heart, meatless options are abundant. Try meatless must-haves like protein-packed spicy bean burritos, savory vegetable curries and hearty chilies. Moreover, as noted by the AHA, eating less meat can be easier on the wallet. Plant-based proteins like beans are some of the most cost-effective sources of protein available.
And you don't have to miss a beat when dining out. Popular restaurant chains like Chipotle offer hearty options such as sofritas to fill burritos. Many food restaurants offer meat-free burgers and patties, including Subway, Burger King and now White Castle. Thai, Indian, Latin and other international cuisines provide a great opportunity to try tasty meat-free meals.