Plenty of Americans Б though far from a majority Б manage to live without meat in their diet. By some counts, 2 percent of Americans are vegetarian and one in four vegetarians is vegan. (Vegetarians are those who have cut meat, fish and chicken from their diets while vegans eradicate all products that come from an animal, including eggs and all dairy products. ) The Mayo Clinic seems to support these dietary choices: БA plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes and nuts, is rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who don\’t eat meat Б vegetarians Б generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less and have a lower risk of heart disease than nonvegetarians do.
Even reducing meat intake has a protective effect. Research shows that people who eat red meat are at an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Б But what about people who simply crave meat Б who like nothing more than slicing into a thick, juicy steak on a Saturday night? The Mayo Clinic advises a cautious approach, or limiting that steak to a lean, 3-ounce serving size. If the issue of incorporating meat into a diet comes down to personal choice Б as most dietary choices do Б the clinic advocates the approach of a Бflexitarian,Б or someone who eats mostly plant-based foods but sometimes indulges on meat, poultry and fish.
Balance is a choice, too.
Meat, Fish, Eggs, Beans, Pulses & Nuts You need to eat the foods in this group to get enough protein which the body needs to grow and develop. These foods also contain nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins. To make sure you dont eat too much fat, choose leaner cuts of meat and trim off any visible fat and skin. When you cook them, bake or grill instead of frying. But dont forget, you do need some fat in your diet and not all types of fat are unhealthy. The fats found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish are good for you. In fact when it comes to fish, it is recommended that you eat two portions a week and that at least one of these is an oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel or sardines.
Eat moderate amounts of foods from this group and choose lower fat versions where possible. These foods should cover aboutP a third of your plate. P Choose lean meats and remove visible fat. Take the skin off chicken or turkey. Limit chicken and fish cooked in batter or breadcrumb coatings. Cook these foods without adding fat e. g. by grilling, roasting, baking or in a casserole. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oil-rich (oily fish include mackerel, salmon, trout, kippers, pilchards, sardine and fresh tuna -P but canned tuna doesnt count because the processing removes most of the beneficial oils).
It is especially important if you are vegetarian to get your protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B from sources other than meat. P Choose from the foods listed below: Beans, lentils and chick peas Seeds, nuts and nut butters (like peanut butter) If you eat these foods in combination with cereal foods (such as wholemeal bread, rice, pasta) these will provide you with proteins that are equivalent to those found in meat. Some vegetarians still eat eggs, milk and fish. These provide a more complete form of protein equivalent to that in meat. B vitamins can be obtained by eating fortified breakfast cereals, soya foods and yeast extracts (such as marmite or vegemite).