Lilian Varga is a food enthusiast who enjoys all types of cuisine. Recently, Lilian Varga removed meat from her diet, though she occasionally indulges in chicken.
People cut out meat from their diets for a number of reasons. Some are ethical and concerned about animal welfare or environmental issues. Others focus on the health risks of meat consumption, which can range from heightened risk of heart disease to potential cancer.
Those who do choose to eliminate or reduce their meat intake must make sure that they continue to obtain all of the necessary nutrients. One of the most important is protein, which the body needs to maintain a healthy metabolism and build muscle tissue. Some people replace meat proteins with those from eggs, while others prefer nonanimal sources, such as almonds.
Many people choose to introduce plant-based protein sources to the diet as replacements for meat in certain dishes. Cooked lentils can take the place of ground beef in some recipes, though dried mushrooms or eggplant can provide a more meaty flavor. In bakery treats, chickpea flour or black bean puree can serve as a protein source when substituted for wheat flour.
It is also important for those reducing their meat intake to increase the consumption of whole grains and vegetables. These provide more variety of flavor to a meal plan while also supporting adequate iron consumption. However, because such choices do not include high levels of vitamin B12, it may be necessary to seek out fortified foods or supplements to get this essential nutrient.