You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to skip meat with your meals, choosing a meatless meal every now and then can help you lower your cholesterol and may reduce your risk for cardiovascular diseases!
Lean meat is always a good option, but meatless meals can be just as great! Many meatless meals are as simple as moving vegetables and fruits from a side dish to a starring role. You should also seek out high-fiber whole grains, beans and legumes, unsalted nuts, and lower fat and fat-free dairy foods. These tend to be high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and other important phytonutrients.
An easy way to get started is to eat one meatless meal a week! People who eat less meat tend to consume fewer calories, and foods such as beans are one of the most cost-effective sources of protein available. Meat also typically costs more per pound than other protein sources.
If meatless is not for you, don’t worry. You don’t have to go cold turkey on meat to adopt a heart-healthy eating style. Skinless poultry and fish containing omega-3 fatty acids are good protein choices and easy to prepare in healthy ways.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to include strict dieting. Below are some tips on how to change up your diet to benefit your new healthy lifestyle!
- Choose mindfully, even with healthier foods. Ingredients and nutrient content can vary a lot.
- Read labels. Compare nutrition information on package labels and select products with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat, and no partially hydrogenated oils.
- Watch your calories. To maintain a healthy weight, eat only as many calories as you use up through physical activity. If you want to lose weight, take in fewer calories or burn more calories.
- Eat reasonable portions. Often this is less than you are served, especially when eating out.
- Don’t dismiss entire food groups. Eat a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs.
- Cook and eat at home. You’ll have more control over ingredients and preparation methods.
- Look for the Heart-Check mark to easily identify foods that can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern.
To find some delicious and meatless recipes, please visit https://recipes.heart.org/.