Reducing Meat in Our Diets: A Multifaceted Issue

Although for many people it may be hard to imagine themselves giving up burgers or steaks, there are many arguments for consuming less meat. Meat and meat products, as well as the processes used to harvest them, create pollution and expend a lot of energy and resources. Out of overall global greenhouse gas emissions, 1/3 is estimated to come from agriculture, with half of that being produced solely from livestock. Producing the requisite amount of calories needed for an individual to survive off animal sources requires significantly more energy and produces more waste than producing the same amount of calories from plant-sources. Understanding environmental impact of animal agriculture is an important step to recognizing the true expanse of the benefits of a plant-based diet.


Beyond being environmentally detrimental, eating high levels of red meat in one’s diet has shown increased incidence of cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, kidney disease, infections, and stroke. While this news is troubling for meat-eaters, the silver lining seems to be that white meat consumption brings a reduced risk of disease, so not all meat is off-limits. Studies of heart disease have shown significantly lower incidence rates in vegetarians, which is theorized to be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of plant products, as well that non-meat eaters generally have lower levels of cholesterol in their diets. Typically those that eat meatless diets weigh less on average than those who regularly eat meat.


You may have heard of gut bacteria, which are enzymes and creatures that live in your stomach and intestines that help to digest the food that you eat. They are an ecosystem of their own, affected and altered by what we consume. Vegetables and fruits contain proteins and indigestible carbohydrates that alter the different levels of bacteria in the gut. When you switch over to a vegetarian diet, these changes can lead to boosts in the levels of healthy gut bacteria, which can lead to an overabundance of gas in the intestinal tract. This can leave new vegetarians feeling gassy or bloated for a while, but can help you lose waist inches over time. Overall, there are many things to consider in one’s lifestyle that can help you and Planet Earth to live a longer and healthier life.



Easy Hacks that can Facilitate Healthy Eating

  1. Having small protein meals

This strategy assists in weight loss since it reduces hunger spikes and maintains the stability of blood sugar. The plan is also essential for nutrient timing because small meals are easy for the body to break down and absorb. Proteins are beneficial in the breaking down of the body fat, and one should include at least 30 grams of the nutrient in every meal. Having excessive fat decreases absorption rates for vitamins and minerals and also leads to inflammation.


  1. Including a little healthy fat in every meal.

Healthy fats can be obtained from foods such as eggs, avocados, coconuts, and olive oil. This helps in digesting the vitamins and antioxidants that are in vegetables. Vitamins such as carotenoids that are offered by spinach and carrots are highly soluble in fats. It is, therefore, necessary to add a piece of avocado in a vegetable salad so as to speed up digestion and absorption of nutrients.


  1. Chewing food thoroughly

Swallowing large chunks of food leads to a waste of nutrients since some of it is not well digested. Chewing food wells allows it to mix with digestive saliva enzymes such as lipase and amylase. The two enzymes facilitate the digestion of starch, proteins, fats, and sugars. Thorough chewing also increases the surface area of the food, and therefore, enhances absorption in gastrointestinal region. People who chew food well (about 40 times) are likely to experience less hunger than those who don’t (less than 25 times).


  1. Consuming probiotic and prebiotic foods

These are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, and they play a great role in digestion. The probiotic foods include sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, and pickles. Supplements can also be used. These foods assist in reducing bloating in the stomach. It is also necessary to include prebiotic diet in meals since they feed the probiotic and enable them to work well. Prebiotics are in foods like bananas, leeks, artichokes, and asparagus.


  1. Cooking vegetables well

The best way of cooking vegetables and preserve their nutrients is by steaming them. This retains the chlorophyll, vitamins, and soluble proteins. Cooking the vegetables helps in freeing antioxidants that are in them and also breaks the outer layers hence making them easy for the body to digest and absorb.


How to Start Eating Healthier for Better Wellness

It’s easy in this day and age to stop at a fast food restaurant get a greasy burger with a side of large fries. It’s tempting to walk through the grocery store and be lured into the bakery section with its cakes, pies and pastries. Unfortunately, America alone has a growing obesity epidemic that is robbing people of their happiness and health. Sure, food is great and a source of pleasure for many, but carrying around excess weight is difficult, exhausting and taxing on our health.


The key to losing weight and getting in better health is changing what’s on your plate. You’ve probably heard the motto that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. No matter how much walking you do on your treadmill every night, it’s not going to undo the damage that a half dozen morning donuts, a huge sandwich at lunch and two helpings of dinner did. Eating healthy isn’t easy and anyone who tells you it’s effortless to go from eating junk all the time to fruits, veggies and salads is flat-out lying. It takes discipline and commitment to make the change, but the beauty about making this type of change is that it slowly becomes a habit. After a few weeks of eating more healthfully, you’re less likely to reach for the piece of cake after dinner because you’re afraid you’ll undo all your hard work. You’re less willing to have a huge portion at dinner because you feel just as satisfied with a smaller plate.


In order to start eating healthier, it’s important to eliminate temptation. Get rid of all the junk food and snacks in the house and stock the shelves with healthier options. If your downfall has always been ice cream, just don’t buy it and keep it in the house. Not only will you save a lot of money long-term by not purchasing your ice cream, but it won’t be there taunting you all the time. In some cases and for certain people, making smaller changes is the way to go. Instead of buying full-fat milk, purchase skim milk. Instead of buying sugary ice cream, buy a pint of sugar-free deliciousness. Even by making these small and effortless changes, you may still lose weight and start your path to a healthier lifestyle.


Excellent Hacks for Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating may feel like a difficult undertaking course to many people. Embracing theses option does not mean that individuals need to go to the extremes such as having a dry beans diet or drinking organic yogurt. It easy to have a healthy life by using a few eating hacks that can make a significant difference.


  1. Eating fruits before visiting shopping stores

An individual who goes shopping on an empty stomach has very high chances of buying junk food. Having a healthy meal influences how one thinks. According to research, a person is likely to be motivated to buy more fruits and vegetables is they had some before shopping.


2.Creating and implementing the 15 minutes rule

Everyone likes adding a little more to food their plates after a meal. Research indicates that a person may not be as hungry as he or she thinks. There are high chances that the stomach is still digesting food when one orders for the second course in a restaurant or goes to the kitchen to get more food. A clever hack for this is waiting for at least 15 minutes after a meal before deciding to reload a plate. If one still feels hungry, it is acceptable to get more food. This trick prevents people from overfeeding.


  1. Having more fat in a meal

Most individuals may fell like this is a misleading guide. This hack works since eating healthy fats make one feel satisfied, and therefore, prevents the consumption of more calories. Health foods that have fats include avocados, sardines, tuna, salmon, mackerel, almonds, and eggs. These foods can also help one to get rid of cholesterol and excess weight.


  1. Always eat breakfast

This is the most important meal of the day since it prevents one from having high-calorie foods for lunch. It helps in reducing chances of being affected by medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.


  1. Buy smaller dishes

Most people were brought up by mothers who used to insist that they should clear their plates. This habit is hard to stop, and therefore, people seem to eat according to the size of their plate. Individuals who have this tendency should buy smaller plates to help in reducing the amount of food that they consume.


How Nuts Can Work to Regulate Your Health

In a recent article published by Huffington Post, this author discusses the importance of including various nuts and seeds into the standard American diet. Nuts have long been hailed as a super food in cultures around the world and only within the last century have lost their relevance in the American diet. During the late 1980s to early 1990s Americans (as well as other countries) waged a dietary war against fats, believing that fats largely contributed to debilitating diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Scientific studies regarding the reaction of the human body to different substances found in food have improved drastically since the early 90s, however, and white sugar is now suspected to be the culprit to various health care concerns.


Studies have actually shown that healthy fats can be highly beneficial to the American diet. Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in most nuts, but are found in high dosages in nuts like almonds and walnuts, have been found to be extremely beneficial to heart health. It is said that a handful of almonds (or another nut that is high in fatty acid) can actually contribute to a longer life span when eaten on a daily basis. Nuts have also been shown to contribute to colon health and decrease the instances of colon cancer in Americans when added as a daily part of the diet. Because the fiber in nuts promotes regularity in humans and helps to flush out the colon on a regular basis, it is likely that nuts are also beneficial to gut health.


In addition to their anti-inflammatory, colon regulating properties, nuts are chock full of vitamins and minerals. Calcium, magnesium, selenium, copper, zinc, potassium, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, E are all readily available in most nuts and seeds. Specific nuts like almonds, brazil nuts, pecans, and hazelnuts are all beneficial in the stabilization of cholesterol levels and the promotion of general health, energy, and well being. As a result of several recent studies about the benefits of including nuts and seeds in the diet on a consistent basis, many health care practitioners are recommending that nuts and seeds be made staples in the diets of most Americans to promote a more healthy lifestyle and a prolonged life expectancy.


Spring Into Summer Flavors

When summer begins to roll around, thoughts turn to fresh vegetables and clean, bright flavors. It is also a great time to take advantage of the many things just now coming into season. Right now, so many farmers’ markets are just beginning to open up, and the first bounty of summer is starting to become available.


There are lots of ways to take advantage of the early harvest. Fresh salads are often a hit this time of year. You can really get some special, tender treats in the form of early-season greens like arugula and spinach. Butter lettuce is especially tender this time of year. Very soon, the first tomatoes will start to ripen, unless you are lucky enough to have farmers with a hothouse, then you should see them coming off the vine already.


Toss some of these with some early, tender cucumber or a few spring radishes. Add your favorite light vinaigrette, and really enjoy the finest flavors of the season in their most natural form.


Another advantage of the season that helps you rebuild that summer figure is easy access to the grill. Grilling meats and vegetables is one of the healthiest ways to take advantage of their full flavor. Toss some of the new asparagus out right now with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and put them in a metal basket or right on your grill.


There are also a huge number of fish species coming back into harvestable season. Take a look at your market for great deals. Or just go ahead and ask your fishmonger. You do have a fishmonger, right?


Take your favorite thick fillet of meaty white fish, brush it with olive oil, and season it with salt, pepper, tarragon, and a little lemon zest. For some, you can put it right on a searing-hot grill for just a few minutes on either side. For those who are less daring, use a piece of aluminum foil as a dish on your grill to protect your fish.


One of the most beautiful things about summer bounty are also the colors. Take a look at this awesome recipe for vegetable spring rolls using lovely, swirled cane beets. Serve it with their awesome peanut sauce, and you’ll have a special summer treat.


Veganism vs. Plant-Based Diet

With a slew of TV programs, documentaries, and online buzz about plant-based diets, there is no doubt that you have heard of this trend. Nutrition experts, celebrities, and millennials alike are drawn to a plant-based diet because of both its health benefits and its low impact on the environment. However, many people think this diet is interchangeable with veganism when there are in fact some important key differences. A recent article on the Huffington Post clears up the differences.


First, the vegan lifestyle encompasses more than just diet. Vegans will not eat, use, or purchase any item that contains any part of an animal or exploits animals in any way. That means that apart from nixing meat and dairy from their plates, vegans also won’t wear leather or wool or take honey in their tea. Those following a plant-based diet, on the other hand, are more concerned with their own health than making a political statement. They minimize or eliminate animal products from their diet but are not as concerned about using them in other parts of life.


More importantly, vegans do not necessarily eat a healthy diet. There are tons of foods out there that are technically vegan but definitely don’t fall into the “health food” category. While many vegans do consume mostly fruits, veggies, and whole grains, they could, in theory, eat a diet of Oreos and potato chips without breaking their vegan vows.


A plant-based diet, though, is more focused on the health benefits of eating plants and cuts out both animal products and processed foods. People on this diet focus on eating whole foods, meaning both fresh and cooked produce and (mostly whole) grains. Even refined sugars and flours are off the table, literally! This diet is all about making your body feel, look, and work as best as it can, so it offers a bit more flexibility because every body is different. Some people cut out animal products entirely while others continue to consume some here and there like egg whites or skim milk.

New Healthy Eating Ideas That Have Nothing to Do With Salad

Whenever you look through a diet that is supposed to help you get healthier or lose weight, almost every meal seems to include some type of salad. Salads are great, and they can definitely help you to eat healthier and lose weight. Moreover, there are tons of different types of salad, so it’s not like you have to eat the same boring old salad every day.


But many people are searching for more than just valid in their daily diets, and if you are one of those people, you’ll want to find some new recipes that will be healthy and delicious but not be salad. You’re in luck. The following is a list of some great healthy eating ideas that have nothing to do with salad.


Use a spiralizer to replace pasta.


Most people who want to eat healthy on a regular basis don’ts turn to pasta for this. Pasta has tons of carbs and refined sugars, which can be bad for you in the long run. Moreover, whenever you eat pasta, the carbs in the pasta will make you want to eat even more. But you can replace pasta with a healthy alternative. All you need to do is buy a spiralizer.


This whiz of a gadget can turn zucchini into pasta for a warm spaghetti and meatball meal or cucumbers into pasta for a nice Greek side dish with feta cheese and grape tomatoes.


Use mushrooms instead of meat.


If you’re looking for a great way to have a yummy and healthy hamburger, forget about the fake hamburgers that you can find at the grocery store and use a portobello mushroom instead. Likewise, if you going to make a quesadilla and you want to put chicken or steak inside, forget the meat and add some mushrooms in place. They’re healthier and taste great.


Get in touch with cauliflower.


Finally, here’s one more replacement. Cauliflower can replace many different types of foods that are traditionally not very good for you. Use ground cauliflower to create a tasty pizza crust or try mashed cauliflower to replace mashed potatoes.


These are just some of the ways that you can eat healthy without relying solely on salads.