The percentage of vegetarians and vegans among people from all walks of life continues to rise throughout the world. People are becoming interested in how meat consumption affects their health, the environment, and the conditions in which animals are kept.
If you want to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, it is essential that you have the correct information. There are certain steps you must take to prepare yourself for a vegetarian life. Giving up meat (and possibly all animal products) won’t necessarily be like walking in the park. However, you have the opportunity to prepare for the transition in stages so that it goes as smoothly as possible.
The following are key points to consider when transitioning to a new diet (no meat):
1) Weigh all the benefits.
Being a vegetarian is not always easy. However, it can certainly provide a number of benefits for you, including:
- weight loss
- Lower blood pressure
- Cholesterol lowering
- Diabetes Prevention
- Feeling better
- Improved skin condition (look younger than your age)
- Prevention of gallstones and constipation (due to the high fiber content of plant foods)
- Prevention of heart attacks (no meat in the diet reduces the likelihood of clogged arteries)
- Relief of symptoms after menopause or andropause
- Cleansing from toxins
- Increased life expectancy
- Saving animal lives
- Reduction of environmental damage associated with the amount of land allocated for grazing. Going meatless is certainly acceptable and logical if you think about how it will benefit you and the Earth.
2) Meat days during the week.
It is important to be realistic when transitioning to a new diet. You may find it difficult to completely give up meat. One way to gradually transition to a vegetarian lifestyle is to introduce meat days. For example, if you have abstained from eating meat during weekdays, then you can reward yourself by eating meat on weekends. Over time, you can reduce the number of meat days to one per week, and then to zero.
3) Use vegetarian meat substitutes, look for appropriate vegetarian recipes, try vegetarian sausages.
If you’ve been a meat lover your whole life, try adding meat substitutes (miso, seitan, and tempeh) to your diet so you can continue to enjoy your favorite meals that require meat. Some of these foods taste like meat, so you won’t even know the difference!
At the same time, it is advisable to choose such meat substitutes that are healthy and do not contain various artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Read the labels, see if the products contain harmful ingredients! Choosing non-meat sources of protein is one of the best ways to meet your needs while avoiding meat products.
4) Seek support from experienced vegetarians and vegans.
There are many books and magazines that can help you succeed with your vegetarian lifestyle. Visit sites that are intended for people who are ready to become vegetarian or vegan and are seriously interested in switching to a plant-based diet. You will get the information you need to thrive on healthy vegetarian food.