Eat Less Red Meat
- Eat for your body, and the environment—a diet with less red meat saves your arteries and helps counteract climate change.
- Sustainable seafood and organic lean poultry are allowable in place of red meat.
- Even better, scaling down your red meat consumption leaves more room in your diet for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds that help lower your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Try out #MeatlessMonday by sticking to vegetarian proteins.
- Say yes to fish on Tuesday through Sunday! Wild Alaskan salmon is one of the most nutritious—high in omega-3s and fairly low in mercury, as are sardines and anchovies. Generally smaller fish are lower in mercury and often more sustainably caught, so keep that in mind.
- Lean Poultry (chicken, turkey) to replace red meat in your meals. Look for organic, skinless breast fillets or 90% to 95% ground poultry.
- Eggs are allowed and mighty good for you too. When buying eggs, opt for pasture-raised and organic to ensure your eggs are raised humanely.
- Dairy is fine too, in moderation.
- Unsweetened greek yogurt is particularly encouraged!
- Veggie burgers and veggie bacon are fine but make sure to check the label for quality ingredients. Meat substitutes tend to be highly processed so opt to make your own using beans or lentils, or try a lower-processed like organic Amy’s California Veggie Burger, Hilary’s, or Qrunch.
- Use your free passes for high-quality, sustainable red meats. And if you slip, no biggie. Slipping means you’re trying, which is what counts! You can get back on track for the rest of the day.
- Red meats (beef, pork, bison)
- Processed red meats (hot dogs, deli ham, bologna, etc)
Why This Is A Good Idea
Eat for your body, and the environment—a diet with less red meat saves your arteries and helps counteract climate change. Did you know that the global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined? Plus, scaling down your red meat consumption leaves more room in your diet for fruits, vegetables and whole grains that help lower your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you choose to eat meat, choose sustainably-raised, local, organic varieties, and avoid highly processed meats such as hot dogs and sausage that have been associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer. Stick to small portions of lean meat, including poultry, up to 2 to 3 servings per week. Think of meat as an accessory on your plate, instead of the star of the show, and include other protein-rich foods like nuts, beans, plain yogurt and fish/seafood to play a larger role in your diet.
- Check IN Whenever you a) consciously eat less red meat or made a substitution, by making a check mark on the check-in screen, or b) consume red meat or meat products by using a slip (aka free pass) on the check-in screen. If you realize you’ve made it the entire day without any red meat or red meat products, check-in by making a check mark at the end of the day.
- Start by doing #MeatlessMonday, and try one day with only plant-based proteins (like tofu, beans or veggies)! Dishes you love that typically involve red meat but don’t revolve around it are good places to start—like whole grain pastas, stir-frys and other brown rice dishes, curry, soup, salad, tacos or burritos.
- Get creative with Chicken or Turkey burgers. Add flavorful spices and veggie toppings.
- Here fishy fishy. Make fish the star of the show Tuesday through Sunday (try going completely vegetarian on Mondays). Replace your burger patty with a piece of wild-caught Alaskan salmon, or grill up a piece of fish with teriyaki for a dish you love, but without the meat. And be sure to choose fish that are low in mercury like salmon, anchovies, sardines, scallops, or trout.
- Portobello mushrooms are meaty, and have an umami flavor that can help satisfy and kick your meat craving out of the kitchen.
- Grill, roast, sauté for the best flavor.
- Marinate tofu in your favorite marinade and grill it just like you would meat.
- Get support! Tell your friends you’re trying to eat less meat so they can help you stick to it, and ask the waiter for veg suggestions or to hold the meat when eating out.
- Ditch the meat counter for the fish counter and the produce department. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon and cod are good lower-mercury choices.
- Canned fish (in water) is great too for quick prep.
- Canned beans, too! Dried beans can save you money, but if you’re cramped for time, simply rinse and go.
- Farmers markets, farm stands, and your garden are your new best friends. Pick up meaty/hearty vegetables like mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower, squash, and sweet potato to help you kick the meat.
- Stock up on spices, and replace the old ones you have on your spice shelf. They lose flavor over time. Try a blend of cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, and curry powder.
- Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Orzo Salad
- Orange-Almond Chicken-and-Cabbage Bowls
- Roasted Herbed Salmon by Taste of Home
- Walnut Basil Pesto Halibut
- Sam Talbot’s Fish Tacos for Oceana
- Grilled Tofu Steaks With Spicy Strawberry-Ginger Glaze
- Vegan eggplant “bacon” blt sliders
Smart Things To Read And Watch
- New York City Passes Historic Citywide Meatless Monday Resolution (11/4/19)
- The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right
- Is fake meat better for you, or the environment?
- Health experts propose a red meat tax to recoup $172 billion in health care-costs
- Red and processed meat can shorten life, say scientists
- Is red meat bad for your health?
Note: Diet ID is not focused on the number on the scale. Weight loss can be a byproduct of developing healthier eating habits, but if you have questions about your weight, please contact your physician.