“Meatless Monday” is back!

As part of the national “Healthy Monday” campaign, the Get Fit Club and Morrison’s Healthcare are arranging for all Med Center Health hospital cafeterias to offer “Meatless Mondays.” What does this mean? This means for each meal on Monday there will be an entrée that is meatless. 

Why go meatless? 

Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer. Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (such as, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (such as, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Meatless Mondays also has environmental benefits by reducing your carbon footprint. It is estimated the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide…far more than transportation. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef! Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound. It also can cut fossil fuel demand.

Why on Monday? For most of us the week begins on Monday. On Monday, we move from the freedom of the weekend back to the structure of work or school. We set our intentions for the next six days. We plan ahead and evaluate progress. From an early age, we internalize this rhythm. Studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week — that makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health and the health of our planet.  Monday is the call to action built in to every calendar each week. If this Monday passes you by, next week is another chance to go meatless!