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The Meat-Lover's Guide to Eating Less Meat

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/dining/flexitarian-eating-less-meat.html

nytimes.com

The Meat-Lover's Guide to Eating Less Meat
Reducing your meat and dairy intake can help mitigate climate change. Melissa Clark has ideas for how to do it deliciously. For all of my adult life, I've reveled in rare rib-eye steaks and oozing Camembert.

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Replacing protein

Replacing protein

Protein is not just found in meat. It is also found in grains and vegetables. And if you are getting enough calories, then you are getting enough protein.

Try to keep the daily mix of what you eat to 80% plant matter and 20% meat, dairy, and seafood.

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Eat Beans

Eat Beans

Beans come in many varieties and are excellent stand-ins for meat in certain recipes.

Cooking the beans yourself provides a better flavor and texture, but canned beans are also a good alternative as convenience food.

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High-Protein Grains

High-Protein Grains

Grains have more protein than we think and also contains a host of other vital nutrients, especially when we eat them whole.

Some staple that fills a grain bowl is quinoa, Kamut, teff, millet, wild rice, buckwheat, cornmeal, and even pasta.

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Elevate Your Tofu Game

Elevate Your Tofu Game

Not everyone enjoys tofu. However, it is tasty to pair tofu with ingredients with pizazz. Miso, soy sauce, mushrooms, hot sauce, and fermented black beans or even a small amount of meat will increase the flavor.

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Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and nut butters are a great way to round out a plate of roasted, steamed or raw vegetables.

Vegan cheese, made from cashews, is also a great treat.

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Plant-Based Meats

Plant-Based Meats

Plant-based sausages are a starting point for people who want to cut down on their meat intake.

Of the various kinds of vegan meats, seitan's chewy texture and slightly earthy flavor can be delightful.

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Make Every Bite of Real Meat Count

Make Every Bite of Real Meat Count

When eating less meat, every single bite needs to hold its own.

Instead of a chicken breast, try a smaller Italian turkey sausage, sautéed until crisp over a spinach salad. Or cured pork with roasted vegetables and grains, pasta and salads. Bone broth in mushroom Bourguignon supplies a savory character without adding any actual meat.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet

The basic concept of the paleo diet is to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods.

Studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss and major improveme...

A general guideline

There is no one "right" way to eat for everyone.

Some eat a low-carb diet high in animal foods, while others follow a high-carb diet with lots of plants.

Avoid these foods and ingredients:

  • Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
  • All Grains.
  • Legumes like beans and lentils.
  • Most Dairy, especially low-fat dairy.
  • Some vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, grapeseed, safflower and other oils.
  • Trans fats: "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils found in margarine and various processed foods.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium. 
  • Highly processed foods: Everything labeled "diet" or "low-fat" or that has many additives.

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There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or...

Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

The "Age" of vegetables

The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

Meanings of “protein”

Protein is a macronutrient, a family of molecules made of amino acids. It is found in many different food items like meat and legumes. Even grains and leafy vegetables have some. Plant-b...

Protein-rich foods from animals

  • They may have more saturated fatty acids (beef and dairy especially)
  • They may have more omega-3 fatty acids (fish especially)
  • They don’t contain any fiber or carbohydrates.
  • They tend to be very high in protein.

If you need a lot of protein in your diet, meat is a great way to satisfy that need.

“Plant protein”

Plant-based protein sources don't have as much protein. You can get enough protein through a plant-based diet, as long as it is well balanced. Plant-based protein sources:

  • They often contain fiber (especially legumes and whole grains).
  • If they contain fat, they are often rich in “good” fats (for example, the omega-3’s in nuts).
  • They contain plenty of starch as well, so it’s impossible to follow a low-carb diet if that’s a priority for you.