As a registered dietitian I am often asked the question is it better to not eat meat? Should I become a vegan? The answer to these questions is, it depends on the individual. Are you a vegetarian for religious reasons? Are you becoming a vegan for humanitarian reasons? If not doing either one of these changes in your life does not make you a healthier person.
A recent study published in the New York Times discussed risks associated with high consumption of processed meats which may lead to an increased risk of cancer. After reading the article regarding processed meat increasing your risk of cancer it all came down to moderation. Eating processed meats daily can increase your risk of cancers, but eating processed meats seldom maybe once or twice a month probably will not have as big as an impact.
If you want to become a vegetarian or a vegan there is nothing wrong with that, but you can still eat items that are carcinogens like smoked cheeses and processed items depending on your preferences. Whole foods still remain the best option, chips and sweets should be consumed seldom if at all.
When becoming a vegetarian it is important to always remember to get your protein, which in my opinion is often lacking when people decide to become a vegetarian for weight loss alone.
Here are some ways to ensure you are getting enough protein each serving below is equivalent to 3oz of chicken.
Please see the link below for serving sizes of non animal protein sources.
Here is a recent soup I made. It’s delicious and could be a great addition to a meatless dish. If you want to add some meat keep the bacon. Remember everything in moderation.
- 1 head cauliflower chopped
- 3 slices bacon if you want a meatless dish omit bacon
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 2 strips bacon (if meatless use 2T coconut oil)
- 4T cornstarch
- 8 cups vegetable broth
Place bacon or oil in bottom of Dutch oven. Sautéed carrots, celery and onions for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add chopped cauliflower sauté for two minutes. Add chicken broth cook for 1 hour. Place cornstarch in a bowl add enough of the liquid to form a paste next wish into soup, it will thicken add milk or more broth if too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!