Meat-free diets are gaining in popularity worldwide. In particular, the Meatless Monday movement has taken off in countries like the US, UK and Australia. Many people are motivated by the purported health benefits of a plant-based diet; although there is plenty of research to show that they can lead to a lowered risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers, a badly planned meat-free diet has the potential to cause vitamin, mineral, and macronutrient deficiencies.
Hong Kong-born Stella Chan Marinaro holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University in Nutrition and Applied Physiology and works at International SOS Beijing Clinic as a nutritionist. She offers both one-to-one and group counseling, providing clients with balanced meal plans and teaching them how to make healthier nutritional choices. We asked Marinaro about cutting back on meat the healthy way.

Types of Meat-Free Diets:

  • Pescetarians: Consume plant foods, dairy, eggs, and other types of seafood.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Consume plant foods, dairy, and eggs.
  • Lacto-vegetarians: Consume plant foods and dairy products.
  • Vegans: Consume only plant foods.

Is cutting down on red meat a good idea?
Avoiding red meats high in saturated fat and bad cholesterol is linked with cardiovascular benefits. As such, red meat should be consumed in moderation, and lean cuts are recommended.

What are the health benefits of a vegetarian diet?
The benefits of a healthy vegetarian diet (one rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, non-animal sources of protein, calcium, and which limits processed foods) include lower risks for obesity and high blood pressure, with a potential longer life expectancy.

Read the remainder of this article and more about how you can go meat-free and live a healthy life over on our sister website beijingkids.

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