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Mighty Meat-Free Meals

Focus on veggies and other proteins this summer

A Veteran making a meat-free mealIf you're thinking about eating less meat, it doesn't have to be a dramatic change all at once. There are many options to get the protein your body needs while improving your health. You can start slowly and add one meat-free meal a week to your diet.

Get the protein you need

Protein helps build and repair muscles, but some protein sources, including a variety of meats, contain saturated fats. These high-fat meats are not the only source of protein. Beans and other plant products such as vegetables and soy are also key sources of protein. These video recipes feature non-meat proteins that could improve your cholesterol and heart health.

Variety boosts your immunity

Protein is not the only nutrient your body needs. Some nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin C help boost your immune system. Get more of these vitamins by using a variety of fruits and vegetables.  Check out video recipes like these:

Flavor meals with healthy fats

The word 'fat' can sound like a bad thing, but not all fats are bad for you. Some foods have healthy unsaturated fats that are good for your heart and improve your cholesterol. Watch these video recipes with avocado or olive oil that contain healthy fats:

Finding alternatives

If cooking isn't something you enjoy, you can choose options without meat when you order out. Look for items on menus that include veggies, beans, and healthy fats. You could even try options like a veggie burger, salads that use beans for protein, or other vegetable-based healthy food choices.

When you're deciding what to have for dinner, remember that choosing various fruits, vegetables, and meat alternatives is important to your health. But you don't have to give up meat for every meal. Instead, you may improve your health by simply adding some variety to the protein sources in your meals and choosing one meatless option a week.

Track what you eat with a food journal to see if you notice a difference when you start incorporating meatless meals.

Please vote in our unscientific poll. All responses are anonymous.

How often do you eat meat-free meals?