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Can't Go All The Way Vegan? Try Reducetarian?

Can't Go All The Way Vegan? Try Reducetarian?

  • Genna Heintzkill
  • Jun 08, 2019

For many out there, going 100% vegan seems like a really hard task. However, there are many health benefits to a vegan diet such as better heart health and lower cancer risks. Even going partially vegan is a great choice to become healthier. Here's everything you need to know about the reducetarian diet.

Health Benefits of Eating Fewer Animal Products

First off, just because something is vegan does not make it health food. For example, oreos happen to vegan, as are sugary sodas. However, in general, the vegan diet does have some health benefits. Vegans have a significantly lower risk of developing harmful diseases like type II diabetes, some kidney disease, and certain types of cancers. Vegans are 75% less likely than the general population to have high blood pressure, and 42% less likely to die from heart disease. Those are some impressive numbers!

Environmental Impacts of Eating Fewer Animal Products

It's not only your health that can benefit from a vegan lifestyle. It's also the planet at large. Factory farming of animals has a huge environmental impact. Just reducing your intake of animal products can have a huge impact on that industry, causing it to shrink and eventually, reduce its impact on the globe. Livestock not only drink a huge amount of water, but their excrement also pollutes water sources. According to some estimates, it can take up to 200 times more water to get a pound of beef than a pound of plant based food. Plus, a plant based diet is low on greenhouse gas emissions. Farmed animals account for over half of the world's greenhouse gas emissions! Eating fewer animals can reduce this impact on our environment and keep the planet going strong for future generations.

Reducetarian Ideas

Even if you're not ready to go full on vegan, reducing your intake of meat is easy, and you can start to see some health benefits. It's a great way to find out how you feel after eating vegan meals and get used to the different types of foods included in a balanced vegan diet. Here are some great reducetarian ideas!

Meatless Mondays

Meatless Monday is an official movement that seeks to reduce the world's consumption of meat by 15% both for peoples' health and the environment. The movement started in 2003 and has now picked up steam with a full website of recipes and articles about meatless ideals. Can you go meatless for just one day each week?

No Meat Before 6pm

Mark Bittman, a well known food writer, came up with the VB6 diet, which stands for Vegan Before 6pm. In his version, before 6pm you are a strict vegan. However, for dinner (and dessert!) you can have whatever you want. He started it because his doctor advised him to become vegan, but he wondered if he could get the same health benefits by simply being mostly vegan. Can you go vegan for 2/3 of your meals per day?

Eat Vegan for 1 Meal Per Day

Another reducetarian option is to commit to eating at least one plant-based meal per day. Suzy Amis Cameron wrote a book supporting this option called One Meal a Day. For most people, this is quite doable. In fact, you might already be doing this on some days without even knowing it! Create a lovely seasonal salad, make a veggie sandwich or get adventurous with seitan or tofu. Can you eat just one vegan meal per day?

Going vegan doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can be "on your way" to a vegan lifestyle and ease into it if you feel that's the right choice for you. If everyone reduces their intake of animal products, our environment and your health may improve!

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