Red meat contains proteins and vitamins that your body needs to function efficiently, but the Mayo Clinic explains that eating red meat can increase your chances of developing certain cancers. If you have chosen to cut red meat out of your diet, replace the red meat with foods that can make up for red meat's proteins and vitamins.
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Start small. Instead of cutting red meat out of your diet cold turkey, eat more lean red meats and cut back on how much red meat you eat per week. Remove one to two days of red meat your first week, subtracting an additional day in each week that follows until the red meat is cut from your diet completely.
Substitute high-protein items, such as tofu and soy, for red meat on days you are abstaining. Keep in mind that the average person requires at least 50 to 100 calories of protein per day, based on a daily diet containing 2,000 calories, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Fill your plate with legumes and dark green leafy vegetables on your no-red-meat days. Approximately ½-cup of legumes, such as navy beans, lentils, black beans and garbanzos can provide your daily allowance of protein. Dark green leafy vegetables can provide you with vitamins A, K, D and E. The Center for Young Women’s Health explains that a ½-cup of leafy greens per day will give your body the vitamins you need.
Talk to your physician about adding a multivitamin to your daily diet if you have stopped eating red meat. The University of California explains that a multi-mineral vitamin can provide you with the recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals required for good health.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- MayoClinic: Meatless Meals: The Benefits of Eating Less Meat
- University of California: Vegetarianism
- Center for Young Women’s Health: Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- International Osteoporosis Foundation: Calcium-Rich Foods
- Harvard School of Public Health: Food Pyramids: What Should You Really Eat?
- Real Age: Getting off the Cow