I topped my garden salad with 1/4 cup of low fat (1% milkfat) cottage cheese for 13 grams of protein which is 25 % of the recommended Percent Daily Value for a 2000 calorie diet (50 grams of protein per day).
While I was eating my lunch I read the "Woman's Health Reporter" - "Information and advice you can use from leading health newsletters". The article that really caught my interest was "Minimizing Meat for Better Health". which was reprinted with permission from the "Women's Nutrition Connection". I was having a meatless lunch so this made me feel good.
In this article, Abigail Arday, a registered dietitian at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell is quoted as saying, "A lot of research suggests we should limit our meat consumption to lower our risks of heart disease, cancer, type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and premature death". I definitely want to be healthier and live longer, so I kept reading.
Also according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, "strong evidence suggests that eating patterns that contain less meat, especially less processed meat. . . ; are linked with a lower risk of cardio-vascular disease". Processed meats include sausage, bacon, hot dogs, and salami, etc. I have previously read that the nitrites and nitrates found in processed meats can be cancer-causing (carcinogenic).
In July 2016 the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggested a link between Alzheimer's disease and a Western diet "laden with meat". Milk was not included with "meat and other animal products." This "hit home" as my 86 year old mother has recently gone to live in a nursing home and has signs of dementia.
According to JAMA Internal Medicine in October 2016, higher intake of processed red meat was linked to higher mortality rates. Again I think it's the word "processed" that is the KEY word here. Lean cuts of meat such as round steak or pork tenderloin are safer.
Plant foods that provide protein include legumes such as beans and peas, tofu, nuts, and seeds.
This article suggested "rethinking the role of meat" by using it as a flavoring for a main dish rather than the focal point of the meal. For example instead of a steak dinner with a salad on the side, opt for a big, leafy green salad topped with a few ounces of steak. Or, make a stir-fry that contains a little beef or pork but is loaded with vegetables.
Other swaps you can make include having a meatless burger made with legumes and vegetables. Or reduce the meat in tacos, meatloaf, or casseroles and add beans instead. Top a salad with baked tofu or tuna, or sprinkle on some nuts or seeds instead of ham or cold cuts.
Experts also recommend getting at least 8 ounces of fish per week. Try to make it low-mercury fish that is high in omega-3 fats. This includes wild-caught salmon, sardines, and trout.
Finally, the article concludes with Arday quoted as saying that when you get a good variety of plant proteins, they are considered equivalent to meat in nutritional value. She concludes, "So, it is possible to meet your protein needs while lowering the health risks associated with eating meat."
I'm going to follow the advice from this article and make VEGETABLES the focal point of my meals with real meat (no processed meats) or fish or seafood on the SIDE. I think the cottage cheese on my tossed salad was a good idea.
How about you? Do these studies influence how YOU are going to eat ? Are you going to cut out bacon and cold cuts and hot dogs? Are you going to try TOFU for the first time? Do you like fish and seafood ? Do you put nuts and seeds on veggies?
Please leave a comment and let me know what YOU think.