Thursday, October 6, 2011

Marisa Cohen, SELF magazine

Aside from staying svelte, see how your wallet and the planet will benefit.


1. To Stay Slim
Eat less meat, gain less weight—that's the upshot of one American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study. In it, folks who ate the most red and processed meat and poultry gained the most weight (almost 5 pounds) over five years. The cause isn't yet clear, but if cutting back on meat doesn't hurt and it helps keep us svelte, does the reason really matter?



Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

2. To Help the Planet
Trading red meat and dairy for a plant-based diet only one day a week cuts more greenhouse gas emissions than buying all locally grown food, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. Make it two days weekly and you'll erase your carbon footprint that much more!

3. To Fend Off Cancer
Women who consumed the most animal fat in the form of red meat and high-fat dairy had a 24 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer, a study from Harvard University indicates. Carcinogens in cooked meat are one likely culprit, explains study author Eunyoung Cho, Sc.D.

See Also: Gwyneth Paltrow's Arm and Abs Workout

4. To Protect Your Heart
Women ages 30 to 55 who ate the most red meat also had a higher risk for coronary heart disease in a 26-year-long Harvard School of Public Health study. Whose risk was lower? Women who got the majority of their protein from vegetarian sources such as beans and nuts. Blame excess artery-clogging saturated fat for meat's heart-harming potential.

5. To Save Cash
Plant proteins are cheap: One pound of dried beans costs $1.24 on average, much less than a pound of lean ground beef ($3.50) or bacon ($4.70). What's more, meat consumption costs the United States more than $190 billion a year in health-related expenses for issues like cancer and diabetes, says Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. In other words: Eat less meat; improve your health; avoid pricey treatments. Cha-ching!

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