Have you tried a meat free diet?
Both veganism and vegetarianism are growing trends, with the popularity of Veganuary, celebrity endorsements and new trendy cafes all pushing them forward.
Other factors driving this growth are concerns about the environmental impact, health and animal welfare, a survey, conducted by The Meatless Farm Co. reported. However, there could be another benefit that many of us don’t take into account- could a meat free diet make us feel happier too?
In fact, the study revealed that 24 per cent of Brits think eating meat free meals make them feel happier, compared to the 16 per cent who think the same about eating meat.
Of those who feel happier for eating meat free meals, 77 per cent said it is because they feel benefits to their personal wellbeing, which includes knowing they've done something for the environment, the health advantages, and also feeling like they're losing weight.
Independent nutritionist, Cat Macdonald said: "From purely a nutritional standpoint, there are undeniable health advantages from switching to a more plant-based diet so it’s something from which most of the population could benefit. Aside from the wealth of vitamins, minerals and fibre provided by fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains and pulses, the health benefits achieved by eating a diet based on these types of foods are well documented."
"Nutritional benefits aside, compared to a meat-based diet, a plant-based diet can be easier on the environment and be more financially accessible for most people. Opting for ‘meat-free’ a few times a week will almost definitely do you some good and will likely save you some money."
So, if you're looking for ways to switch to a meat free diet, try following these tips...
1. Use alternatives to meat - you will be able to find delicious plant-based alternatives (for instance, burgers and mince) which will make the switch easier.
2. Why not start doing it with a friend? That way, you have someone to stick at it with you.
3. Don't feel you have to go cold turkey from the start - it's all about finding the balance that works for you.
4. Come up with a meal plan - it helps you to keep track and plan what you're going to eat, and also helps you to shop for any items that could seem new or unfamiliar.
5. Why not look on social media for inspiration? Don't think the stereotypes are true - there's a whole number of dishes you can try, so look online to find what tickles your taste buds.
Lead images courtesy of Waitrose & Partners