How to reduce your meat intake without missing out on protein

Are you trying your best to cut back on how much meat you’re eating? Well, you’re not alone.

51% of people have said they intend to cut out or cut back on their meat intake in 2021, according to a recent study. So whether you’re reducing, or going fully vegetarian, you’ll certainly be in good company.

And there are plenty of well-documented benefits associated with eating less meat.

Lessening the quantities of meat in your diet can help to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol, since the saturated fats that raise blood cholesterol come primarily from animal products.

It also cuts down on greenhouse gases such as methane, CO2, and nitrous oxide that meat farming produces. In fact, according to a recent sustainable nutrition report, changing  to one plant-based meal a day reduces your food-related carbon emissions by 35%, and switching to two cuts it by 50%.

James Collier is a registered nutritionist and the co-founder of complete food brand Huel. He says that concerns about protein is one of the biggest reasons why people are reluctant to go plant-based.

James says that when switching to a more plant-based diet, or even just looking for some sustainable swaps, it’s important to make sure you’re still consuming a healthy amount of protein.

Because protein is essential for the structure of many tissues including muscle, skin, and tendons.

But it can be done. James has shared five simple ways you can reduce your meat intake while still eating a healthy level of protein as part of your diet.

Go for protein-rich grains

‘Many people overlook carb-rich foods as a route towards increased protein intake, but simple substitutes like brown rice instead of white rice can make a big difference,’ says James.

‘If you’re looking for swaps that possess an even greater protein-packed punch, the likes of quinoa and porridge oats are great alternatives, the latter of which will provide in excess of 15g protein per serving.’

So, that’s breakfast sorted at least.

Snack away

‘Snacks often get a bad rep, but they can be a brilliant opportunity to increase your protein intake,’ James says.

He adds that little and often may also be a successful habit for those striving to achieve a balanced diet.

‘Nuts are great to consider, with 20g of protein per 100g of mixed nuts. Variety is important though, and a complex nutritional profile will benefit you in the long run.

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