While your palate may crave a tender steak, research suggests you could be jeopardizing your health. An extensive study concluded that consuming 4 ounces of red meat a day can increase heart disease and cancer risks. On the flipside, vegetarians tend to exhibit lower incidences of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and hypertension.
But you don’t have to be a devout herbivore to reap the benefits of vegetarian fare. Consider choosing 1 night a week to eat a vegan favorite that still satisfies your carnivorous appetite.
- Tofu burgers not your thing? Try seitan as an animal understudy. The protein–rich wheat gluten imitates the consistency of meat and absorbs surrounding flavors. Use it to replace beef or chicken in stir–fry recipes or fajitas.
- With their robust nature, beans serve as hardy inserts in dishes that usually call for meat. Consider incorporating an array of black, kidney, lentils, anasazi, and pinto beans into your chili. Load up soups and salads with chickpeas or lima beans. Or stuff beans into your omelet instead of bacon, sausage, or ham — processed meats are shown to raise cancer risk.
- Mushrooms are packed with cancer–fighting properties. Try using the low–calorie fungus to fortify enchiladas, pizza, or casseroles. Or spice and grill portobellos and plop them in a bun for an upscale veggie burger.