Meat eaters urged to take the veg pledge

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Meat eaters are being urged to ditch their intake of thick bacon and up the curly kale, as going veggie just a couple of times a week could help them feel better, stay fitter and live longer.

Professionals and nutritionists have been singing the praises of balanced, veggie-rich diets for years, and recent research has shown meat isn’t quite so good for us as we’d hoped.

In 2015, the World Health Organisation labelled processed meat carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic. They put both in their Group 1 bracket along with tobacco and asbestos. A review of more than 800 scientific studies showed direct links between red meat and prostate and colorectal cancers, as well as between processed meat and stomach cancer. They also showed that for every 50g of processed meat we eat a day, there’s a 17% risk increase of colorectal cancer (or 18% for 100g of red meat).

It’s not just our health we’re harming when we eat meat. It’s the planet, too. Livestock farming is behind 15% of human-generated greenhouse gases and up to 85% of deforestation.

On the opposite side of the fence, green veg provides us with magnesium. It’s needed to activate over 300 different enzymes in the human body, and without it we’re at risk of type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia and migraines. Beans and peas bring us stacks of protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fats and amino acids. They’re great at lowering cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, supporting digestion and reducing cancer risk.

Nutritionist Mike Murphy, from Goodlife, is urging people to take the Veg Pledge where they vow to eat veggie two days a week and start reaping the benefits of lower meat intake and better nutrition.

Mike said: “So many studies show that people who eat more plants enjoy greater health and less disease. That doesn’t mean ditching the dishes you love forever. Instead, take the Veg Pledge.

“The Veg Pledge is simple. Vow to eat veggie two days a week to start reaping the benefits of lower meat intake and better nutrition.”

Visit goodlife.co.uk for more information.