A national campaign back in 2003 launched an initiative to get Americans to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Their survey concluded the U.S. was eating way too much meat – 222 pounds of meat per person per year, which is double the recommended amount. And thus, Meatless Mondays was derived to encourage citizens to curb their meat intake.
Eating too much meat increases saturated fat and cholesterol levels leading to an increase in many health conditions like heart disease.
Less than 25% of Americans get the recommended 5 to 9 fruits and vegetable servings per day, even then, it’s typically starchy corn or potatoes and not an assortment of brightly colored veggies.
Meatless Monday guidelines say that less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat and 300 mg or less from cholesterol. Red meat, pork, chicken, turkey, and any high-fat dairy (whole milk or cheese) should not be on your Monday menu. However, fish and seafood high in omega-3 fats such as tuna and salmon, are encouraged. These meats help lower cholesterol.
If you’re worried about your protein intake for the day, don’t be. Protein is found in plant foods, too. The best sources are beans, peas, lentils, and whole grains. Combining foods such as rice and beans produces the same protein quality as a piece of chicken minus the cholesterol and saturated fat.
Here are some delicious dishes at BFF to help you try out Meatless Mondays: Salmon spring rolls, calamari, grilled shrimp or salmon salad, seafood pho, stir-fried rice (with or without shrimp), any of the Buddha plates, many of the sushi rolls, and there are several noodle plates that you can try with or without seafood.
By Leslie Radford