A meatless meal a day can cut your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease

The book Meatless Monday reports that tiny milliliters of plant-based protein can give you as much protein as a burger, which tastes pretty darn delicious.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that meat consumption will decrease by 8 percent by 2035, which means that eating a whole plant-based meal every day — or at least two of those meals — could lessen one’s risk of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. In the United States, about one-third of adults are overweight or obese, according to the federal government, so there are lots of people who could stand to lose weight.

Plant-based meat isn’t just a healthier option — it’s a tasty one, too. According to “Slice the Plate,” a Web site devoted to the nuts and seeds of the plant-based diet, “finding protein in plant-based foods is seamless; the balance of amino acids and nutrients in plant-based foods is incomparable to meat.”

Using plant-based foods allows for a little bit of tweaking (my usual bread substitutes with quinoa, which go well with the guacamole I make at home). But the book’s author, Janice Kiely, says that it also allows for a little bit of indulgence (meatless pasta salads and Greek yogurt tarts sound lovely). Kiely notes that many low-carb diets promote rich in rich protein. This takes a weight-saving, fruit-rich but lean approach — one that manages to make most of the meals delicious without losing any of its flavor.

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