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'Meat-out Monday' gains momentum for New Year’s resolutions: Plant-based tips

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How about a New Year's resolution that benefits your body and the planet? Then consider a movement that's gaining momentum: "Meat-out Monday," reported the Shreveport Times on Jan. 3.

A new Harris Poll revealed that 47 percent of American consumers plan to cut their consumption of animal products. Backing that poll, the USDA estimates that our nation's consumption of chicken and beef will fall, as will pigs and turkey.

So should you go vegan or vegetarian? If you're choosing the dairy-free vegan approach, you've got lots of company: Milk consumption has dropped by a 40 percent since its peak in 1970.

The concept isn't new, however, reported the Erie Times News on Jan. 5. Originated during meat rationing in World War II, Meatless Mondays faded away during the years of a chicken in every pot.

Now, however, supporters are urging consumers to adopt Meatless (or Meat-out) Mondays for their health - and, in particular, a different war: The war on obesity, heart disease and cancer.

The American Institute of Cancer Research Annual Conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer offers these incentives:

  • If Americans consumed eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, we would reduce our cancer risk by 20 percent.
  • By reducing processed food and red meat in our diets and boosting exercise, we can eliminate as much as two-thirds of all cancers.

If you resolved to lose weight for the New Year, vegan and vegetarian diets also can boost weight loss, according to Health Line. A study showed that vegans and vegetarians lost more weight than omnivores, and kept it off for more than six months.

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