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Try One New Vegetarian Recipe Each Week Challenge

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Try One New Vegetarian Recipe Each Week Challenge.

There's nothing terribly wrong with eating burgers or steak, but it couldn't hurt to cut back. Try a once-a-week vegetarian meal to help cut calories and saturated fat and increase your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Other potential benefits of eating vegetarian meals:

Weight loss
Better blood sugar control and blood cholesterol control
Reduced risk of complications from heart disease and type 2 diabetes
Cancer prevention
Reduced risk of hypertension

If you decide to take the meatless plunge, steer clear of this old standby: substituting cheese for meat. Cheese provides two to three times as many calories as meat (in an ounce-for-ounce replacement) and too much saturated fat and sodium. Instead, create your vegetarian meal by making the following adjustments to three popular dishes:

Most Popular

Casserole: Try 2 tablespoons canned beans (rinse and drain well to remove excess sodium) instead of an ounce of meat.
Salad: Toss in 2 tablespoons edamame or sweet green soybeans in exchange for each ounce of meat.
Burger: Cook up a veggie version in place of a three-ounce portion of meat.

Use these guidelines from Good Housekeeping's The Supermarket Diet to choose your burger:

1 burger should be 2.5 ounces
Calories: 110 to 120
Protein: 12 g or more
Sodium: Preferably under 400 mg
Soy should be the first or second ingredient

Here are some popular vegetarian websites to help find easy healthy recpies.

 Vegetarian Times, VegWeb, VegKitchen, ChooseVeg