Veganuary - less meat, more vegetables!

Reducing meat consumption is an ethical environmental act that is also worthwhile for those who are concerned about their own health. Vegetarian and vegan diets are good for you and the planet.
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What if you stopped or at least cut back? Inspired by this question, for the past ten years Ruohonjuuri has celebrated a "Meatless Month" once a year.

More and more people are giving up meat altogether and a greater number of mixed eaters want to reduce their meat intake.

- The number of vegetarians and vegans is growing and it's natural for the younger population to avoid animal products. A bigger challenge is probably the slightly older population, who perceive a meal without meat as somehow incomplete. It's generally known that red meat and meat products should be eaten no more than 500 grams per week," says Eijaliisa Koivu, a nutritionist at Ruohonjuuri.

Koivu believes that reducing meat intake really pays off - both for your own health and for the environment.- Intestinal cancers are a common disease, mostly affecting people over 60. It pays to start taking preventive measures in good time. In addition to a healthy lifestyle and physical activity, it has been found that high red meat intake and the consumption of animal fats, for example, increase the risk. High meat intake also increases the risk of coronary heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes, among other things," says Koivu.

- Often, the most tangible reaction to eating meat can be feeling bloated and heavy. This may be because the diges- Often, the most tangible reaction to eating meat can be feeling bloated and heavy. This may be because the digestive enzymes don't break down protein. Often, a lighter diet will make it easier and lighter to feel better.

From an environmental point of view, vegetarian food is a great choice. By switching to a vegetarian diet, you can reduce the carbon footprint of your food by up to half! The most climate-impacting appetite is beef, which has about four times the burden of vegetarian food.

Vegetable products imported from further away are generally more ecological than meat produced nearby. Root vegetables are often the most ecological option.

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How to increase your vegetable intake?

The seasonality of vegetables and berries is something to keep in mind. When the harvest season is underway, there are plenty of vegetables available, as well as root vegetables that will keep well in winter. Prices are naturally lower in the harvest season.

- Meat can be replaced by a variety of protein-rich vegetables. Beans have an average protein content of 22g/100g, the same as beef. Bull bean powder contains up to 28.5 g of protein, while lentils, for example, contain around 24 g and nuts around 20 g," says the nutritionist.

- For treats, you can spread peanut butter on bread, which is a good source of protein.

- Dairy products can be replaced by plant-based products such as oat, soy, almond creams and milks.

A comprehensive range of plant protein sources can be found at Ruohonjuuri. Bean and lentil pastas are also excellent choices, with a maximum of 20g/100g of protein in themselves.

- Other regulars in the meat-reducing kitchen include pea crush, chickpea flour and hemp crush. Mindfuel protein soups are a great and easy choice of snack," the nutritionist advises.