Get Fit Pledge: Eating less meat can make a big difference

When you think about healthy eating, you probably think about an essential ingredient like protein.

That may make you wonder why this week's Get Fit Pledge is to go meatless for two meals this week.

There are at least three benefits to this pledge. First, you will reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Number two, if you do this all year long, you'll reduce your grocery bill by an estimated $400, and third, it's always good to test your ability to make changes for a healthier lifestyle.

Let's talk saturated fat first. It's in red meat, chicken, turkey, eggs and a lot of foods we eat. Saturated fats come from animal products.

Scientists say saturated fats can raise your bad cholesterol, so what can you substitute?

The nutritionists recommend trying a Mediterranean diet which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and reduce the incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer.

Now let's talk money. Red meat, chicken, turkey and even dairy based products are expensive. Nutritionists tell me you could save four hundred dollars a year by simply going meatless two meals a week.

What do you substitute for the steaks, the chicken, the turkey? In a Mediterranean diet, you'll want to eat more fish and seafood, more fruits and vegetables, grains, and beans.

Here's something else you could do. Try adding more herbs and spices to your meals, and replace butter with olive oil or canola oil.

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