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Eat more vegetable foods

  1. More and more people are choosing to eat more plant-based foods. The number of flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans is increasing. Eating less meat is good for animal welfare and the environment. It is also better for your health to eat less meat and more grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit and nuts. Why is a more plant-based diet a good idea? And what can you pay attention to?

Better for the environment

  1. Food production demands a lot from the world. Food is responsible for 20 to 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions. More than half of that comes from meat and dairy. Producing food also costs a lot of water and forests and nature are lost. In addition, there is pollution from manure. By eating less meat and dairy you help the environment. By eating less meat one day a week, you can reduce the environmental impact of your diet by up to 5 to 10%.

Better for your health

  1. It is also beneficial for your health to eat more plant-based foods. You have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease if you eat less meat and more whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

  1. Less meat Unprocessed meat is included in the Wheel of Five and is part of a healthy diet. But do not eat more than 500 grams per week. There is no need to eat meat; you can easily replace meat. Make sure you get enough vitamin B12, vitamin B1, iron and protein. Look out for red and processed meats It is better not to overeat processed and red meat. If you eat many of these meats, you run a higher risk of diseases such as (colon) cancer, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Processed meat is meat that has been treated to affect flavor or shelf life; by smoking, salting, drying and / or adding preservatives. We recommend eating a maximum of 300 grams per week of red meat (beef, pork, sheep, goat). Less dairy Milk and dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are part of a healthy diet. But cheese, for example, often contains a lot of salt and (saturated) fat and has a high environmental impact. You can therefore limit the number of servings to the recommended daily allowance.

How can I eat more plant-based foods?

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  1. 7 tips to eat more vegetable and less animal foods: Replace meat with eggs, nuts, legumes (including beans, chickpeas, lentils). These products have a much lower environmental impact than meat and dairy. View the overview of alternatives to meat here or find inspiration for vegetarian recipes. Replace meat products on bread with, for example, banana, strawberry, hummus, cucumber, pea spread, nut spread or peanut butter (without salt) etc. Find inspiration here for sandwich spreads. Do not eat more than 40 grams of cheese per day. That corresponds to topping for 2 sandwiches, pre-cut slices are usually already 30 grams. Do not eat more than 2-3 eggs per week. Vegetarians can eat 3-4 eggs per week. Do not exceed your recommended servings of milk, yogurt or quark (approx. 300-450 ml). If necessary, replace milk with soy drink with added calcium and vitamin B12. Do not put fish on the menu more than once a week and take a small piece (100 grams). Choose a fatty type of fish that has been caught sustainably (recognizable by the ASC and MSC quality marks). If you want to eat meat: limit your intake to 500 grams of meat per week, of which a maximum of 300 grams of red meat (beef, pork, sheep, goat). Choose lean meat: - white meat (poultry) such as chicken fillet or turkey fillet; - or lean red meat such as steak, lean cuts of beef, pork loin, pork tenderloin, fillet chops, lean pork loins, pork fillet steaks, ham steak or lean lamb. Limit all processed meats such as: - burgers, hot dogs, cutlets, sausage, marinated meat; - as well as meat products such as ham, sausage and pâté. Make a weekly plan and note what you eat on which day. It then becomes more concrete and easier to eat more plant-based. You can also put up notes to remind you of your intention, for example: “Saturday and Monday I eat vegetarian”.

  1. Looking for more background information on plant-based eating? View the source document Towards a more plant-based diet (PDF). Do you want to eat more sustainably? View the 7 tips below.

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