Alert
Close

Help hungry seniors. Deliver help and hope before Thanksgiving. Donate

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

AARP REALPAD

Introducing RealPad by AARP

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Cutting Back (Even a Little) on Meat Can Lengthen Your Life

Lose weight, cut cholesterol with simple changes

So what's the best way to slowly but steadily cut back on eating red meat and processed meat? Here are some practical suggestions:

  • Meatless Monday. Sid Lerner, 80, gets the credit for reviving a successful campaign used during both world wars to get people to reduce their consumption of meat to aid the war effort. In 2003, Lerner started pushing the concept to get Americans to take one day off from eating meat — not because of a war, but for their own health. The goal is to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15 percent. The now-global campaign has teamed up with Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health. Go to meatlessmonday.com for recipes and information.
  • Vegan before dinnertime. Avoid meat at breakfast and lunch, but anything goes at dinner. That's the philosophy of New York Times writer and cookbook author Mark Bittman, who started this strategy in 2008. At the time, he had high cholesterol, borderline high blood sugar, bad knees and sleep apnea, and he was 35 pounds overweight. Becoming a full-time vegan was "both unrealistic and undesirable," he wrote, but he figured he could do it until 6 p.m. He eats fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes (beans, lentils, etc.) until then, and has meat with dinner. The result: He has lost 35 pounds, his blood sugar and cholesterol are normal, and his sleep apnea went away.
  • Try the four R's — re-portion, reinvent, refresh and redirect. Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, who blogs about nutrition for USA Today and is the author of The Flexitarian Diet, is a big believer in slowly increasing the amount of vegetables and beans in your diet, while still including some meat, poultry and fish. Here's her four R's:

    Re-portion your plate
    by making it 50 percent veggies, 25 percent meat, poultry or fish and 25 percent whole grains.

    Reinvent old favorites
    by taking your current favorite recipes and swapping out all or part of the meat with fiber-rich beans. (For each ounce of meat, substitute 1/4 cup beans instead.)

    Refresh your recipe
    repertoire by trying one new vegetarian recipe a week. Check out vegetarian magazines, cookbooks and websites for ideas.

    Redirect meaty cravings
    . To get that meaty sensation in your mouth, but without the meat, look for dishes that include ingredients like soy sauce, mushrooms, potatoes and tomato sauce.

Candy Sagon writes about health and nutrition for the AARP Bulletin.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams at private practitioners nationwide.

membership schwanns discount

Members get double Schwan's rewards on all online orders from Schwan's Home Service™.

member benefits adt companion

Members save 20% on new installation of ADT Companion Service®.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. 

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points