1. Do I need to worry about getting enough protein on Green & Healthy Monday?
No. Protein deficiency is very rare, even in vegetarians. As long as you eat enough calories to maintain a healthy BMI, and follow HPB’s My Healthy Plate, you can be sure to have enough protein.
2. What about iron or Vitamin B12?
Going Green & Healthy one day a week is unlikely to cause iron or B12 deficiencies. Iron can be obtained from many vegetables, so deficiency is rare, even among vegetarians. However, people who do not consume any kind of animal products for longer periods of time (i.e. vegans) may need to take B12 supplements, where the vitamin can be harvested from bacterial fermentation. (E.g. Tempeh, Pineapple Enzymes and Asaga enzymes)
3. Is a meatless diet automatically healthier?
No. Eliminating meat does not immediately make your diet healthier. It is still important to eat the right balance of healthy whole foods and to limit your intake of unhealthy processed and fried foods.
4. Will I lose weight if I don’t eat meat?
Not necessarily. Depending on how they’re prepared, plant-based protein sources like beans and legumes can be lower in fat and calories. Also, people who eat less meat tend to have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index). However, plant-based diets aren’t necessarily lower in calories; follow HPB’s guidelines to manage your calorie intake.
5. Should I avoid exercising if I’m not eating meat?
Please do not avoid exercise, even on Green & Healthy Monday. Although, you might consume less calories, your body still needs a good workout to function efficiently. A wholefood plant-based diet will provide more than enough energy, protein and other nutrients to fuel all of your usual activities. Learn more about athletes who choose a plant-based diet here!
6. What if I’m on a low-carb diet?
Most beans and legumes are relatively high in complex carbohydrates, so you if you’re restricting carbohydrates, you may want to choose nuts and seeds as your primary protein sources. Green vegetables, which are low in carbohydrates, can also be a source of protein.
7. Should I cut fats completely out of my diet?
No. Some fats are beneficial to health, while others are not. Researchers have found that diets low in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol are associated with lower risk and rates of coronary heart disease. Replacing foods that high in these fats can help reduce health risks.
The primary source of saturated fats are meats and dairy products that contain fat, which can lead to increased blood acidity and cholesterol. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids do not raise blood cholesterol. Foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat include seeds, flaxseed, nuts, nut butters and oils including olive, sesame and canola. Coconut oil is also high in Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fatty acids, and is can help keep your intestines healthy, and is also shown to trigger the regeneration of brain cells.
8. Why Monday?
A weekly plant-based day is a clear concept, easier to manage and promotes unity and sharing of ideas. This benefits businesses, such as restaurants, who can use Green & Healthy Monday to add something fresh to the menu. Since Monday is the first day of the week, everyone can start on the right foot, and know that they are doing a good deed for the world and for themselves.