Eating mostly fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains, along with nuts in limited quantities can reduce your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

If you are concerned with lack of protein, remember that as long as you are eating adequate calories, it is unlikely that you will become protein deficient. Plant-based sources of protein are not only convenient, low-fat, nutritious, but also eco- and environmentally friendly.

Try these tips to help you eat less meat.

  • Buying Groceries

    Buying Groceries

    Look for minimally processed plant-based convenience foods such as soups, grain mixes, canned beans, frozen vegetables with legumes and vegetarian entrées. Watch added dairy ingredients which increase fat intake.

  • Eating Out

    Eating Out

    Ask for plant-based and low-fat options at restaurants. Try new restaurants, many specialties from around the world are plant based and delicious.

  • Something New

    Something New

    Start with the fruits and vegetables that you like and try others to broaden your list.

  • Meatless Mondays

    Meatless Mondays

    Go meatless for one meal each day or the same day each week. Replace meat in burritos, burgers and
    soups with different types of beans, legumes and lentils.

  • Breakfast Ideas

    Breakfast Ideas

    Make oatmeal with water, add fruit and nuts or top 100% whole grain bread with sliced fruit. Instead of bacon or sausage, try tempeh (a soy product) or seitan (wheat gluten).

  • Lunch Options

    Lunch Options

    Make a sandwich 100% whole grain bread sandwich, hummus and vegetables; steamed vegetables with beans; or make a salad with vegetables and nuts.

  • Simple and Easy

    Simple and Easy

    Bake half of a sweet potato with a sauce or salsa, add beans and a large serving of your favorite mixed
    veggies for a filling, satisfying and high-nutrient meal.

  • Dinner Suggestions

    Dinner Suggestions

    Create a burrito bowl with brown rice, your favorite beans, vegetables and salsa.

  • Add New Dishes Weekly

    Add New Dishes Weekly

    Gradually add new vegetarian dishes to your menu each week such as Meat-Free Chili, Veggies and Pasta, or
    Vegetable Stew.

  • Protein Sources

    Protein Sources

    Everything you eat contains some amount of protein – even the fruits and vegetables. Talk with your
    doctor if you have concerns. There is a variety of meat-substitute foods available in grocery stores and restaurants.



This information has been approved by Andrew M. Freeman, MD, FACC, FACP (February 2021).