Meatless Monday Packs Plenty of Protein

June 13th, 2016

Meatless Monday is in the news again, this time in relation to whether the US military should offer Meatless Monday options in their cafeterias. Critics of the plan state that eating meat every day is needed to meet the US Dietary Guidelines and get an adequate amount of protein in the diet.

Meatless Monday’s scientific advisers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) say that cutting down on meat is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines and doesn’t have to mean a shortage of protein in the diet. In a recent blog, CLF explains:

The recommendation on “protein foods” has actually not changed since the last Guidelines, issued in 2010: 5.5 ounces of protein food per person per day. But this year’s Guidelines break it down more: we have a recommendation to eat 26 ounces of meat, poultry, and eggs (combined) per week, which is 3.71 ounces per day. By contrast, Americans eat between 4.4 and 5.9 ounces of meat each day. That’s 20 to 60 percent above the recommended level.

The post continues:

The Guidelines do acknowledge specifically that men and teenage boys are consuming more protein than they need, and they suggest that we all shift to alternate forms of protein, such as seafood, beans, seeds, and nuts. It’s an indirect way of advising that we cut back on meat.

Meatless Monday is a simple, memorable way to cut back on the overall amount of meat you consume and meet the Dietary Guidelines. Read CLF’s full analysis of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans here and learn more about getting the protein you need from plant sources with these helpful articles:

Stock Your Pantry with Plant-Based Protein

Start Your Day with Protein on Meatless Monday

Yes, You Can Go Meatless and Have Your Protein, Too

Check out what Dr. Robert Lawrence, scientific adviser to the Meatless Monday initiative has to say about the benefit of joining the movement: