An increasing number of seniors are giving up meat and saturated fat one day per week to help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and other health risks.


When a “Healthy People” report came out in 2010, it recommended that Americans reduce their saturated fat intake by 15%. For bacon-lovers and cheeseburger connoisseurs alike, the advice wasn’t easy to swallow.


To help meat-lovers achieve this reduction, a nonprofit called Monday Campaigns joined forces with John Hopkins University to launch “Meatless Monday.” As the AARP website reports, “Meatless Mondays: The Newest Food Movement” started out as a public health initiative back in 2003, but has only picked up steam in recent years—in large part because of the delicious recipe suggestions on the movement’s official website.


With mouthwatering dishes such as Butternut Squash Apple Burgers and Spinach Eggs Italiano on your Monday menu, going meatless won’t be much of a sacrifice.     


Why Monday, you ask? Why not Tuesday or Saturday? Well, studies suggest that if you start a certain behavior at the beginning of the week, you are more likely to maintain it throughout the rest of the week.


Meatless Monday should be of particular interest to seniors, who are more prone to high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, and at higher risk of diabetes and cancer. A growing body of scientific research indicates that diets rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables and nuts can help reverse the symptoms.


While giving up meat just one day out of seven is unlikely to cause any iron or B12 deficiencies, it’s always a good idea to keep your doctor informed of any changes to your diet.