From saving water to having a healthier heart, here’s why choosing a meat-free burger this National Burger Day is better for you – and the planet.

Since 2016, Brits have been celebrating National Burger Day on the Thursday before the UK August bank holiday. Over the years, veggie burgers and other plant-based meat substitutes have skyrocketed in popularity, often outpacing the growth rate of meat products. Data shows that in 2019, 228 million servings of plant-based burgers were sold at quick-service restaurants.

Here’s why choosing a plant-based burger is better for you and the planet:

Reduces greenhouse gases

Swapping beef for beans would help the U.S. reach targeted greenhouse gas emission reductions, according to a report published in Climatic Change.

Saves water

Producing just one pound of beef requires 1,800 gallons of water (that’s the equivalent of about 100 showers for the average American!) One study estimated that if the United States replaced even half its meat consumption with plant-based alternatives, our food production would require 37{85424e366b324f7465dc80d56c21055464082cc00b76c51558805a981c8fcd63} less water.

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Supports workers’ safety

Opting for veggie burgers is an opportunity to boycott the meat industry’s disregard for workers’ safety and human health. Meat processing plants have become hotbeds for the spread of COVID-19. Workers in these facilities reported a lack of protective gear, lack of social distancing, inadequate sick leave policies, and inadequate testing.

Good for heart health

Swapping red meat for plant-based proteins can boost heart health! In fact, one recent Harvard study found that those who ate the most plant protein were 29{85424e366b324f7465dc80d56c21055464082cc00b76c51558805a981c8fcd63} less likely to die from heart disease, compared with people who ate the least.

Reduces risk for colorectal cancer

A World Health Organization report found that eating just 100 grams of red meat – that’s less than the average burger – per day can raise the risk for colorectal cancer by about 17{85424e366b324f7465dc80d56c21055464082cc00b76c51558805a981c8fcd63}.

Keeps you feeling fuller for longer

In one study, participants ate either a plant-based burger or a meat-based burger. Study participants self-reported that the veggie burger increased satiety and had them feeling full longer than the meat-based burger. The researchers noted that the veggie burgers were rich in fiber – a nutrient found in plant foods that adds bulk without adding extra calories.

Easily accessible and versatile too!

No need to worry about meat shortages! Combining simple pantry staples – like beans, oats, and spices – with vegetables you may already have on hand will give you a delicious veggie burger. Plus, when it comes to veggie burgers, there’s something for everyone, whether you love beans, soy, oats, rice, sweet potatoes, greens, or other vegetables.

Check out the BEST ever vegan burger recipe here! 

Original source: https://www.pcrm.org