Are you up for the challenge of trying a plant-based menu for seven days this Meat Free Week and raising funds for Bowel Cancer Australia, challenging participants to try a plant-based menu for seven days.
 
Bowel Cancer Australia’s National Community Engagement Manager Claire Annear said the Meat Free Week aims to support conversations around meat consumption, the impact excessive meat consumption has on health as well as promote ways to eat for better health.
 
 
THE FACTS

• Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer, claiming 103 lives every week.
• According to the WCRFI, consumption of red meat is probably a cause of bowel cancer and consumption of processed meat is a convincing cause of bowel cancer.
• Eating 90 grams of wholegrains daily can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer by 17%.
 
HEALTHY LIVING TIPS

• Eat a diet rich in wholegrains, vegetables, fruit, and beans.
• If you eat red meat such as beef, pork, or lamb, limit the amount to no more than about three portions per week. Three portions are equivalent to about 350-500 grams cooked weight.
• Eat very little, if any, processed meat, such as bacon or salami.
• Limit consumption of ‘fast foods’ and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Be physically active as part of everyday life – walk more and sit less.
 
Bowel Cancer Australia’s Bowel Care Nutritionist Associate Professor, Teresa Mitchell-Paterson, said we should aim to eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day, but now there are even more compelling reasons to bump up our intake of fruit and vegetables, as well as cut down our meat consumption.

“Aim to fill two-thirds or more of your plate with wholegrains, vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts and no more than one-third with animal protein such as poultry or lean red meat.”
 
“Enjoy a wide range of brightly coloured vegetables particularly the green (such as broccoli, spinach and kale), orange and red (such as sweet potato, pumpkin, tomato, beetroot and red capsicum) coupled with legumes, lentils and beans, for healthy fibre,” she added.
 
TERESA’S - TOP 3 TIPS THIS MEAT FREE WEEK

1. Get more iron from foods - add a squeeze of lemon, the vitamin C helps to increase iron absorption from leafy greens. Foods high in iron include, dried fruits, button mushrooms, leeks, dried coconut, raspberries, and peas in their pods.
2. Throw a tofu burger on the barbie - a crispy tofu burger with all the trimmings, onions, beetroot, sauce and lettuce is a yummy filling alternative to meat.

3. Boost high quality protein - by adding nuts and seeds to meals, including salads or steamed vegetables. To ensure you get all the amino acids for a complete protein remember your ABC's - mix together almonds, Brazil nuts and cashew nuts.

This 21-27 September, take the Meat Free Week challenge and discover how easy it is to make small changes that can create a big difference. Delicious recipes are just the start.