Reduce Meat Consumption with These Five Strategies

A fundamental detail you should be clear about is that when you reduce meat consumption you'll have to increase your intake of other foods to complement the nutritional contribution.
Reduce Meat Consumption with These Five Strategies
María Vijande

Reviewed and approved by the pharmacist María Vijande.

Written by María Vijande

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Many people are trying to reduce their meat consumption, especially in recent years. They do so either for health reasons, for the environment, personal taste or to help eliminate animal abuse. However, many people don’t know how to do so in a healthy manner.

Reducing meat consumption may reduce your risk of high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, and uric acid problems. However, for people who aren’t used to it, taking such a step all too suddenly could also be a much radical change. It’s for this reason that we’re about to recommend a series of strategies so you can start eating less meat gradually. That way, it will make it easier to adopt new eating habits.

Strategies to reduce meat consumption

1. Know that meat isn’t essential to your health.

A meat array.
Contrary to what many people believe, it’s possible to meet your body’s nutritional needs even when you don’t eat meat.

There’s a widespread myth that meat is essential to maintain your overall health. However, this is a myth because there’s a wide variety of foods that can provide us with the necessary nutrients to cover our nutritional needs.

In this regard, it’s a good idea to begin by decreasing the weekly frequency with which you consume meat and also reduce the portions you eat. And, remember that meat isn’t just beef and pork and poultry, but also:

  • Sausages
  • Processed deli meats
  • Pates

2. Vegetables and legumes are your best allies.

A fundamental fact you should be clear about is that by reducing your consumption of meat you’ll have to increase your intake of other foods. This is for you to be able to complement the meat’s nutritional contribution.

This increase must be in the form of vegetables that provide you with all the iron and protein your body needs. So, you must increase your consumption of lentils, as they are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin B, minerals and iron. However, there are also other whole foods such as beans, soybeans, and whole grains such as rice, oats, and wheat.

3. Reduce meat consumption by planning your weekly shopping.

A rather simple strategy you can carry out to reduce meat consumption is to stop purchasing it. After all, you won’t eat meat if you don’t have it! So, try to get more vegetables, fruits, and legumes when you buy your weekly groceries. You’ll be surprised at the variety of plant-based foods you can find at your local market as well as the wide range of meals you can make with them.

Read also: The WHO’s Findings on Meat and Cancer

4. Reduce meat consumption step by step.

A stack of veggie burgers.
Meals made with vegetables and legumes are a great replacement for meat in your diet.

As we mentioned above, it’s important that you gradually reduce the amount of meat to effectively achieve your goal. To do so, you can begin by:

  • Eliminating meat products from your breakfasts.
  • Eating vegetables several times a week to replace sausages and other animal products. Salads, omelets, and vegetable casseroles are also good options.
  • Discovering new meatless recipes. Because, when you discover all the possibilities out there you’ll be much more encouraged to reduce your meat consumption.

If you wish to reduce your meat consumption for health reasons, then the best strategy is to opt for low-fat sausages and lean meats such as turkey and chicken. Likewise, if you want to reduce your meat consumption because you’re going vegetarian or vegan, then you’ll want to completely reduce your consumption of anything that contains meat or animal products, depending on your case. Either way, it’s always easier to make gradual changes for your body to better assimilate the dietary changes.

5. Eat fish instead of meat.

If you’re one of those people who want to stop eating meat for health reasons and you’re not about to adopt a vegetarian diet, then just add more fish to your meals. This is a great replacement for other meats in most recipes.

For instance, bluefish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and good oils. It’s for this reason that it’s a great animal to consume instead of other meats. Also, other fish such as grouper, sea bream, and hake are low-fat and quite healthy for your body.

You may also be interested in reading: Five Types of Fish That You Should Avoid


Overall, if you’d like to change your eating habits and reduce meat consumption, then keep in mind that you must allow your body to adapt to any change so you should do so progressively. However, when you’re finally done eating meat, you’ll surely notice the results and feel much better!

Thanks for reading!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Shahidi F., Ambigaipalan P. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their health benefits. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol, 2018. 9: 345-381.
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  • Zhao Z., Yin Z., Zhao Q. Red and processed meat consumption and gastric cancer risk: a systematic review and meta analysis. Oncotarget, 2017. 8 (18): 30563-30575.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.