Catholic enter the penitential season of Lent early this year. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday is Feb 9 and Ash Wednesday kicks off the Lenten season on Feb. 10, 2016. Still haven’t decided what to give up for Lent? Why not give up sugar and abstain from meat for Lent? Not only is a meat and sugar fast good for weight loss, it’s the social responsibility of developed nations to help those in need in underdeveloped nations. For uber socially responsible Lenten fasting, give up junk food too!
Not familiar with Catholic Christian Lenten fasting? It’s pretty simple. On Fat Tuesday, also called Shrove Tuesday, old school Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians purged their homes of sugar, fat, dairy and meat to fast without temptation. Lenten fasting is not just about avoiding temptation and “giving up things,” however. Catholic and Orthodox Christians fast to be one with those who suffer. It’s living being in solidarity with the poor. Instead of just talking sympathy for others, the Catholic is called to walk empathy with others. And Lenten fasting is about health, too.
Fast food, junk food, sweets are basically filler foods. They’re over-processed, vitamin-depleted garbage. Unhealthy saturated fats, transfats and sugar are dietary non-essentials which contribute nothing to and often subtract from good health. Commercial meat is shot full of GMOs, antibiotics, steroids and pink slime. This American diet is why there’s an obesity pandemic in developed countries. Sure meat provides protein but there are better alternative protein sources (nuts, seeds, beans). And most westerners eat far too much meat and in super sized portions.
The recommended serving size of meat is 3-4 ounces, but most people consume portions two to three times that size. The fat-to-protein content in most meats is very high, too. For Lenten fasting and weight loss, switch to fish as a better alternative protein source with one gram of fat to 23 grams in the same serving size of chuck steak.
Besides Lenten fasting, other religions abstain from meat, junk food and sugar. Jewish kashrut law, Muslim halal and Buddhist nyungne all forbid some or all of these foods. The Mediterranean Diet–highly touted for weight loss, focuses on less junk food, meat and sugary foods. These eating plans feature fresh, raw, locally sourced, sustainably grown produce and little to no commercial, processed junk. That’s just common sense for all dieting and weight loss.
For decades, westerners have been feeding a growing addiction to meat and that’s causing world hunger and poverty. Excessive meat consumption is not a sustainable lifestyle. Add to that an American diet craving for sugar, snacks fast food and junk food and you have a global corporate farm takeover, depleted natural resources and world-wide hunger (even in developed nations). Twinkies are a national staple. McDonald’s is the leading feeder and and chips and candy have supplanted fruit and vegetables as cash crops. For economic, religious, health and social justice and weight loss, give up meat and sweets eat every day.