Inflammation and your brain are not friends. In fact, inflammation plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease.

What exactly is inflammation? Technically, it’s a good thing. When your body’s immune system recognizes something that might harm you, it responds with inflammation to protect itself. Yet, when you bombard your body with potential threats, this constant state of inflammation can be detrimental to brain health.

One way to reduce inflammation is by reducing meat intake. Homocysteine is an amino acid strongly linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. High levels of this amino acid can damage the medial temporal lobe of your brain. Homocysteine levels are usually higher in people who eat large amounts of animal protein.

“But, I’ll never be able to give up meat!” you say. We hear you. Making a diet change is hard. So, instead of making it as hard as possible and removing meat from your diet entirely, reframe your use of animal products.

Repeat this mantra, “Meat is not a main. Meat is not a main.”

Instead of eating a bacon sandwich, opt for a yummy salad full of fresh veggies with bacon on top. Instead of eating a beefy burger, eat a bowl of brown rice, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers with a mustard vinaigrette and some burger crumbles on top. You don’t have to give up the flavors you love, but it really helps to eat them differently.